Essex Schools XC

Several Harriers were in action at the Essex school’s cross country championships. Each of the 10 school areas selects the best athletes from their area races to compete at the Essex schools championships, with the top runners in each category being invited to represent Essex at regional or national championships later in the winter. The top 6 runners in each age category are automatically selected as part of the eight person teams to run in the national championships while the top 20 are invited to the regional race.

Despite the lack of mud, Hilly fields was as tough as always with icy conditions meaning the ground was hard and rutted.

Junior Girls race (years 8 and 9)

Milly Presland continues to improve and finished in a strong 6th place to guarantee selection for both the regional and national races. Milly’s performance was all the more impressive considering that she was one of the younger runners in the race and can compete in the same age category next season.

Madeleine Claydon (26th), Molly Whiteford (34th) and Hannah Rodgers (55th) also represented North East Essex and had strong races

Intermediate Girls (years 10 and 11)

Hannah Watson ran a strong race to finish 8th, just outside the automatic qualification places for the national race but well placed to grab her spot by running well at the regional race. Joining Hannah at the regional round will be Jasmine West who finished in 17th, a fine performance since she has spent much of 2016 injured and will have another year in this age category. Lily Waterson (41st) also had a good run and like Jasmine will race in the same age category next year

Intermediate Boys (years 10 and 11)

Despite a slow start, Danny Millward has a fine run to finish 13th in a very strong field, and gain a place at the regional race. Danny is a first year in this age category so running against boys a year older. Danny will still have an outside chance to run at the nationals if he can produce a good run in the regionals. Training partner Max Caulfield was unlucky not to join Danny at the regionals. Running with a cold Max finished in 21st place, just being pipped to the last qualifying place in the last 100m of the race. Fergus Crouch also ran and finished 35th

Senior Boys (years 12 and 13)

Oscar Dawson again showed his versatility with a strong run to finish 14th as a first year in this 2 year category