ATHLETICS: Pupils perform well in cross country Nationals

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LOCAL runners took part in the Aviva English Schools Cross Country Championships at Nottingham on Saturday.

The championships were held in the picturesque setting of Wollaton Park where 44 county teams competed across three age groups for boys and girls. Unlike last year’s quagmire at Manchester, athletes enjoyed glorious spring weather over the testing course.

Athletes were selected to represent Lincolnshire based on their performances in the county schools’ championships held at the beginning of the year.

The junior boys’ under-15 race was over 4.1km and had a field of 331. Competing in his first ESAA championships, Jake Hornby (Priory Ruskin Academy) ran well to be the third Lincs athlete home in 162nd place.

Haran Dunderdale (Carres Grammar) ran an excellent intermediate boys’ under-17 race, completing the 5.7km course in 25th position out of 320 competitors, the highest placed Lincs boy of the day across the age ranges. Josh Asbrey (St George’s, Sleaford) did well to finish 36th and King’s School’s Linton Taylor was 112th.

The 6.8km senior boys’ under-19 race had a field of 312, with Matthew Bee (Carres) finishing 141st as second Lincs runner home. Matthew Smith, of Priory Ruskin, was the fourth Lincs runner to finish in 261st place.

The first Lincs runner home in the intermediate girls’ under-17 race was Naomi Collier (KGGS) who finished 63rd out of 337 over the 3.8km course. Schoolmate Sophia Tucker was 244th and the fifth Lincs runner to cross the finish line. Polly Atherton (Kesteven and Sleaford High) was 317th.

A total of 290 runners started the 4.1km senior girls’ under-19 race, with Grantham College student Chelsea finishing as third Lincs athlete home in 113th position.