Stratford AC duo top of the class at English Schools Cross Country Championships

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Georgie Campbell. Photo: Mike Sheppard

STRATFORD AC’s Alex Adams and Georgie Campbell were the top finishers for their county teams at the English Schools Cross Country Championships held at Temple Newsham Park in Leeds.

Both of the Stratford runners in the junior boys’ 4.1km race were making their debuts at this level.

Alex Adams. Photo: Mike Sheppard

Adams, representing Gloucestershire, started a little slower than in his previous races and was boxed in, but moved through and had a fine finish to gain a top-20 place, placing 19th in 14:11.

He will be running in the same age group next season so will be looking to make progress then.

In the Warwickshire team, Caleb Spriggs (309th, 16:24) ran well, but had some breathing problems in the latter half of the race and dropped some places.

Stratford AC had two athletes on the Warwickshire team in the inter girls’ race held over 3.7km.

Leading the way for the team was Campbell, who ran with the leading group early in the race before finally finishing 31st in 14:25. Gigi Thomas (271st, 16:14) was making her debut for the county team and was very strong throughout the race.

The senior girls’ race over 4.1km had four Stratford runners, which meant a race within a race developed.

Emily Field, Gloucestershire, had a strong start and initially was well clear of her club mates. However, the three Warwickshire girls in Imogen Sheppard, Daisy Musk and Abbie Wootton seemed to get stronger as the race progressed.

In the final 300m of the race Musk (166th, 17:58) and Sheppard (174th, 18:02) battled each other up the finish straight as both got past Field (188th, 18:09).

Wootton (265th, 19:11) was feeling below-par and dropped back in the final part of the race.

James Mucklow (237th, 19:35) has had a tremendous first season of cross country and finished third in the team.

The senior boys’ race was the last race over the longest distance of 6.7km with the worst conditions and the two Stratford athletes both found the going tough.

Owain Jones (262nd, 26:15) battled well through the mud while Ben Jones (297th, 27:59) looked comfortable throughout, maintaining an even pace.