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Records Fall in Opening Fixture of League

Wells Leisure Centre, Tue 7 October 2003

Records fell as this year's Junior Schools Cross Country League kicked off at Wells Leisure Centre last Tuesday. The league, held once again through the kind sponsorship of Mendip District Council, has introduced cross country running to literally thousands of school children since its inception more than ten years ago. Over the years the standard of the leading runners as proved to be of the highest quality - with many going on to finish well up in national events. This year the league has attracted a record entry from 17 schools, with nearly 500 children registered for the five race series. At each venue four races are run, two for Lower School (years 3 and 4) Girls and Boys, and two for Upper School (years 5 and 6) Girls and Boys. With such a big entry it came as no surprise when 320 children competed at the first fixture.

For once no clear winners emerged, and all four races were keenly contested. Honours in the first race of the afternoon went to Ruby Kelly of St Joseph's, who overhauled the early lead of year 3 girl Abigail Locke of Brookside in the closing stages. Jo Callendar-Wood led home the winning team from St Benedict's in third place, with team -mates Hannah Hurford 5th and Naomi Neale 7th. Ellie Robbins of Upton Noble came home in 4th place, with Harriet Godfrey of Elmhurst 6th. The remainder of the top ten were Alice De-Quidt (Wells Central), Paige Richards (Brookside) and Lorna Murray (St Lawrences). Behind St Benedicts (15 points) the minor team places went to Brookside (35 points) from St Joseph and Teresa (48 points).
St Pauls Lower Girls

The lower school boys event proved a closely fought affair, though in the end Oli Bryant of Wells Central gained a clear winning lead over Kieran Young of St Aldhelms, with another Wells Central pupil Elliot Rutter in third. With the boys streaming over the finish line, Liam Hodges (St Pauls) just grabbed forth from Daniel D'Arcy (Evercreech) and leading year 3s, Ben Millar (St Joseph's)and Christopher Brown (St Louis). The remainder of the top ten were William Sharpe (Upton Noble) William Norris (St Viga and St John) and Jacob Davey (Brookside). With a long wait for Wells Central's third scorer the team race was still up for grabs, with first St Louis completing with 48 points, closely followed by Brookside and St Joseph's amazingly also on 48 points; before Harvey Kelly closed the winning team for Wells in 31st place, bringing their total to 35 points.

The upper school girls race, over two laps of the undulating course around the rugby pitches and grounds surrounding the leisure centre, was a keenly fought affair, with the leading runners soon breaking away from the rest. Running second through the first lap, last years lower girls winner Aoife Thorogood of St Joseph's looked like she might steal the race on the second circuit, but the older legs of Millfield's Abbey Rimmer took her away for a narrow victory. Wells Central's Amanda Brereton won the battle for third, ahead of Lucy Etherington (Millfield), Fiona Hares (Horrington), Jessica Goodfellow, and another outstanding year five Posy Frederick (both of Millfield). With three runners in the top six places Millfield were clear winners of the team race. Eighth place was taken by Claire Fowler of St Louis, just ahead of an excellent team performance from St Benedicts, with Shannon Kurle 9th, Emily Brown 10th and Holly Ferguson 12th. Third team home was Wells Central.

{short description of image} When the whistle went for the start of the last race of the day, a record of over 110 upper school boys sprinted away, quickly led by local lad Sam Norris. While Sam managed a 25m lead by the second bend, that was all he was able to gain as the rest gave chase in what was to be a very keenly contested event. While Sam maintained his narrow lead, the positions behind changed regularly, but settled towards the end, as Matthew Law (Oakhill) came through at the finish for second, ahead of Tom Ward (Elmhurst) and Dan Rutter (Wells Central). This year the year 5's seem to be particularly competitive, with five of the next sis placings going to the younger boys. Millfield's Callum Batten just got the better of Wells Central's Ross Padfield who had the consolation of closing the winning team. Tyler Green of Oakhill came home in seventh place, just ahead of Harry Garratt (St Benedicts) and Daniel Lewis Williams (Millfield), with Issac Curtis (Elmhurst) closing the top ten. Behind Wells Central's 11 points, Oakhill finished runners-up on 22 points with Elmhurst third on 29 points.

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