English Schools Cross Country Championships, Temple Newsam, Leeds 17th March 2018

The organisers' decision to go ahead with the prestigious English Schools championships, while many other events were cancelled, proved to be the right one as there was no snow, although the athletes had to contend with a bitterly cold wind and sleet showers, with parts of the course muddy underfoot at the undulating Leeds course.

Kate O'Neill's excellent form was rewarded with a brilliant eighth place finish in the Senior Girls race as she finished just two places behind Chelmsford's defending champion, Khai Mhlanga.  Jess Mitchell started strongly but faded after recent illness to finish 51st as Sophie Rand was 90th and the Essex team ran out comfortable winners over South Yorkshire.

The Junior Girls were also crowned national schools' champions. Natalie Sewell finished strongly to take her into 17th place on her national debut, overhauling teammate Sydney Foley who finished three places and four seconds behind. Chloe Rand (212th) and Maddie Barker (285th) were also part of the successful Essex team.

There was a 60th place finish for Molly Sweetman who was the first Essex runner home in the Intermediate Girls race while Harry Jones' 106th place in the boys equivalent saw him finish third Essex runner across the line.

In the Senior Boys' race two athletes who are transferring to Havering Elliott Cordery and Tom Keevil were 32nd and 64th while clubman Sam Atkins was 206th. The Havering line up was completed by Junior Boys Matthew Blacklock (99th) on his debut and Alex Ford in 314th, after missing last week's Inter Counties due to illness.







Junior Girls: 17th Natalie Sewell 11:53; 20th - Sydney Foley 11:57; 212th Chloe Rand 13:11; 285th Maddie Barker 13:35


Inter Girls: 60th  Molly Sweetman 15:11


Senior Girls:  8th Kate O'Neill 16:14; 51st Jess Mitchell 17:19; 90th - Sophie Rand 17:58


Junior Boys:  99th - Matthew Blacklock 15:39; 314th - Alex Ford 17:04

Inter Boys:  106th - Harry Jones 19:30  

Senior Boys [32nd - Elliott Cordery * 24:08; 64th - Tom Keevil * 24:48;] 206th Sam Atkins 26:37

* Transferring to Havering shortly


Photos: Tracy O'Neill & Maria Rand