A great day for Sunday’s schools cross-country races

Schools cross-country races

What a great day at East Court yesterday. Sunshine all day long (which meant long queues at the ice-cream van) added to the atmosphere as hundreds of mums, dads, grandparents and teachers watched the runners go round the course – with the biggest crowds gathering as the athletes went up the hill at East Court and then again at the finish line. And from the club’s point of view it was great to see such excellent performances from members of EGAC – 3 of the 4 race winners were our own members.

First off were the year 7 and 8 girls over a course of about 2800 metres (one and three-quarter miles) with 2 climbs of the hill. Izzy Sims from Notre Dame was the early leader with Sackville’s Erin Harnett just behind for the first 1000 metres. But Izzy then pulled away and went on to repeat her win from 2014. Notre Dame’s Olivia Quinn came in second with Erin Harnett third and Sackville’s Antonia Deeley fourth – with 31 finishers.

The year 7 and 8 boys were next up, running over the same course as the girls. Erik Miles from Notre Dame took an early lead round the upper field but as the race settled down Sackville’s Callum Stone went past him and gradually extended his lead to come home first. Erik Miles held on to second place with Sackville’s Ben Aubrey third and Ollie Dallas from Imberhorne fourth. There were 29 finishers.

And the winners of the year 7 and 8 team trophy were Notre Dame with their athletes scoring 40 points, followed closely by Sackville with 51 points. There is room in the year 7 and 8 races for more athletes and for one or two more secondary schools to enter.

The primary school races were then their usual exciting affairs. The start of the races across the top of East Court is always an inspiring sight with over a hundred athletes charging along before going down the hill to the lower field.

The primary school girls were first to race over their course of about 2400 metres (one a half miles) with just over 100 runners. Last year’s champion Maddie Simms from Notre Dame took an early lead and never looked like being overtaken – and she came home in an excellent time of 9 minutes and 41 seconds to make it a double win with older sister Izzy from the secondary school race. Behind her came fellow Notre Dame athletes Tallulah Sullivan second, Lauren Wilkinson third and Isabel Harvey fourth with Turners Hill’s Hattie Williams fifth as she held off Honey Hills from St Marys in a tight finish.

Not surprisingly with the top 4 finishers Notre Dame won the girls team trophy – for the 9th consecutive year I believe – with 10 points. Ardingly were second with 61 points and Halsford Park third with 68 points.

The primary school boys were then in action in the last race of the day over the same 2400 metres as the girls – and with over 150 runners taking part. And as with all the other races there was a clear winner with Ethan Scott from Halsford Park coming home in under 9 minutes – 8 minutes and 55 seconds. Some 50 yards behind came Ardingly’s Oliver Spinks and then a bit of a gap before Kasper Collier from Ardingly came third. There was then a very tight finish for the next 2 places with Freddie Bell from Notre Dame in fourth place just squeezing home ahead of St Peters’ Noah Englishby Allen in fifth place and then came Ardingly’s Oliver Francis to complete the top 6.

With 3 Ardingly boys in the top 6 it was clear that Ardingly would win the team event, which they did with 26 points. The Halsford Park boys went one place better than their girls with second place with 40 points with Estcots just 4 points behind on 44 points for third place.

Many thanks to the Town Mayor Dick Sweatman for spending the afternoon with us and giving out the medals and trophies to the successful athletes. I think he was a little surprised when a number of the athletes asked to have their own individual photo taken with him. And lots of thanks for everybody from within the club who helped to get everything ready for the races, who did some marshalling, who manned the finish line and who helped to take everything down at the end of the races. When we left East Court at 4 o’clock it was hard to believe that anything significant had taken place there during the day.

The full results of all 4 races can be found on the website by clicking on “Off Track” and then “schools”.

There’s more cross-country this coming Saturday

And for members of EGAC there will be further opportunities for cross-country races this coming Saturday October 17 when the Sussex League has its first match of the autumn/winter. The match takes place at Goodwood and if you would like to run then please contact Karen Wells (Cameron’s mum) or Oliver Harnett (Erin’s dad). It would be great to see a number of yesterday’s successful athletes taking part.

Just a reminder that we have re-started training for the autumn/winter

We have re-started training on Thursday evenings, and Sunday mornings at East Court have also started, though there was no session yesterday because of the preparations for the cross-country races.

The circuits sessions for older athletes started last week at the Imberhorne Upper School gym and the second session will be tomorrow.

What’s happening over the next week ?

Tuesday October 13 –circuits session at Imberhorne Upper School from 7.30pm.

Thursday October 15 – Thursday evening training at Imberhorne Upper School from 7pm.

Saturday October 17 – first Sussex Cross-Country league match of the autumn/winter season at Goodwood.

Sunday October 18 – training for all at East Court from 10.30 to about 11.45.

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