Burghley Park was the venue for this year’s Lincolnshire County Schools Cross Country event where Grantham Athletic Club excelled themselves.
This competition is considered by many to be the toughest and most competitive of all the XC events in the calendar. The competition starts with athletes from all sports competing at district events.
With it being open to all athletes, there are always surprising performances as strong, fit athletes from other sports test themselves at XC running. The leading athletes then qualify through to the County event and from the County results 16 athletes are selected to represent Lincolnshire at the Anglian Schools’ Championships next Saturday.
The top six runners from the County event are also guaranteed a place in the English Schools AA Championships on March 17.
The day’s proceedings began at 10am with runners facing less than ideal conditions – a cold, biting wind and rain. Underfoot conditions were good, with the course being set in undulating grass parkland. Race distances varied by age group with the youngest (Y7) competing over 2.9 km, whilst the senior boys (U19) raced over 6.9km.
GAC athletes Megan Tremain and Mazel Brown competed well in a very large field, placing 36th and 15th respectively. In the Inter Girls’ race, Isabel Hobday had an excellent run, taking ninth place and therefore qualifying for the Anglian Schools event.
William Tucker and George Hatton were racing in the senior boys’ race, with both having high hopes to go further in the competition. They did not disappoint as they ran in third and seventh respectively. These great runs meant qualification to the next round and for William a place in the English Schools finals.
Amy Crook and Ella Rose Hobday took on the 4km course with their usual enthusiasm. Amy came in 25th, a great achievement in the cold, wet conditions.
This left club athlete Harry Denton to race in the Junior Boys’ race. Going out like a train, Harry bossed the race from the start, settling in to a nice pace amongst the lead runners. Some hard winter training at the track had clearly paid off.
As the race drew to an end, Harry moved up another gear to claim the County Schools XC title, again taking him through to the Anglian and English Schools finals.
Overall, this was a great day for the GAC athletes with many now looking forward towards the Anglian and English Schools Finals.