Stubber’s Activity Centre in Upminster was the venue on Wednesday for the Essex Schools Year 7 and 8 championships and with an Essex vest on offer for the top 16, a good number of our Young athletes were keen to put a good performance. (Photo below, Ben Savidge, by Brett Savidge)
First up in the Year 7 girls race, where almost 250 runners toed the line, several of our Met league U13 Girls champions team were well represented. The 2500m course was muddy underfoot and, with not much room for overtaking, our girls needed to get out quick. First home was Kezia Beeton in 7th, closely followed by Larna Morgan in 15th, both pleased to qualify for the SE Schools Intercounties match at Christ Hospital in March. Mary Hardy, who is improving with every race, ran very well for 22nd and was followed by Bronya Overington in 33rd, who had missed a lot of training recently due to illness - she should be very happy with her place. Our final Woodette in the U13 girls was Ruby Castle, running well for 135th.
In the Year 7 boys race over 3000m 7 of our U13 boys team jostled tightly packed in at the start. Jimmy Geller was first home in 4th, and admitted to a bad start. With his best run all season, hopefully showing his injuries are behind him, James Brigstocke-Williams was next home in 9th. Met League stalwart Luca Gormley was next in in 11th and Nathan Wright, who was disappointed to take a tumble, recovered really well to take 15th and grab his Essex Schools vest. Ronan Edwards was next home in 32nd, really pleased with his performance and given that his school bus was late, and his warm up was a dash across the car park, and he should be commended for taking it in his stride! Close behind Ronan was Ben Savidge, seen in 20th before he fell foul of a tree root which dropped him well back to finish in 34th. Archie Sherrin was the last man home in 44th and he should be very happy given the field of almost 250.
We had one young athlete in the Year 8 girls 3000m race, Miya Maeda, relatively new to the club. Having shone recently in the Met League, she is increasing in confidence and ran remarkably well for 7th so she will win her first Essex vest.
Finally, in the Year 8 boys race, Jacob Hardy had a great race and won silver, just yards off Havering’s Blacklock. Jay Russell, who had only just recovered from illness, did well to get out and was running well before also taking quite a big tumble and, like his other unfortunate team mates, he should be commended for his grit and determination to get up and finish in 77th.
The majority of these great young athletes have the Nationals at Parliament Hill to look forward to on Saturday and should do so with confidence given these fine performances.