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English Schools Cross Country Championships report

This was undoubtedly the most challenging cross country race of the season for several reasons, not least in terms of weather conditions this year. Heavy snow showers, freezing temperatures and strong winds made life very tricky for the hundreds of school athletes who made the journey to Temple Newsam in Leeds.

 

Matthew Stonier was simply not deterred however. Starting from 4th in the intermediate boys Kent pen, he found his way through quickly and secured a position in the first four throughout the whole 5.2k race. He was serene and relaxed, moving between 2nd, 3rd and 4th until the finishing straight where he snuck his way back into 2nd place and secured an England Schools vest for next weekend’s SIAB race in Nottingham when he will race the top eight athletes in Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as his England team mates. Matt was delighted with his achievement as was coach Peter Mullervy of course. They disappeared into the International tent to organise kit and ties for the SIAB! Congratulations Matt - a well deserved breakthrough.

 

Cameron McRae ran exceptionally well too, having been spiked during the race. He looked strong throughout and was pleased with his individual ​12th position and thrilled with a team gold! Well done. His consistent training has really paid off, a good lesson to everyone.

 

Alexandra Millard, running from 4th in the intermediate girls’ Kent pen too, found the going very tough at the start today, lacking an opening to make her way through to join the leading group as was the plan. She had to work incredibly hard and as usual battled through in the second half of the race, reeling in the other Kent athletes to finish in top Kent position and 32nd overall. This was no mean feat in a field of top quality athletes but, by her own admission, a little disappointing after a great season.

 

Teigan Sullivan was our Junior Girl representative and run an absolutely fabulous race, tackling the fast but undulating 3.1k course with real determination. The ground became increasingly muddy and more difficult to negotiate. A super ​60TH​ position for Teigan and she should be thrilled with this result in her first year of representation for Kent. Another athlete who has had a very successful season.

 

Finally, Roseanne Temple ran in the Senior Girls as a first year. She waited for a long time in the horrible conditions and stuck to the task brilliantly. It was gruelling 4.1k through the mud and she should be very proud of her achievement of ​190TH ​place, amongst some extremely strong competition.

 

Athletes now also wait to hear if they may be selected for the region’s London Mini Marathon team having competed in the qualifying races at Southerns, Nationals and National Inter Counties.

 

Fingers crossed!