Back at Basildon, our runners again tackled the feared hill and vied for the right to represent Essex at the English Schools Championships; five runners achieved this with the best result coming from Georgie-Lou Sales who this week had to settle for 2nd place (in the Senior Girls event) whilst Gavin Lewis (Senior Boys) and Khalid Yusuf (Inter Boys) both came 4th in their races. Gavin looked much happier this week knowing in advance what distance was in store for him and Khalid ran strongly having made it to Basildon this time after getting on the wrong train the week before and ending up in Southend.
Sidnie Sales (5th Inter Girls) and James Stockings (6th Junior Boys) also deservedly made the English Schools cut whilst a further eight finished in the top 16 in their races and will additionally be invited to run in the South of England Inter-County Schools event on 7th February. These were Jess Docking (11th) and Becky Hewitt (12th) for the Senior Girls; Robbie Meadows (9th), Omar Mansour (13th) and Alex Cornwell (16th) for the Senior Boys. In the Inter category, Kate Stockings (13th) made the Girls team whilst Liam Blaikie (11th) and Chris Sear (16th) made the Boys team.
Other runners representing their districts were Amelia Holford (21st Senior Girls), Darren Southcott (18th) and Lewis Ball (23rd) for Senior Boys; Claudia Conway (23rd), Eleanor Flaherty (27th), Sophie Fuhr (33rd), Suna Yokes (54th) and Amy Grant (59th) finished the Inter girls event. Dan Yaxley, nursing a recurrent knee injury, limped home 60th and Ben Phillips ended up being carried off the course after collapsing during the Inter Boys race although was fortunately ok to go home after being checked over by medical staff.
In the Junior Girls event, six of our runners completed the course, Amy Doyle in a creditable 17th, Ellie Foster in 21st, Georgina Ferrari back in 24th and Hannah Williams (67th) Stephanie Smith (69th) and Kehzia Jones (70th). Sam Robinson (21st) was our other finisher in the Junior Boys event.