STRATFORD Athletic Club’s under 11 section was well represented at the Warwickshire Primary Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Moreton Morrell College on Saturday.
Invitations to participate in the championships are based on performance in a series of inter-school races over the winter held within each Warwickshire district (south, east, north and central). Each district selects up to 15 year six and five year five athletes for the championships.
Having been cancelled due to adverse weather for the past two years, this was a new course for all the participants. A little longer than the usual distance at this age group, it was a good, fast course, with a steady climb up to the halfway point, a fast downhill and then a final little climb shortly before the finish.
In the girls’ race Tessa Parkin, Annie Silvers, Martha Peters and Harriet Black all started strongly and were in the top 15 of the field at the start of the climb. Parkin and Silvers consolidated their positions up the hill, moving into sixth and seventh respectively by the halfway mark.
Parkin continued to move past other girls and was up into second position with 200 yards to go but, despite a fine finish sprint to close the gap to a couple of yards, she could not quite get past the winner Elizabeth Fleming from Tamworth and had to settle for second place.
Silvers (seventh) and Peters (ninth) were both close behind and other Stratford finishers were Black (24th), Ella Peeke (35th), Olivia Hawkyard (38th) and Emilie Ross (70th).
The boys’ race also had a contingent of Stratford runners in a fast field. The early leader for Stratford was Flynn Dathan, but Maxime Verstraeten ran a fine race with a particularly huge effort in the second half to finish in an excellent seventh place, with Dathan hot on his heels in 12th. Seb Hillard had a tougher outing and finished 24th.
Report by David Parkin.