Shrewsbury School

RSSH: Paperchases 2011

Thursday 8 December 2011

Inter-House Paperchases saw a swelling of numbers this year, largely due to the introduction of a 'B' competition at U15 House level, and the revival of the tradition of a 1st House and 2nd House format.  This meant both races saw over 170 runners competing, with each team comprising 8 runners (6 of which were 'counters').

In the U15 House event, an exciting switching of the lead in the race made for exciting viewing, with 4th former Tom McHugh (G) taking an early lead, but chased by a pack that included winner of the 3rd Form New Boys' Race Oscar Dickins (R).   Indeed, with McHugh fading in the later stages of the race, Dickins pushed on to take the lead, but from out of nowhere came fellow 3rd former Tom Sykes (PH), who with 800m to go established a commanding gap between himself and Dickins to win the race and 'kill' in a time of 15.34.   His performance was backed up by some strong performances from the rest of his House team and Port Hill emerged as victors of the U15 House trophy ahead of Churchill's, whose star runner 4th former John Dempsey placed 2nd individually.

Tom Sykes (PH) winning the U15s1st T Sykes (PH)
2nd O Dickins (R)
3rd J Dempsey (Ch)
4th G Ratanadoros (O)
5th L Gannon (S)
6th T McHugh (G)
7th C Godman (M)
8th T Clarke (S)
9th G Patterson (R)
10th B Seager (Ch)

Team Totals:
1st Port Hill 117 points
2nd Churchill's 136 points
3rd Severn Hill 141 points

In the Girls' event, Emma Darwin Hall were out to make amends for The Tucks in which their 'elder sister' Mary Sidney were team victors.  First home for the girls was Amy Stockdale in a time of 17.42, ably supported by Libby Naylor and Rosie Parr.  Their team total of 494 points was enough to take the girls' team trophy, with Mary Sidney Hall scoring 578 points, albeit without their star runner Imola Atkins.

In the 1st and 2nd House competition, Churchill's were the team to beat and looked strong to retain their title from the previous year.  Their strength in depth was furthered by the absence of Severn Hill Tucks champion and Huntsman George Mallett, at interview in Oxford.  In his absence, younger brother Ed took command of the race, and in the early stages of the race it was Severn Hill in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, with Ed in a leading pack with Seb Blake and Otto Clarke.  The chasing pack of Rory Fraser (Ch), Tom Cousins (PH) and Ed Lloyd (Rt) were not too far off the lead group but had their own battle to win.   The dynamics of the race shifted towards the latter kilometres of the 5.3km course, with Otto Clarke fading and finding himself being overtaken by Fraser and Cousins who have trained throughout the winter term.  Mallett and Blake fought neck and neck until the last kilometre when Mallett broke free, and quickly established a gap of over 10m.  He crossed the line for the kill just dipping under the 20 minutes barrier, and in the end was 16 seconds ahead of Blake.  Despite the strong performance of Severn Hill, it was not enough, however, to take the team trophy, with Churchill's retaining their title and winning for the first time the 2nd House cup also.

L-R: Rory Fraser (Ch) 3rd; Ed Mallett (S) 1st; Seb Blake (S) 3rd1st E Mallett (S)
2nd S Blake (S)
3rd R Fraser (Ch)
4th T Cousins (PH)
5th E Lloyd (Rt)
6th O Clarke (S)
7th G Nugee (G)
8th A Vaughan-Jackson (Ch)
9th W Spencer Jones (PH)
10th T Lansdell (PH)

1st House Team Totals
1st Churchill's 86 points
2nd Severn Hill 129 points
3rd Port HIll 156 points

2nd House Team Totals
1st Churchill's 375 points
2nd Severn Hill 382 points
3rd School House 447 points


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