National Year 6 and Year 7 races Prestwold Hall Loughborough

A small group of just six athletes made the trip North for their final Cross Country Championships. Weather this time was much kinder with light winds and the sun making an appearance too.

In the Year 6 race from nearly 350 starters we had three runners. Unfortunately for Isabelle Kyson she was forced to withdraw 400 metres into the race with a pulled hamstring whilst well placed. Her team mate Molly Sherrin got a good start and was in the top 12 throughout the early part of the race. Molly then showed great courage to push on and was brilliant in placing 10th in a high class field. Amana Oguntuga in her first race at this level also ran brilliantly.Setting out quickly she hung on to her position in great style to finish an excellent 45th a great debut at this level.

In the Year 7 race,top quality runners Abigail Reid and Tilly Major were on the start line with 200 in the field. Abigail got out well and at halfway she was in 3rd spot 20 metres behind Baxter, last years champion, and Gilbody who was heading the field. Abigail once again made a great charge to overhaul Baxter to place an excellent 2nd place to receive her trophy and medal from GB international Gemma Steel. Tilly, running for Hertfordshire, also had a great run and was well to the fore in this large top class field. On the run-in, with Tilly coming through fast, she placed 15th, just two seconds shy of 10th spot.

In the Year 6 boys race with 350 running Gregor Samson, also tasting National competition for the first time, should feel pleased with 124th which was a good solid run. The youngsters enjoyed their final venture against the best of the country and on a lighter note Tilly nearly recruited a new member being a four legged fur member just 9 weeks old.

At Horsham on the same day in the South East Of England Inter Counties we had no less than nine runners competing for Essex, six for the first time. Fields were around 90/95 in each race being the best runners from this part of the country. In the Year 8 race Kezia Beeton who needed hospital treatment after the English Schools the weekend before, had a brilliant run for 8th place. She was lying 4th for the majority of the race but the wounds from last Saturday gave her pain. So she was brave to finish in such an excellent placing. Big praise to Larna Morgan 49th and Bronya Overington 68th behind Kezia. In the Year 7 girls excellent runs were yielded by Rosemary Kelly 27th, Emily Caton 32nd, and Jasmine Dolan 35th. Great credit to all three girls all running for Essex for the first time. In the Year 8 boys race Nathan Wright had a fine run for 21st. Two more debutants, Ben Savidge and Bailey Allen, locked horns throughout with Ben just coming in front of Bailey 61st to 62nd.