Sean Sawyer - Shrewsbury's first finisher
Testament to the strength in depth of running at Shrewsbury that even without our top eight runners – who had stayed behind to do speedwork at the track – the Hunt still came through to win the cross country meeting at Adams’ Grammar School this Wednesday, seeing off competition from Old Swinford, Wrekin College and Adams on a three and a half mile course. The quickest time of 20:42 was set by an athlete from Wrekin College but the result being determined by a points system based on the first six finishers from each school, Shrewsbury’s consistency – finishers at 4, 7, 10, 12, 13 and 16 (Sean Sawyer, Charlie Rogers, John Dempsey, Ben Smith, Charlie Davies, Charlie Home) – ensured the victory.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the afternoon was that all 17 Shrewsbury runners applied themselves gutsily throughout the race. Having arrived for the race shortly before the start, warm-ups had been fairly desultory and the boys had to dig in for a gruelling three laps taking in woodland and field. For many boys, this was their first competitive race of the Hunt season and many excellent performances have raised expectations for meetings to come.
Groggy and under-exercised from a week of trial exams, there were nevertheless very heartening runs-out for Fifth Formers Alex Perutz, Ollie Pope, Charlie England, Rory Marsden and Max Devine, whilst the lower school were strongly represented by Ivan Tivodar, Will Sawyer and Owen Mock (who had to reinvigorate himself once disabused of the idea that he only had to do two laps of the course!). Alex Walker, Tom Lloyd and Jake Samuels will be encouraged to push for a top tier training place after their strong finishes.
Pride and pleasure, then, for Dr Foulger and I to watch the boys perform so well and hopes are high for the rest of the term.