461 RUNNERS COMPETE AT THE INVITATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY
On Thursday Sedbergh Prep School hosted our annual Northern Invitational Cross-Country event. On a muddy, but firm course, which became slippy as the rain fell after the first 3 races, all the runners had to dig deep. It was a successful day for the prep school as we came home with 5 individual medals and 4 team awards.
First up was the Under 9 girls. Daniela Brighetti paced her race superbly to come home 2nd behind Hunter Hall’s Lucy Hetherington. She was closely followed by the Fielding sisters of Daisy (6th) and Julia (8th).
Lily Brearley (11th) and Betsy Harrison (12th) also ran well to make sure the girls won the team award ahead of St.Mary’s, Kirkby Lonsdale and Giggleswick. Charlotte Harker (16th), Harriet Barker (20th) and Sonia Gattward (22nd) were also deserving recipients of a winning team medal.
Hamish Holden carried on his winning ways in the Under 9 boys race, running in the leading pack for the first half of the race, before pulling away in style. Charlie Hodgson (18th), Oliver South (20th), Leo Kelsall (21st) and Toby Burns (40th) all put in sterling performances to give the boys 4th in the team placings, behind a strong Cundall Manor team.
The Under 11 girls race saw two Year 5 girls from Sedbergh dominate the race. Sophia Longworth and Elsie Barker were impressive from start to finish. Scarlett Harrison (6th) and Harriette Smith (10th) also made the top ten, and along with Lileah Gregory (20th), Ella Holland (23rd), Pippa Radford (29th) and Hattie Newman (31st) the girls were comfortable winners of the team prize, ahead of Westholme.
Jack Barker had looked in good form when winning at the Mowden Hall cross-country a couple of weeks ago, but this was a step up. However, this did not seem to faze Jack as he ran a mature race, pulling away on the second lap, to claim the gold medal.
The run of the day probably goes to George Dodgson, who surprised us all to come home in 8th place. Bruno Fielding (15th), Sam Hodgson (16th), Fergus Holden (27th), Rebeun Wiltshire (29th), James Sloss (33rd) and Jamie Taylor (42nd) should be justifiably proud of their efforts, as the Under 11 boys won the team award by just 2 points from Cundall Manor.
Sedbergh’s Under 13 girls team has been strong for a number of years now, so it was great to see another group of girls carrying on the tradition. Even with Millie Gunning (12th), falling when leading, the girls beat a strong Skipton Girls High School team.
Pippa Darlington (5th), Polina Whitehead (8th), Hannah Follett (11th), Heather Booth (13th), Beth Cosgrove (15th), Charlotte Hoymans (18th) and Sophia Charlton (24th) were delighted to receive their winners medal.
The final race of the day saw the Under 13 boys take to stage. They were up against one of the strongest running schools in the north, Ermysted’s Grammar School. Sam Gunning (5th) mixed it at the front for the whole race, and a returning Ben Redshaw (7th) showed there is plenty left in his tank.
It was wonderful to see Tom Mullins (10th) towards the front of the field again, and Tom Newman (18th) would have been higher up if he had not lost a shoe. James Corrigan (20th) and Douglas Bolger (21st) had a good battle all race, and with a pleasing performance from Perry Palmer (26th) the boys finished a more than creditable 2nd behind Ermysted’s.
One cannot underestimate the effort that all the runners put in, whether they were at the front or towards the rear. Cross-country is not for the faint hearted, and all 461 runners that took part can look back with fondness on a job well done.