New Balance English Schools’ AA Cross Country Championships heads to Temple Newsam

Many of the country’s top young endurance runners will be returning to the venue of the 2018 event near Leeds to represent their county schools’ associations in 2019.

With eight athletes per team and over 300 young athletes competing in each age group, there are always some strong battles for individual titles as well as the team honours in the event organised by the English Schools’ Athletic Association.

ESAA would like to thank all the local people who are willingly helping organise and run the event for a second year. Hopefully this year it will be a little warmer than last year when snow covered much of the course. Click here for more information on the ESAA website.

Timetable

  • 9.00 am – Championship site open
  • 9.30 am – Course open for inspection
  • 12.30 pm – Intermediate Girls’ Championship – 3710 metres
  • 1.00 pm – Junior Boys’ Championship – 4100 metres
  • 1.30 pm – Junior Girls’ Championship – 3000 metres
  • 2.00 pm – Intermediate Boys’ Championship – 5220 metres
  • 2.35 pm – Senior Girls’ Championship – 4100 metres
  • 3.05 pm – Senior Boys’ Championship – 6700 metres

Individual presentations will take place shortly after each race.

Ones to watch

Junior Girls / under 15s (3100m)

Last year Holly Weedall (Coach: Pauline Thom, Club: Vale Royal AC, School County: Cheshire) finished 8th and this year she won the ECCA Championships. Kiya Dee Highworth from Gloucester was 6th last year and recently she finished 2nd at the ECCA (English Cross Country Association) Championships in Leeds. Maisy Luke (Christopher Jeffery, Cornwall AC, Cornwall) finished 13th last year finished 12th when she raced at the ECCA Championships in Leeds. There should be a good competition between those three.

Intermediate Girls / under 17s (3800m)

There are at least five very fast girls entered this year; Bea Wood (Dave Amey, City of Salisbury, Wiltshire) was the under 15 champion last year and has now moved up to the Intermediate age group. Sian Heslop (Alison Hartopp, Macclesfield) finished 4th last year in the Intermediates, while Francesca Harris (Andrew Carter, Vale Royal AC, Shropshire) finished 12th last year. Georgina Campbell (Paul Hawkins, Stratford-upon-Avon)

finished 13th last year, and finally Jodie Hill from South Yorkshire (Hallamshire Harriers) finished 19th last year and when she ran the ECCA Championships recently finished in 11th place.

Senior Girls / under 19s (4100m)

Only a few who ran last year are still eligible; Kate O’Neill (Patrick Gahagan, Havering AC, Essex) finished 8th last year and ran the ECCA Championships this year finishing 18th and Rhian Purves (Colin Haggie, Gosforth/Gateshead, Northumberland) came 15th last year. There are several very good athletes who have moved up from Intermediates; these include Keeley Hodgkinson (Margaret Galvin, Leigh, Greater Manchester), Olivia Mason (Graeme Mason, Border Harriers, Cumbria) and India Pentland (David Lowes, Darlington Harriers, Durham) – who finished 2nd, 3rd and 5th respectively last year.

Junior Boys / under 15s (4100m)

Three well-performing athletes still in the under 15s and who finished in the top 16 in 2018 include Lewis Sullivan (St. Edmund Pacers, Suffolk), Christopher Perkins (Gary Curtis, Birtley AC, Cumbria) and Ethan Scott (Trevor Raggett, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Surrey) who was 15th in the ECAA Championships recently.

Intermediate Boys / under 17s (5200m)

Liam Rawlings (Colin Lancaster, Oswestry, Shropshire) finished 9th last year and came 11th in this year’s ECCA Championship. From London is Oliver Bright (Nigel Stickings, Blackheath & Bromley) who came 16th last year also finishing the ECCA Championships in 12th place. A promising athlete coming up from the under 15s is Woody Jerome (Mick Woods, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Surrey) – he won last year, and finished the ECCA Championships in 9th place in February this year.

Senior Boys / under 19s (6800m)

Five very good athletes ran in 2018 and should have an excellent race; Thomas Keen (Mark Vile, Cambridge & Coleridge, Cambridgeshire) finished 2nd last year and 10th in the ECCA Championships in February; Rory Leonard (Morpeth, Northumberland), Ben West (Kyle Bennett, Bicester AC, Oxfordshire) and, Connor Bentley (City of Stoke, Shropshire) came 5th, 6th and 7th last year – and finally Matthew Stonier (Peter Mullervy, Invicta East Kent) was second in the under 17s last year and finished in 6th place this year in the ECAA Championship.

Preview written by John Knight