ALLEYN Court’s head of PE admitted he had a tear in his eye when he heard about his pupils’ success at the Independent Schools Association regional cross-country finals.

Paul Hart was at home sick when he got the news that the Wakering Road School had three teams become regional champions.

The Southend school has traditionally performed well at the event – but this year’s result was one of the best ever.

“I was at home with flu when I got the news of how well we had done and I admit it brought a tear to my eye,” said Hart.

“We usually win a couple of age groups but it was a pretty amazing year this year. We had an absolutely fantastic day and dominated the junior age groups.

“To have three regional champions in threee age groups is pretty amazing.”

And Hart added: “The key to our success is that we have strength in depth; it is not just a couple of runners performing well with all the others coming further down the field.

“We work with them as individuals and try to get them winning with personal best times.”

The ISA regional championships were held at Godfield Hall in Halstead for the first time, instead of the usual New Eccles Hall.

And the conditions suited the Alleyn Court pupils as Maddisen Samuels finished first in the Year 4 girls, with Natalie Smith second as the school won the age group overall.

Ethan Selvester was first home in the Year 4 boys as Alleyn Court won that group too.

A one, two three from Maddisen’s elder sister Megane Loren Cortes and Ines Wilcox saw Alleyn Court win the Years 5/6 girls, with Eleanor Butt ninth.

The boys Years 5/6 team finished second overall but they will join the Years 5/6 girls in representing the Eastern Region at the ISA national finals at Princethorpe College, in Rugby, at the beginning of March.

Both the younger age groups ran a 2km course, with the older children running a 2.2km circuit