The Warwickshire Schools Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday at Kineton High School. Kieran Chahal and Jai Sispal dominated their races in the seniors (year 12/13) and juniors race (Year 8/9) respectively, both leading from the outset and gaining a substantial lead on their competitors to finish an easy first.

Chahal was supported over the 5km course by clubmate Greg West who finished second and with Dom Priest 4th, Alex Ibbs finishing 8th, and Toby Loveday finishing 9th, the athletics club’s high training standards were shown off in fine form.

Racing alongside the seniors, the intermediate boys (school years 10 and 11) also showed a strong Leamington C&AC presence with Cian Mckearney finishing 2th in the Yr 10/11 category and Cameron Williams-Stein 5h..

Sispal’s race, which was the last of the day, showed a fine form from Reuben Siemon Klebber, who, despite not owning a pair of cross-country spikes (thereby having to run in normal trainers) finished 5th. Ruairc Winston also ran finishing 27th.

The day started with the minors race (Year 7) which showed Hannah Cooper of LCAC showing her usual fine standard finishing in 5th place. The boys race saw a solid run from Harry Bailey to finish in 10th with fine packing from Diarmuid Winston (13th) Finley Newey (15th) and Sam Morrey(17th). The junior girls (year 8/9) showed a number of clubmates going head to head.

Leamington C&AC have a number of strong cross country runners in this age group and their training paid off with a strong run from Molly Minshull, who has shown great performance all season, finishing in 6th place, with Mel Gould not far behind to finish in 7th. Emily Lovett crossed the line next in 10th position with twin sister Ana not far behind in 13th. Eva Fitzpatrick showed true determination, taking a number of places in the last half lap of the course and with a sprint finish at the end to finish 23rd. Poppy Hilton came in just behind Fitzpatrick and Robin Greenwood, unaccustomed to cross country running, finished a fine 35th.

The intermediate girls saw Lucy Green finishing 10th, just ahead of teammates Rosie Cale (12th) and Alice Parsons (15th).

Confirmation has not been given as to who will be selected to represent Warwickshire in the English Schools Cross Country Championships which are to be held on 17 March in Leeds but it is thought a number of Leamington C&AC athletes will be chosen based on Saturday’s performances.

Elsewhere, Carol Blower took part in the Midlands Masters Cross Country Championships on Sunday. Hosted by Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, Blower battled the cold temperatures and falling snow to run a 6km course in a time of 36:34 finishing second in her age category.

(Jai coasting across the line and with his winners medal)


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