CRAVEN athletes won a fantastic haul of seven medals in this year’s English Schools’ Cross Country Championships at the Norfolk County Showground in Norwich.
Pride of place went to Craven College's Matthew Merrick and Jimmy Lund from Ermysted's who were part of the gold-medal winning North Yorkshire senior boys team.
Merrick was 15th and Lund 76th of the 324 finishers as their team returned a total of 208 points to finish 40 clear of Hampshire.
The remaining five medals were all silver and were gained Year 8/9 boys’ race.
Ermysted’s had four of the eight North Yorkshire runners in this age group and all of them made the scoring team of six.
They had Harrogate’s Ethan Hussay to thank as he won an individual bronze medal and his three points together with the 30 from Ryedale’s Finnian Hutchinson were key factors in the team's good performance.
The Ermysted’s boys were led by Alex Thompson who is running superbly at the moment.
He was third in last week’s Inter-Counties Championships, but this race was with lads from the year above and was a tougher test.
Thompson had a strong run and came 13th with his school-mates Harvey Lewis 26th, Louis Hudson 48th and Seb Seggar-Staveley who was 52nd for a total of 172 which placed them just behind winners Surrey.
South Craven’s Sam Smith was 158th to finish well in the top half of the 345 finishers.
The Year 10&11 boys race students, also had five Craven runners out of the eight County representatives.
Pride of place was Giggleswick’s Euan Brennan whose 11th place was the best individual return from the Craven contingent.
He was supported by Skipton Academy’s Joe Hudson 45th, the Ermysted’s pairing of Sam Jackson 162nd and Tom Barrett 193rd along with Giggleswick’s Tom Jeffreys in 217th place.
Their team was a creditable 11th of the 44 teams but actually meant that the relatively small county of North Yorkshire won the overall boys’ aggregate Trophy.
There was a good showing from Skipton Girls High School in the girls’ races.
Alice Jones came 44th, Lilli Carr 48th and Ruby Firth 153rd as their team came fifth in the Year 8&9 race.
Then Emily Jones was 319th as North Yorkshire came 34th in the Year 10 &11 race.
The best athletes in each of the 45 counties in England compete fin the English Schools Championships.
Entry is by virtue of athletes being selected by their county, only eight runners are allowed to compete, with the first six finishers in each team counting towards the team competition.
Finishing positions are added up, and the team with the lowest score wins.