Sedbergh Prep came home from the rearranged Catteral Shield Cross Country on Thursday with all 24 runners having at least one medal around their neck. After a week of dry weather underfoot conditions made the going much easier, but the toughness of the course played into the hands of plenty of the Sedbergh runners.
First up was the Under 11 boys where Jack Barker looked sublime winning from a continually improving George Dodgson (2nd). Bruno Fielding ran well again to come in 8th, and with Reuben Wiltshire running his best race to date in 10th, the boys won the team title comfortably ahead of Kildwick. James Sloss was 28th.
The Under 11 girls race was won impressively by Martha Jackson, a real talent, but Sedbergh have their own talent in Year 5 Sophia Longworth, who looked strong in 2nd. She was ably supported by Scarlett Harrison (4), Elsie Barker (5) and Harriette Smith (16), as the girls won the team award from Westville. Ella Holland (22) and Isla Price-Walter (23) both ran well.
The Under 13 Girls were a little below full strength, but you would never have known, as Millie Gunning ran strongly to finish 2nd, and captain Pippa Darlington looks to be coming into form in 5th. With Heather Booth (10), Polina Whitehead (14) and Charlotte Hoymans (18), the girls won the shield ahead of a strong Austin Friars team. Special mention must also go to Maria Elias De Tejada Del Alcazar, running her first cross-country race for the school. She showed real determination finishing 20th, just ahead of Sophia Charlton (25).
The final race saw a depleted Sedbergh team on the start line, with four boys unavailable due to scholarships at the senior school. Captain, Sam Gunning, ran one of his best races for the school, coming home with a bronze medal, just ahead of a fast finishing Joe DeGroote (4th). Tom Newman (10) and Sebastian Nakouzi (19) both put in maximum effort, but the plaudits have to go to Douglas Bolger. After being off exercise for the last 4 weeks with a broken toe, Douglas ran himself to an almost a state of exhaustion to come home in 22nd, to seal an historic full house of team awards for Sedbergh. Sebastian Smith was not far behind Douglas in 28th.
Days like this do not just happen, and what was most apparent is the desire the Sedbergh runners have to give of their best, not to let either their team or themselves down. A lesson for us all.