SOUTH Essex schools will once again be well represented at the national cross-country cup final.
Southend High School for Boys and the High School for Girls will both have two teams competing at the final in Bolton on December 1.
Eastwood School will also have two teams at the event after they came through the regional final at Basildon’s Gloucester Park on Saturday.
Southend High School for Girls will have teams in both the junior and intermediate girls’ categories.
The intermediate girls’ team packed the top of the field on Saturday, with Victoria Hiscock (fourth), Natasha May (sixth), Abigail Uden (seventh) and Olivia Sofroniou (13th) making up their scoring team.
Basildon AC’s Isobel Ives showed her good form to win the race and will be heading to Bolton too with her school, Coopers.
It was a case of so near yet so far for King John School’s intermediate girls who were just 10 points away from qualification.
Kiera Tippett was their first scorer home in fifth place, while there was also a spot in the top 10 for Basildon AC’s Jemima Walker who was competing for New Hall School.
FitzWimarc finished fifth overall and Eastwood School eighth.
The green vests of Southend High School for Girls were also well to the fore in the junior girls’ race with Katie Feint (fourth), Megan Richardson (10th), Joanna Rimmington (14th) and Ella Healey (23rd) making up their scoring team.
The highest scoring south Essex finisher was Sinead Clark from FitzWimarc School whose second place helped her team to finish in sixth place overall.
Niamh Smith was King John’s best placed runner, coming home in ninth place and leading her team to ninth spot.
It was a real local battle in the intermediate boys’ race as George Elliott (Eastwood) and Laurence Willmore (Southend High School for Boys) renewed their club rivalry in school colours.
Elliott emerged victorious and led his team to the national final in a few weeks’ time.
Team-mates following him home were Callum Brady (12th), James Hiscock (13th) and Daniel Frimley (21st) as they finished second overall.
Willmore’s fellow Southend High scorers finishers were Ryan Creasey (14th), Andrew Berry (15th) and Joe Kidd (17th). Southend High finished third overall.
Max Jones was FitzWimarc’s first finisher in seventh place as their team finished in fifth.
Westcliff High School for Boys were eighth.
Southend High School for Boys were in dominant form in the junior boys section with Samuel Jones (fourth), Mitchell Lawrence (seventh), Mesope Oyelola (eighth) and Mitchel Cox (11th) all in the top 12 as the team cruised to victory.
Eastwood’s Gus Withers was the first south Essex runner home in the race as they claimed the third and final qualifying spot for Bolton.
Withers finished second and was well backed up by his team-mates Rhys Gillings (14th), Jack Bloomer (26th) and Samuel Cotgrove (35th).
King John’s Lukas Volk was 10th overall, helping his team to a fifth placed finish, while FitzWimarc were eighth and King Edmund 11th.