16 of our young athletes (two representing Herts Schools) made the journey north to Prestwood Hall in Loughborough for this National event that is fast growing in numbers.
There were almost 300 starters in the Year 5/6 races and almost 200 in the Year 7 races. Our athletes, who were allowed to run for Woodford, were mostly up against county runners who had made the top 10 in their schools champs prior to this event.
The Year 6 Girls squad (photo: Richard Wain)
Abigail Reid had a magnificent race in the Year 6 Girls race over 2,200 metres. The going underfoot was mostly dry but soft underfoot, with a few muddy stretches. Abigail was in the top 10 in the early stages but gained in confidence as the race progressed and pushed through for 6th spot, just over 20 seconds behind the winner from Buckinghamshire. Rosemary Kelly, our West Essex Schools Year 6 champion, was next home in an excellent 57th from the 300-odd starters. Molly Wain can be happy with her 112th as she fell at the start and did well to recover and finish. Alice Caton and Rose Grady. part of our Under 11 girls Met League title-winning squad, came in together in 162nd and 163th. In her first race for her new club Emily Millward was unlucky to get elbowed at the start but battled well to place 207th.
In the Year 5 Girls we had just one runner, Molly Sherrin. Again, with about 300 starting, Molly could initially be seen in around 30th place. She then worked hard in the middle stages to maintain the position, before a superb finish from our athlete took her through to 23rd - a fine performance from our Essex Schools Champion.
In the Year 6 Boys race Hector Clark was our only athlete on the start line. Although he found it difficult Hector must be congratulated for finishing in 246th place.
In the Year 7 Girls race there were nearly 200 starters, of whom 3 were ours. Kezia Beeton and Larna Morgan, and Molly Matheron who was running for Heretfordshire. Kezia got a good start and was around the 30 mark at halfway. She then hung onto this high position in great style to claim an excellent 32nd. Larna, another of our Met League Under 13 Girls winning team, ran well for 79th, while Molly was 155th and was the 8th Herts girl to finish.
The Year 7 Boys squad (photo: Estelle Savidge)
In the last race, the Year 7 Boys, we had six runners including Evan Johnson running for Hertfordshire. James Brigstocke-Williams and Nathan Wright got out well and were seen around the 25 mark in the early stages. However, Evan had taken a nasty fall which caused him to lose ground on the other two lads and he looked rather shaken and muddy. James and Nathan hung on well up towards the front to finish 27th and 28th. Evan was next home in 59th and was Herts’ 5th scorer. Sid Cody was unlucky to miss out on running for Hertfordshire but was happy with 91st as there were Herts runners behind him. Ben Templeton-Knight can feel happy with 115th and another great club athlete, Ben Savidge, ran well for 131st.
Our young athletes should feel proud of their achievement as the bulk of the opposition were county athletes from across England. I would like to thank the parents for transporting the athletes to Prestwold Hall and to Alicia McArdell for taking time out from university in Nottingham to come down to help with issuing numbers and helping guide the young athletes.