A dry day and warm sunshine made for a lovely backdrop to this year’s school cross-country event; however, overnight rain made for a slow course with no new records. Some fancy dress costumes were in evidence and everyone seemed to have a good time. This year’s fund-raising was aimed at purchasing additional external seating at the school and supporting the mental health charity CALM.
Our Year 7 runners were first away, making for an impressive sight as all 105 runners sprinted away from the starting line. At the front, pre-race favourite Freddie was setting the early pace with Aryaan in close pursuit. As they came out of the golf course, Freddie was clear but a real race was heating up behind him. It was still tight up the final hill and after a sprint finish, the next seven home were only separated by seconds: Ed was second and Will third. Toller just won the House competition.
The Year 8 and Year 9 race saw 213 finishers. Year 9’s Alex broke the course record last year but was almost a minute slower as he retained his title. Hamish and Ben were not far behind in second and third place, respectively. Petyt won the House competition.
The Year 10 and Year 11 race saw Sebastian pick up his first school title. Last year he equalled the Year 8 and Year 9 record but didn’t win, as Alex was inside the old mark. This year he beat off some fairly elite performers with Harvey runner-up and Joe in third. Disappointingly about 30 runners were so slow that they didn’t return before the Sixth Form runners and so missed out on a position and time. Petyt again won the house Competition.
In the Seniors, Jimmy was trying to claim a clean sweep of race victories in his seven years of school. He only had to beat two recent England internationals to do it! Jimmy set off hard but Joe and Tom weren’t going to let Jimmy win without a fight. Jimmy pulled out a slight lead on the first lap and held on to beat Joe by 13 seconds; however, he was 30 seconds adrift of Tom Anderson’s long standing record. Tom came third of the 215 runners who finished this race, making it well over 700 runners in all age groups on the day. Petyt claimed their third House victory and became overall House Cross-Country Champions for 2017!