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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle

District Cross Country 2017

It was a cold frosty morning on Friday 8th December, coming to the end of another hard working week for the students of QEGS Horncastle, but for the school’s elite group of cross country runners the work was only just beginning. Rallying up in the main hall after first period, the team was escorted onto the team coach by the Sixth Form leaders, ready to drive to Hubbard’s Hills in Louth.

On arrival it was clear that the conditions weren't ideal. The ground was wet, some parts still icy and everyone was feeling the bite of the frozen air through all of their layers. However, with a job to be done all of the athletes were exited to get on the track and start moving. After setting up shop in the centre of the circuit, the students dropped their gear and were allowed to wander to look around so they were ready for the steep hills they would face on the course. A place in the top 16 would see the selected runners qualify for the County Championships which will take place on Saturday 20th January at Stamford.

The Year 7 girls, managed by Chloe Donohue, were up first, facing the approximate distance of 1580m. QEGS’ eight competitors all did exceptionally well; Amy Christofi of 7S came in at 33rd, Caitlyn Bennett of 7J finished 25th, Jessica Dodwell of 7S finished 18th, Freya Solly of 7S finished 10th, Evie Blow of 7J finished 8th, Sophie Hutchinson of 7HN finished 6th, Emma Eastham of 7J finished 5th and Harriett Emsell of 7W came in at 4th place. The girls set the bar high from the first race with five of a possible eight taking places in the County Championships, narrowly missing out on a sixth with an 18th place finish. Well done to all the girls!

Year 7 Girls won the Team event, with 6 of them qualifying for the County Championships

Now it was the Year 7 boys’ turn, managed by Jack Rushby and Megan Bennett, to face the approximate distance of 2320m. Once again a strong performance from QEGS’ team left Tommy Leggate of 7HN finishing in 67th, Alex Whelan of 7S finishing 63rd, Elliot Wilson of 7HN finishing 56th, Tristan Cull of 7W finishing 47th, Max Wilson of 7J finishing 44th, Oliver Cawston of 7S finishing 10th, Rowan Bramley of 7HN finishing 9th and Redford Bramley coming in at an impressive 3rd place. Another fantastic result with three more of QEGS’ team going to Stamford in January, a massive well done to all the boys!

Next onto the track were the Year 8/9 girls, managed by Georgia Carter and Emma Haslam, who had an approximate distance of 2300m to face. Good running from all the competitors produced a tough race and saw them all receive respectable places; Sophie Hopwood of 9D coming in at 54th, Isabel Rossington of 8W in at 40th, Louise Jackson of 9A in at 39th, Chloe Pickering of 9D in at 35th, Olivia Hull of 8D in at 34th, Nicole Scott of 8H in at 32nd, Amelia-Jay Morely of 8D in at 24th and Isobel Leggate finishing in 13th place. Congratulations to Isobel taking a spot in the County Championships having raced against some older students and well done to all the girls who ran brilliantly in a tight competition!

Year 8/9 boys were up next, managed by Olly Hunt, to run approximately 2960m. QEGS had a good selection of athletic students to run this race and the Year 8’s did amazingly racing against the year above; Will Coveley of 8D finished 41st, Guy Timmins of 8H finished 30th, Lewis Janney of 8D finished 26th, Callum Kiss of 8D finished 25th and Hugo Hunt of 8H just finished in the top 20 in 20th place exactly. The Year 9’s put forward a magnificent effort that shone; Jack Leggate of 9B unfortunately slightly missing out on a trip to Stamford by two places in 18th, Matthew Spendlove of 9D came in comfortably at 4th and George Parkinson narrowly missed out on the top spot in 2nd place. Well done to all of the boys!

With two races left to go it was time for the Year 10/11 girls, managed by Hattie Needham and Toni Cox, to race a distance of approximately 2960m. The girls were once more up against strong competition, but none shied away from the task ahead, all finishing inside the top 30; Izzy Stephenson of 11C finished 27th, Bea Spendlove of 11SW finished 26th, Lydia Morton of 10S finished 25th, Ellie McAnna of 11W finished 21st, Clara Dunbavin of 10P finished 17th and Ella Bennett of 10M finished within the top 16 in 12th place. Congratulations to Ella and well done to all the girls for doing fantastically!

Last, but not least, as the day came to a close it was time for the greatly anticipated Year 10/11 team, managed by Ben Robinson and Kieran Gillespie, to take on the longest distance of approximately 4530m. Some very talented athletes from multiple schools lined up at the start line, minds in focus, but none any more so than the QEGS team. The race was completed in great time and a very impressive feat of stamina was shown by all; George Coleman of 10C finished in 48th, Will Beckett of 11H finished 45th, Israel Houghton of 10C finished 42nd, Liam Cotton of 10S finished 39th, Oliver Davis of 11C finished 30th, Charlie Tant finished 28th and Liam Wilson finished in 13th place. A huge well done to all of the boys and to Liam who will go to the County Championships in January, but an extra special congratulations to Alex Ellis who not only qualified, but took top spot in 1st place after chasing the pacemaker for the entire race until the last corner and pushed everything he had at the end to win the race.

A brilliant day out for the students, who were all about ready to go home now, taking plenty of victories both big and small. After a quick drink and a snack from the cafe, everyone made their way back to the coach to make the travel back to school. A special thanks to Mr Cope, Mrs Freeman and the Sixth Form leaders who made the trip possible. Good Luck to all at the County Championships!

Photo: Year 7 Girls won the Team event, with 6 of them qualifying for the County Championships

Report by Ben Robinson