Bedfordshire youngsters impress at Schools Championships

Bedfordshire youngsters were in fine form at the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham last weekend.
The Championships saw hundreds of young athletes take part.The Championships saw hundreds of young athletes take part.
The Championships saw hundreds of young athletes take part.

On a testing course with intermittent showers, all members of the Bedfordshire team gave of their best, but the undoubted stars of the show for Bedfordshire were Sophie Jacobs (Cedars), Noah Campion (Kimberly) and Lyla Danobrega (Wootton)

In the Inter Girls race over 3900 metres, Jacobs started off as she meant to continue and was in the leading pack of 20 from the off. As the pace and terrain took its toll, a leading group of four broke away. Sophie stuck to her guns and stayed in contention with the second group of six runners in about 5th place overall.

As they approached the finish, she forced herself into a magnificent fourth place in a time of 12 minutes 15 seconds – only five seconds behind the bronze medal winner.

Despite not winning a medal, Sophie was delighted to gain selection to represent England Schools in the Home Countries Cross Country to be held in Liverpool on Saturday (25th)

Meanwhile in the same race, Danobrega was also running the race of her life. With half the race gone, she had worked her way up into the top twenty, steadily picking off other runners to be in 15th approaching the finish, where she gained another place to complete the course in 14th place in a time of 12 minutes 42 seconds. She was disappointed at not making the top ten and getting an international vest, but nevertheless happy with an exceptional run in such a prestigious race.

Experiencing a heavy shower and a much churned up course previously pounded by over 1600 runners, Campion matched his seventh place finish at the Inter-Counties Championships with another magnificent run in the Senior Boys race.

Always in the large bunch at the front of the field, he moved through into the top ten after about a quarter of the race. With a group of four making a break with almost half the distance still to run. Noah maintained his position in the top ten.

A strong finish saw him prevail over a group nine runners who were within seven seconds of his time of 19 minutes 41 seconds. Although there is no international for seniors, he was delighted to have rounded off his best ever season in such superb style.

Other top 100 performances came from Lily Farr (Redborne) 53rd in Inter Girls; Nick Hammett (Cedars) 55th in Inter Boys; and Imogen Chesterton (Redborne) 88th in Senior Girls.

The team managers, Rob Heaney, Tanya Fearon, Jodi Henderson and Andrea Campion, reported that: “Aside from the running, the boys and girls were an absolute pleasure to be around all day. Their behaviour and attitude was excellent.”

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