County Schools Cross Country Championships - 5/12/21

20 December 2021

Having battled through the District Schools Cross Country trials 40 Harriers earnt their chance to compete in the 2021 County Schools Cross Country Championships. 10 Harriers achieved podium finishes and at least 30 earnt the opportunity of running for Gloucestershire in the 2022 Schools South West Cross Country Championships.

In the Minor (Year 7) Boys race Patrick Paul took the win with a strong race, crossing the line 21seconds clear of 2nd place. Paul was joined on the podium by fellow Harrier, Jack Pennell in a superb 3rd. Caleb Green ran well to finish in 12th place. The first Harrier home in the Minor Girls race was Olivia Avery in 4th, just 8seconds ahead of her twin, Evie Avery, who was 5th. Charlotte Johnson took 20th place.

There was a Harriers 1-2 in the Junior (Years 8 and 9) Boys race, with Sam Wilson pulling 46seconds clear of his teammate, Dominic Martin, to take the gold. Martin held on brilliantly to take silver. Such was the depth of Harriers in the race that all 6 of them finished in the top 15 with Elijah Marsden, Thomas Wightman, Freddie Coombes and George Brooks finished in 5th, 6th, 8th and 13th respectively. Not to be out done 9 Harriers competed in the Junior Girls race with 7 in the top 15 and all finishing in the top 30. Maddie Thomson led the contingent home in a fantastic 2nd place, just 1second behind the leader. Georgia Howell, Ellis Woolley and Bluebell Heath-Smith battled all the way to the line. Howell earnt 7th place despite being awarded the same time as Woolley in 8th. Heath-Smith was just 2seconds back in 9th. There was also a hard fought race between Harriet Smith, Amelie Paul and Josie Steer who finished in 12th, 13th and 14th. Rosie Reynolds achieved 20th place and Rebecca Fenton was 17th. 

Isaac Henderson ran very well to finish in 3rd against a tough field in the Inter (Years 10-11) Boys race. Tom Gavin made a rare appearance over cross country impressing with a 5th place finish. Rafferty Welch was just behind Gavin in 6th. Bexley Turbard and Felix Linder also made it into the top ten in 9th and 10th. Max Stanley-Jones competed for the first time since 2019 finishing in 20th and sprinter Oliver Spencer made his cross country debut in 29th. British rower, Chloe Sheppard, took a well deserved 2nd place in the Inter Girls race, driving to the line to finish just 5seconds behind the leader. Only 2seconds separated Eleon Wightman and Isobel Watt in 7th and 8th. Cora Bolton and Freya Howell followed close behind in 9th and 10th. There were also brilliant runs by Molly Dibden in 13th, Milly Foster in 16th and Izzy Burfitt in 21st. 

The Senior (Years 12-13) races are always very competitive and this year was no different. In the Boys race Jamie Bell ran well to finish in 7th and Guy Green put in a strong run to finish in 11th. Freddie Janta-Lipinski took 14th, Archie Cross was 15th and Samuel Strafrace was 17th. The Senior Women's race was much anticipated with GB U20 3000m athlete Kaitlyn Sheppard taking on England International steeplechaser Kiya Dee. Dee had finished the higher of the pair at the Liverpool Cross Challenge the week before but this time it was Sheppard who came out on top, pulling 10seconds clear to take the gold. Dee ran fantastically nonetheless to take silver. Completing the Harriers clean sweep of the medals was Ciara Thornley in a superb 3rd place. Despite being more known as a sprinter Hannah Hunt ran well to finish 13th.