This Saturday sees the New Balance English Schools' AA Cross Country Championships take place at Norfolk Showground near Norwich. The course is mostly flat and fast, although there are several slight hills.
The first eight from both Junior and Intermediate age groups will be selected to go to the SIAB Cross Country International in Wales on the 25th March.
There are a number of iterations of the laps with small, medium and large laps. The timetable is as follows and each race will directly followed by individual presentations.
- 12.30 Intermediate Girls' Championship 3.75k
- 13.00 Junior Boys' Championship 4k
- 13.30 Junior Girls' Championship 3.25k
- 14.00 Intermediate Boys' Championship 6k
- 14.35 Senior Girls' Championship 4k
- 15.05 Senior Boys' Championship 7.2k
We wish the athletes all the best and you can follow the championships on social media and via our Live Events page this Saturday. More information on the ESAA website. Scroll down for a preview of ones to watch.
This result of this race is often hard to predict as many athletes have not raced at ESAA before but many have tested themselves in the fields at the ECCA this year. Jaden Kennedy (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: James McDonald, School County: London), Fraser Sproul (Club: Kendal AC, School County: Cumbria), Joseph Currie from (Club: Chesterfield, School County: Derbyshire) and Felix Vaughan (Club: Reigate Priory, School County: Surrey) are likely to be among the athletes battling it out at the front.
Two Intermediate boys are back for their second year in this age group and raced with good results last year at Wollaton Park; Lachlan Wellington (Club: City of Portsmouth AC, Coach: Vince Stamp, School County: Hampshire) was second last year and Joshua Cowperthwaite (Club: Middlesbrough (Mandale), Coach: Martin Peevor, School County: Cleveland) was third. There are several others now competing as Inters for the first time and it will be an interesting competition to see how they fare; watch out for David Dow (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Coach: Mark Vile, School County: Cambridge), Kristian Imroth (Club: Dacorum & Tring, Coach: Mike Dunphy, School County: Hertfordshire), Charlie Brisley (Club: Invicta East Kent, Coach: James McNeill, School County: Kent) and Zakaria Mahamed (Club: Southampton AC, Coach: Peter Haynes, School County: Hampshire).
Entries include the recent winner of Leicestershire & Rutland Schools' Championships Ben Dijkstra (Club: Leicester / Beacon Hill, Coach: Alan Maddocks), who was also second in the Nationals a few weeks ago and was the inter champion in 2015. Also likely to be strong contenders are Ricky Lutakome (Club: Sutton & District AC, Coach: Maureen Hancock, School County: Surrey), James Puxty (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Peter Mason, School County: Kent), and George Groom (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet, Coach: Stephen Murphy, School County: Hertfordshire).
Jodie Hill (Club: Hallamshire, School County: South Yorkshire) was 6th last year and could improve on that this year. Having all had very good runs at the National, several others are also in contention: Lizzy Edge (Club: Rushcliffe, School County: Nottinghamshire), Anwen Thomas (Club: Blackheath & Bromley AC, Coach: Phillip Kissi, School County: London) and Susannah Lecoutre (Club: Guildford & Godalming AC, School County: Surrey).
Alexandra Brown (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, School County: London) was 5th last year and is in good form having come 3rd in the Nationals, the Southerns and Surrey County XC as well as 2nd in the CAU Inter Counties last weekend. A number of Juniors from last year have moved up: Elsbeth Grant (Club: Matlock, School County: Derbyshire), Olivia Mason (Club: Border, Coach: Graeme Mason, School County: Cumbria), Charlotte Alexander (Club: Herne Hill, Coach: Wayne Vinton, School County: Surrey) and Ella McNiven (Club: Liverpool Harriers, Coach: Lynn Webb, School County: Merseyside) will all be hoping for a good performance.
Entries include last year's winner Sabrina Sinha (Club: Cambridge Harriers, Coach: Peter Mullervy, School County: Kent) and Niamh Brown (Club: Aldershot, Farnham & District, Coach: Mick Woods, School County: Surrey) who was in third place and recently won a XC in Spain and the national last month. Other athletes likely to be in the mix are Serena O’Connor (Club: Poole Runners, School County: Dorset), Amelia Quirk (Club: Bracknell AC, Coach: Beverley Kitching, School County: Berkshire) and Hannah Hobbs (Club: Yate / Westbury, Coach: Pat Gallagher, School County: Avon).