Essex Schools XC Year 7 and 8 Champs

After the snow, ice and freezing conditions last weekend, much kinder conditions greeted our athletes at this popular event, held at Stubbers, which involves nearly two hundred runners in each of the four races.

In the Year 8 race over 3.5K, the race developed into a two-horse tussle with our own Jimmy Geller battling it out with Will Steadman, the Chelmsford runner, over the hills in the first part of the course. During the second part of the course around the lake, Steadman gradually got away with Jimmy closing him down towards the end with a frantic sprint that left our lad just three seconds behind. With the first sixteen selected to run for Essex at Horsham next month, Jimmy bagged yet another county vest. Nathan Wright was never too far back with a fine 7th spot. Next home, gaining his first county vest, was Ben Savidge who ran strongly throughout and he totally deserved the selection. New member Chris Richardson was 43rd and Archie Sherrin 52nd.

In the Year 7 girls Abigail Reid was soon to the front, running on the shoulder of the hare. Abigail ran strongly throughout to put a massive 52 seconds between herself and 2nd placed Atkinson, who is a sub-20 minutes 5k parkrunner. Emily Caton, who has improved beyond all recognition this season, placed 8th, a fine run which gave her her first county vest. Only four days earlier Emily shattered her 800m PB by 7 seconds. Just one place behind Emily was Rosemary Kelly. Rosemary had been unwell last week so did brilliantly for 9th and also won her first county callup. Jasmine Dolan, who attends the same school as Abigail and Emily, placed 16th, which resulted in the Team Manager encouraging her to train with the youth group next week. Hopefully she will be a new addition to our club. Rose Grady also performed beyond expectation with an excellent 25th from the 200 starters. Another to excel was Molly Wain in 47th spot. Molly is now enjoying playing football alongside her running. Emily Millward also ran well for 58th.

The Year 8 girls race contained about 150 starters. Kezia Beeton, who is enjoying an excellent season, was soon to be seen in 2nd spot just behind the Essex Schools Junior Girls champion, Kiera Atkinson. It was a close race throughout, with Kezia running brilliantly and placing 2nd, just six seconds behind the winner. Larna Morgan, a top triathlete indeed, celebrated her birthday by claiming s great 16th spot to earn her county vest, much deserved. Just one place behind Larna was Bronya Overington who got out fast and hung onto her forward position in fine style to claim a reserve spot. The Team Manager is confident that the county may run Bronya as his former county, Surrey, are taking 20 runners to this event per age group.

It was another fine showing from our runners with no fewer than nine runners running for Essex at Horsham in the South East Of England Inter Counties on the 23rd March. We very much hope that Bronya will be joining them. For now they have the business of enjoying their final Met League fixture at Ally Pally this coming weekend.