Local Schools’ Cross Country Meet, RAF Halton - Saturday 15th October

Local Schools’ Cross Country Meet, RAF Halton  - Saturday 15th October

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Gateway and Gayhurst hosted the first local South Bucks schools’ cross-country meet of the season, held at RAF Halton. This is the first of three local events this year. Sixteen schools took part with 580 individual competitors.

Seventy-two runners were selected to run for Gateway with 66 being fit and available to run on the day.

There are 8 separate races during the morning. The Year 3 and 4 competed over a 1200m and the 5 and 6s over a 1500m course. All runners have to cope with a long (200m) steady climb at the half way stage. Conditions were ideal for running and hundreds of spectators helped to create a really good atmosphere by cheering on the runners from all the schools.

Medals were awarded to the top ten finishers in each race. Team positions are calculated by adding the scores of the top three runners from each school with medals being awarded to the first four schools.

In the first race of the day (Year 3 Boys; 87 runners), many of the squad took up good positions and were well placed at the halfway stage. Zach C paced himself superbly to come 1st, Sam B was 14th with Ed S and William P battled it out for 16th and 17th places. The boys were awarded 4th place team medals.

The girls ran equally as well, although some found the hill particularly strenuous. Charlotte G was in the middle of the pack as the girls rounded the first bend at 200m. She gradually moved through the field and overtook many who had started too quickly. She lead home the Gateway runners coming 5th; a tremendous effort. Katie A was close behind in 13th with, new girl, Darcey Y finishing 17th, helping to secure 4th place team medals. There were 78 competitors in this race.

Year 4 boys continue to baffle their parents, teachers and coaches. There is good potential in the squad but strangely, like last year, they set off far too slowly and were never in contention for top placings. Savva N managed to work his way up to 25th, Kie W, 28th and Daniel M 29th. There were 77 runners in this event. In the girls race, Beth T paced herself well to come 17th, with Josie R on her heels in 20th and Olivia P 31st.

In the Year 5 competition, George C improved 8 placings on last year’s race to come 6th; Aidan D was 28th and Oliver B showed his improving form by coming 35th. (70 runners)

In the girls’ race Marea L, who continues to impress, coming 5th; Jasmine W gave a gritty performance in 15th and Savarnah P helped Gateway to clinch team bronze by coming 35th. (64 runners)

In Year 6, Oakley D continued his dominance of this event, leading from start to finish to secured a Gold medal for the third time in three runs! Ollie L battled it out with several of the Beacon runners to come 4th and Harry N finished strongly in 7th; a gutsy performance that helped secure team Silver for these boys. (65 runners)

The Year 6 girls all ran well in the final event of the day, Jemma T was 11th, Lucy A, 21st and Amelia O grabbed 23rd, just in front of Gateway’s two other runners. This team were placed 4th.

Well done to all the children who turned up to run for the school, many for the first time, especially those who were not feeling 100% but still chose to give it a go rather than staying in bed! It was a fantastic morning with lots of great performances and personal bests, throughout the squad. Thanks to all the parents for supporting the children and to those who help set up and dismantle the course and tidy up after the racing was over.

Due to Steve Butler (ex Cross Country Chairman) leaving Chartridge School, the November meet is no longer part of the cross country calendar. Therefore, the next competition will be held at Hervines Park, Amersham 28th January (with the same start times and race order) so please keep an eye on the Sports Notice Board for team selection and race information nearer this date. Selected runners will all receive an information letter, as usual. (HJ)

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