At Newport, the U15 boys qualified for the National Final of the ESAA Cross-Country Cup for the third year in a row, with a strong team performance that earned them second place in the West Central region. Only 24 schools qualify for the final of this event, so these regionals are fiercely contested, with just three from each region going through.
Harrison Cutler (R) and Ben Weston (R) led for much of the race, but didn't quite get their pacing right and were caught with less than a kilometre to go. Nevertheless, they held on determinedly for 3rd and 4th positions, with Ben just managing to reclaim 4th in the last ten metres of the race. Will Singleton (R) also put in a very good performance to place 13th, with Charlie Huntley (PH) in 35th. Will Yao (I) completed the team, making his Hunt debut, and taking 51st.
This was enough to place as the school second in the region, only four points off the winners, which bodes well for our chances of placing highly at the National Final on 24th November.
The U15 girls put in a valiant effort amongst an impressively strong field, but with our top runner Liv Elliott (EDH) going over on her ankle, things were always going to be difficult. Some gutsy displays from both Third and Fourth Formers allowed the School to place 9th in the region overall, a solid effort. Well done to Liv (50th), and the others - Eva Hall (G) in 36th (again, a debut for the Hunt), Phoebe Carter (EDH) in 37th, Nell Ware (MSH) in 41st, and Scarlett Whittal and Sophia Urquhart (both EDH) in 45th and 46th.
Meanwhile, the seniors raced in a friendly against Bromsgrove and Nottingham High School, with some very encouraging performances.
Our Huntsman, Charlie Ockleston (O), won the boys' race, with Oscar Hamilton-Russell (R) not far behind in second. In fact, Shrewsbury were able to take all of the top five places and seven of the top ten, in a fantastic team effort. Orlando Williams (Rt) particularly impressive, taking third, despite spending most of this term training for the wrong sport (with all due respect to my colleagues at the RSSBC).
In the girls’ race, we took three of the top five places - Alessandra Ardissino (M) winning the race, with Anna Cowan (MSH) in 3rd and Felicity Hayward (EDH) in 5th.
Overall, this was a very strong team performance and a sign that this could be a very promising year for this group of athletes, who are growing in confidence ahead of some stern tests in January and February.
Mr Haworth, Teacher in Charge of the Hunt