The cold wind blowing straight off the Thames Estuary onto Hadleigh Park meant Tuesday’s Essex Primary Individual XC Champs felt like the good old days of the Met league, without the mud. The conditions, however, didn’t put off our 14 battle-hardened Young Athletes, racing this time in their school colours. Each race had 45 runners on average and each runner had already qualified in the top four of their district, so the standard was high and the competition fierce.
In the year 4 Girls race Isobelle Matheron of Fawbert and Barnard had an amazing run over 1000m with a brilliant 4th place, beyond expectation according to her happy coach, and our next year 4 in was Kallie Jackson from Churchgate CofE with a fantastic 15th.
On to the year 5 race, and Rosemary Kelly of Theydon Bois Primary, another with an outstanding performance, took 5th place, and our next in was Molly Wain of Epping Primary in 23rd.
In the year 6 Girls 1500m race we had a host of runners. First home was Kezia Beeton of St Johns Buckhurst Hill, beating last year's 4th with an excellent 3rd, and receiving a bronze medal to boot. Our next athlete home was Larna Morgan of Epping Primary, with a fantastic 7th, showing the same grit she had in the Met League, running down several places in the last 50m, next Molly Matheron of Fawbert and Barnard, 14th, and finally Hollie Mills, of Henham and Ugley County Primary, who usually prefers the shorter distances, with a very creditable 28th .
In the Year 6 Boys race Jimmy Geller, representing St John Fisher Loughton, decided this was one to attack right from the start, knowing a very good Cambridge and Coleridge boy was seeking revenge for being beaten in the Team event and would stick to him like glue. Jimmy took the 1500m race on and won in 4’ 32”, next in was his pal Luca Gormley in 9th. Then Sid Cody of Fawbert and Barnard, their Met League team mate, who prefers a much longer distance, was pleased with 28th and finally our newest recruit Ben Savidge of Henry Moore, in his first ever finals, made 35th.
Fine performances all round from our group of young athletes, at the end of what has been a long winter season, and the year 6’s can now look forward to a great track season starting with EYAL at Watford on 7th May.