Essex Schools Cross Country Championships, Colchester, 17th January 2015

There was victory for Kate O'Neill and silver medals for Jack Rice & Lydia Hallam as club athletes competed for their district teams in the Essex Schools Cross Country Championships at a chilly Hilly Fields, Colchester on Saturday.

Kate O'Neill, running in the colours of Mid-Essex, hit top form when it mattered to lift the Junior Girls' title, coming home almost 50m ahead of Southend's Joanna Rimmington.  Becca Brown continued her comeback with a fine sixth place to clinch the final automatic selection place for the English Schools Championships, but seventh placed Sophie Rand will have to rely on the selectors' discretion to join her & Kate in the eight-strong Essex team to compete in Blackburn in March. Jess Mitchell was 11th to earn an Essex vest in the Inter Counties at the end of the month while Molly Sweetman (29th), Grace Dukelow (35th) & Kate Walker (4th) will benefit from their first county schools appearances.

Jack Rice continued his progress to win silver in the Junior Boys' event 30m behind Lewis Harknett (West Essex) and just ahead of Mid Essex's Elliott Cordery to qualify for his first national championships. John Fennessey in 12th earns an Essex vest and Sam Atkins (19thg) & Harry Jones (35th) also ran well.

Lydia Hallam also won silver in the Senior Girls' event to qualify for his final English Schools' appearance, and Heidi Surman-Wells showed good form in ninth.

Completing the club roster were Emily Marshall (15th - Inter Girls), Matt Braybrook (16th - senior boys), and Lewis Debenham (25th) & Oliver Bath (32nd) in the Inter boys' race.




Junior Girls: 1st - Kate O'Neill 13:28; 6th - Rebecca Brown 13:49; 7th - Sophie Rand 13:53; 11th - Jessica Mitchell 14:15; 29th - Molly Sweetman 15:03; 35th - Grace Dukelow 15:33; 49th - Kate Walker 16:38

Inter Girls  15th - Emily Marshall 18:53;

Senior Girls:  2nd Lydia Hallam 16:03; 9th Heidi Surman-Wells;

Junior Boys: 2nd - Jack Rice 17:39; 12th - John Fennessey 18:31; 19th - Sam Atkins 18:48; 35th Harry Jones 19:27

Inter Boys:  25th - Lewis Debenham 20:20; 32nd Oliver Bath 21:09

Senior Boys:  16th - Matt Braybrook 22:51

Photos: Jane Hallam