A group of six young Dacorum & Tring runners produced superb results at the Bucks Schools Cross Country Championships, held today on a sharply undulating and treacherous course through frozen fields in Wing.
The top results for the squad included fourth place finishes for Olivia Edwards (pictured above, second from left) in the Junior Girls (Years 8-9) and George Doyle, in the Year 5/6 boys, while Tim Fryer finished fifth in the Year 7 boys race.
All three will be automatically selected to represent Bucks in their respective national championships next month – Olivia will run in the Junior Girls race at the English Schools Championships, taking place at Temple Newsam in Leeds next month, while George and Tim will lace up for the National Schools Championships at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough.
Olivia (Dr Challoners High), who, as a Year 8 student, is in the first year of the two-year age group, ran strategically over the challenging 3400m course, particularly on the steeper downhill sections, helping her school to a dominating first place out of 12 schools in the team standings: Challoners took the first five places and was a full 7.10 ahead of second-place Aylesbury High in the final tally. Olivia was the third Year 8 across the line, as the winner of the Junior Girls race, Orla Williams, is in Year 9 and a full year older.
George was the only representative of his school, Chesham Prep, and he was unlucky not to make the podium as he finished a single second behind the third placed runner out of 138 runners – and just six seconds behind the winner over the 1700m course. George trains with the U13 group on the track and is a promising prospect for middle distance events this season.
Tim was also the only representative of his school, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar, in the Year 7 boys race, held over 2250m and like George, he was close to the podium, crossing the line just 17 seconds away from third place, out of a total of 87 finishers.
Also running in the Junior Girls race were Charlotte Hilton (36th/Dr Challoners High) and Olivia Hill (50th/Sir Henry Floyd) – both strong performances in a very competitive race with 115 finishers.
In the Senior Girls race, Grace Birdseye ran for Chesham Grammar school and, according to Middle Distance squad assistant coach Jonathan Edwards, was looking more her old self until she picked up an injury and had to pull out – a brave performance nonetheless, given the injury setbacks she has had to deal with.
Photos below, clockwise from top left:
- Tim Fryer in full stride, en route to a top-5 finish in the Year 7 boys race
- The dominating Dr Challoners Junior Girls team, with D&T members Charlotte Hilton (#279) and Olivia Edwards (#278)
- Dr Challoners ‘Dream Team’ – with Olivia, second from left
- New middle distance star George Doyle (#79), 4th in the Year 5/6 Boys race
- Tim Fryer, all smiles after a superb 5th place finish.