The English Schools’ AA Cross Country Cup FInal takes place on Saturday 24 November at Woodbridge School, Suffolk. The course is dry and fast, and has two small hills per lap. The events is a national competition for Juniors who are Years 7 and 8 and Intermediate who are Years 9 and 10.
Last year’s winning teams included Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham taking both Junior titles, Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton winning the Inter Boys’ competition, and City of London School for Girls tkaing home the Inter Girls’ trophy.
The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School Upminster are fielding Abbie Ives (Club: Basildon, Coach: Richard Bullis) who finished second last year. However also entered is Orla Williams Club: Chiltern, Coach: Steve Perkin, School: Dr Challoner’s High School) who finished fourth – only 4 seconds behind and Alice Jones (Club: Wharfedale, Coach: Chris Jones, School: Skipton Girls High School) who finished 7th a further 6 seconds behind, so it should be very good race. Those teams will also feel the pressure of a strong team from Millfield School, Street.
Two Juniors in their second year of competing at that age group and are likely to do well are last year’s 4th placed Christo Chilton (Club: Herne Hill, Coach: James McDonald, School: Dulwich School) and Thomas Redmond (Club: Chiltern, Coach: Steve Perkin, School: Dr Challoner’s Grammar School) who finished 5th. Teams are very close together; Dr Challoner’s and Dulwich College London were only 7 points only apart when they competed at their regional finals. Ilkey Grammar School was only 2 points less in their regional final.
It is difficult to predict the Junior Girls but two athletes who ran well last year and should do very well are team mates Keira Flannery and Ruby Naughton (both at The Cooper’s Company and Coborn School and members of Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC) who were 18th and 22nd respectively last year. The other teams from the regional finals are Dr Challoner’s High School, Bradford Grammar School, and Durham Johnston Comprehensive and are likely to provide a close competition.
This age group is very open this year. However, last year’s Junior winner Matt Aldred (Club: Chiltern, Coach: Steve Perkin, School: Dr Challoner’s Grammar School), and 14th placed Hugo Brill from Bourne Grammar School (Club: Nene Valley) will be competing in the Inters teams. Other strong contenders would be Alex Thompson (Club: Wharfedale Harriers, School: Ermysteds Grammar) – who was 15th last year in the Inters competition and won the Junior Competition in 2016 – and Euan Duffin (Club:Morpeth, School: King Edward VI) who was 16th in the Inters competition last year. There are likely to be close times from two teams who achieved a similar number of points in their regional final – Woodbridge School and Calday Grange Grammar School, Merseyside.
- 1pm: Intermediate Girls
- 1.30pm: Junior Boys
- 2pm: Junior Girls
- 2.30pm: Intermediate Boys