We had bright and breezy conditions for our annual trip up to Oswestry. Having won all three boys’ team trophies last year, we were hoping to build on this and we were able to take a strong group of senior girls up as well as having some real quality in all three boys’ categories.
The Junior Boys were slightly depleted as both Brad Keay (R) and Tim Stebel (I) – arguably the two strongest runners in the Third Form – actually qualify as of Intermediate age, so were ineligible for this race. We still had some very strong runners to compete though, such as Hamish Griffiths (PH) who managed 5th, Massimo Wyatt (PH) who came 9th, Archie Tulloch (Rt) in 10th, Luke Williams (SH) in 20th and Jenson Kong (SH) making his debut in 41st. This gave us a very respectable team score of 44, but we sadly missed out on the winners’ trophy for the first time in a few years as Thomas Telford managed a superb team score of 29 to take the overall win. We’ll be back for it next year!
In the Intermediate Boys, we fielded a very strong team indeed (bolstered by Brad and Tim) Shrewsbury dominated with seven runners in the top ten. The individual win went to Will Singleton (R), with Harrison Cutler (R) in 3rd, Brad in 4th, Jonny Price (I) in 6th, Tim Strebel in 8th, Ben Weston (R) in 9th, and Archie Collings (Rb) in 10th.
It was really nice to see Ben Weston (pictured below) racing again after a frustrating injury that has seen him side-lined for several months. It won’t be long before he is back to his best.
George Hankins (O), Arthur Hope Barton (I) and Damian Jelev (R) also ran well to complete a really strong team performance. Perhaps the best performance came from Jonny, who lost both shoes in the opening few hundred yards and ran the remainder of the race in his socks!
We were also able to command the race in the Senior Boys’ category, as we managed to claim five of the top ten positions and eight of the top 13. Sam Western (S) (pictured below) came 2nd, in a maturely judged performance, ahead of Tom Jackson in 3rd, also getting his tactics spot-on.
Max Green (I), Will Owen (Ch) and Paddy Barlow (R) claimed 5th, 6th and 7th, and Arthur Bramwell (R) ran an excellent 11th. Cosmo Waddell (Ch) finished 12th just ahead of Will Cowper (Rb) in 13th. There were also fine performances from Louis Street (15th), Tetsuyoshi Yamada (20th) and Charles Ko (22nd).
While we didn’t manage a team in the Intermediate Girls, Eva Hall (G) ran really well for a top-ten spot, and managed 17th overall, including the Senior Girls (these two age groups ran as a merged race).
In the Seniors, Francesca Harris (pictured above) claimed an excellent win, while there were also really good performances from Lillian Wilcox (EDH) in 5th, Laura Elliott (G) in 6th, Anna Cowan (MSH) in 7th, Nora Hecker (M) on her Hunt debut in 8th, Charlotte Russell (G) in 9th, Sophia Bureau (G) in 14th and Ella Fox-Davies (G), also making her debut having only joined the Hunt this term, placing 15th. Their performance was enough to earn us the Senior Girls’ trophy for the first time in several years, a real return to form for girls’ running.
Overall to claim three team trophies and two individual wins, it was an excellent day of cross-country running, and with 37 pupils competing in all, we showed plenty of depth as well as quality at the top.
Teacher in Charge of the Hunt