School runners take on best in the nation

Echo: In it together – the intermediate boys team from Southend High In it together – the intermediate boys team from Southend High

SOUTHEND High School for Girls proved this small corner of the country can hold some of the biggest events on the calendar.

That’s the view of the school’s head of PE Sue Simpson after they successfully hosted the English Schools Cross-Country Cup final on Saturday.

Ninety-seven teams from schools from across the country arrived in Southend for the right to be named the national cross-country champions.

That included two teams from hosts Southend High School for Girls and two from their near neighbours Southend High School for Boys.

The Eastwood Academy were also represented with their intermediate boys team taking on the best in the country.

The event involved many long days for the Southend High staff, who worked around the clock to ensure the racing, held on their school field, went off without a hitch.

Simpson said: “Everybody has spoken really highly of how we staged the event. The course ran really well and there were some fantastic performances.

“We were working from 7am to 5pm for the days leading up to the event. We’ve had great support from the headteacher and the whole school and I can’t speak highly enough of the kids and the parents.

“It has shown that the school, and the whole borough of Southend, can host big events like this.”

The south Essex schools battled hard for team success on their home turf, with Southend High School for Boys’ intermediate boys team ending up the best placed of them all as they finished in fifth place.

Harrison Smith as the first of that team home, finishing in 27th place with Harry Long (31st), Adam Harley (44th) and Mosope Oyelola (57th) completing the scoring team. Edward Appleton was 59th and James Jenkins 80th.

Eastwood Academy’s intermediate boys team were 19th in the same race with Gus Withers leading them home in 24th spot. Rob Allabaster (33rd), Rushwan Lewis (82nd) and Shane Lewis (111st) rounded off the scoring team with Jez Willis 132nd and Rhys Gillings (143rd).

Southend High School for Boys’ junior boys team were 14th overall with their four scoring runners all finishing in close order. They were led by Mitchell Lawrence (52nd) ahead of Noah Chilvers (54th), Thomas Jorge (57th) and Thomas Stuttle (68th). Harrison Oakley (78th) and Harry Smith (100th) rounded out the six-man team.

Southend High School for Girls were unable to replicate their success of previous years on their home turf with both their teams finishing in 18th spot.

The junior girls team was led home by Joanna Rimmington in 26th spot. Following behind in the scoring team were Lucy Hagger (64th), Juliette Le Mare (65th) and Elena Iruskieta (98th) with Katie Twell (102nd) and Isabelle Bates (105th) completing their squad.

Katie Feint led home Southend High’s intermediate girls team in 29th place, just ahead of Natasha May who was 33rd. Megan Richardson in 62nd spot and Iona Doyle in 102nd completed the scoring team with Hannah Badger (112th) and Ella Healey (120th) providing the support.

SEE WEDNESDAY'S ECHO FOR A PICTURE SPREAD OF THE RACE

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