After the recent success in national cross country cup, the athletes from William Edwards School & Sports College were at it again on Wednesday 2nd December, defending their crown in the borough cross country championships in the muddy fields of Blackshots Park.
Not only did the athletes excel themselves at Blackshots Park but they exceed all expectations as the team experienced its best year in recent history winning 5 gold’s from the 6 available race categories. Both boys and girls teams ran superbly and in a display of grit and determination secured top spot retaining the overall borough championship title 2009.
With roughly 90 competitors poised on the start line the year 7 girls were first to run and set the standard with 6 of the 10 athletes finishing in the top 10. Stephania Paci won the race finishing 1st giving the team the perfect start. Liberty Greenstreet was next in for the team finishing strong in 5th place closely followed by Chloe Bass in 6th position. Then gutsy runs from Holly Moore (8th), Lucy Goodfellow (9th) and Catherine Gee (10th) secured the gold for the team giving them an amazingly low score of 39 points. Furthermore, Lucy McNeil and Ellyse Skeggs both enjoyed a top 20 position finishing 14th and 15th.
Mason Iley continued the form winning a highly competitive year 7 boys race. Sean Brooks and converted swimmer (just for the day) Salaam Motin enjoyed a top 10 position finishing in 6th and 9th place. Mitchell Girt (12th), Drew Klessa-Smith (13th), Lee Reynolds (14th), Dimili Shonuga (15th) and Sam Pumfreet (20th) packed together, running a tactical race giving the school its second gold with an overall points score of 55.
In the third race of the day the junior girls team took running to a whole new level as the whole team finished in the top 20. Astoundingly 7 of the 10 strong team finshed in the top 10 as Thurrock Harrier, Gemma Holloway brought the team home to finish 1st. Sarah Landy (2nd), Katherine Stephens (3rd), Lauren Landy (4th), Gemma Bull 8th and Courtney Fraser (9th) resulted with the team securing its 3rd gold of the day with a ridiciously low score of 27 points.
In a depleted junior boys team due to injury and illness Jordan Purkiss won a tough race claiming first place followed by Callum Murray (10th), Connor Howes (15th) and Lewis Moore (20th). The rest of the team which was made up of year 8 students ran well and gained valuable experience scoring 101 points and won the bronze for the school.
For the first time in recent years the intermediate girls claimed top spot winning the teams 4th gold of the day. Thurrock Harrier, Rebecca Barnard was first in for the team finishing in 2nd place, followed by Fern Archer (3rd), Georgia Fraser (7th), Stacey O’mara (8th) and Kirsty Highwood (10th) scoring 20 points overall.
The final race and most gruelling of them all is the 2.5 mile intermediate boys race and after finishing second to St.Cleres last year the boys had a point to prove. True to form St Clere’s set the standard coming in first and second. However, then followed the William Edwards stream of Thurrock Harriers Dennis Cross (3rd) and James Vaughan (4th), followed by John Popoola (5th), and Ben Glasgow (6th) to claim top 10 positions. Furthermore, strong performances by Callum Webb (12th) and another Thurrock Harrier Jj Jameson (17th) secured the 5th and final gold of the day scoring another impressive 47 points and beating St Clere’s School by 20 positions.
Mr Reid, Head of PE at William Edwards School, said that all of the students have performed exceptionally well and should be very proud of their performance as they have worked extremely hard. Amazingly 16 of our athletes now have the opportunity to compete for Thurrock at the Essex Schools Cross Country Finals on the 23rd January.
What has impressed me is just how determined and committed every single member of the athletics team has been. The team is going from to strength to strength and they are keen to improve at every training session. We have been working closely with Thurrock Harriers and all our students have the opportunity to join the club, gaining experience and training from the coaches at the club.
Well done to the whole team we are extremely proud of your achievements