Essex Schools Cross Country Championships, Hylands Park, 20th January 2018

Club athletes returned from the Essex Cross Country Championships at Chelmsford with six medals, two gold, a silver and three bronze as nine athletes earned automatic selection for the English Schools Championships at Leeds in March.

Alex Ford narrowly held on for victory in the Junior Boys' to qualify for the national event and Matthew Blacklock took bronze to join him there. Shane Hart was the only other club athlete in action in 45th

Molly Sweetman also took gold in the Intermediate Girls' age group after fourth place last year to qualify for her second national schools championships and Lily Bath placed 20th.

The Senior Girls' event provided one of the highlights of the day as club athletes took three of the top five places as the trio all will be heading for Leeds. Chelmsford's English Schools' champion Khai Mhlanga as expected took gold but behind her Kate O'Neill got the better of teammate Jess Mitchell to win silver as Jess had to settle for bronze. Sophie Rand placed fifth, to qualify for Leeds, with Catherine Barker 18th.

The club will also have a trio of representatives in the Junior Girls' race at Leeds. Sydney Foley's fine run earned her bronze with Natalie Sewell one place back and Maddie Barker showed much improved form in fifth to gain automatic English Schools selection . Chloe Rand in seventh will have another chance to make the team for Leeds as two further places will be selected after the Schools' Inter Counties next month. Holly Bradley (21st), Isobelle O'Connor (22nd) & Alice Atkins (28th) also took part.

Harry Jones will also have a second chance to qualify after finishing eight in the Intermediate Boys' category, with Oliver Woods 11th and Alex Friend 12th.  Reece Harriott & Edward Laughlin were 43rd and 44th. Sam Atkins flew the flag in the Senior Boys' event in ninth.




Junior Girls: 3rd - Sydney Foley 13:29; 4th - Natalie Sewell 13:47; 5th - Maddie Barker 14:02; 7th - Chloe Rand - 14:06; 21st - Holly Bradley 15:06; 22nd - Isobelle O'Connor 15:08; 28th - Alice Atkins 15:30;

Inter Girls  1st - Molly Sweetman 15:53; 20th - Lily Bath 18:14;

Senior Girls:  2nd - Kate O'Neill 3rd  - Jessica Mitchell  5th - Sophie Rand  18th - Catherine Barker

Junior Boys: 1st - Alex Ford 14:39; 3rd  Matthew Blacklock 14:49; 45th - Shane Hart 17:28

Inter Boys:  8th Harry Jones 24:22; 11th Oliver Woods 24:36; 12th Alex Friend 24:37; 43rd - Reece Harriott 27:57; 44th Edward Laughlin 27:58

Senior Boys:  9th Sam Atkins 26:26


Photos: Mick Ford