A SKIPTON grammar school student has capped off a near perfect week with cross-country success.

Ermysted's Alex Thompson won the Senior Boys' race in the English Schools Cross-Country Cup North East England.

This was the first year a Senior age group was implemented and Thompson didn't hang around, leading from start to finish in Middlesbrough - where this stage of the competition was held, at Stewart Park.

The victory came in a week where Thompson found out he had been offered an athletics scholarship at a university in the United States for next year.

Thompson has loved the English Schools Cross-Country Cup, having won the National Final when in Year 8 and 10.

He was also a member of the winning school team when he was in Year 9.

Meanwhile Ermysted's Intermediate team became unofficial North East England Champions and head to the finals in two weeks.

They will be joined at Tretheras College, Newquay by their Senior school-mates, including Thompson and South Craven’s Junior Girls team.

The English Schools Cross-Country Cup North East England races involved 12 teams of six, who qualified by virtue of top three finishes in last month's regional rounds.

Five of the teams - all three of Ermysted’s teams, Skipton Girls High School Juniors and South Craven’s Inters - had won in the first round at Aireville Park in October and had hopes of qualification for the national final.

Skipton's best showing was in the Intermediate Boys race as Settle’s Jack Sanderson and Ermysted’s team both had high hopes of winning after good recent showings in the first round and last week’s Area Cross-Country Championships.

Sure enough, Sanderson had another great race as he took the lead towards the end of the first lap and was then unchallenged, as he claimed another great personal triumph.

Unfortunately Sanderson won’t be able to race in the final, as this is a team competition and the finalists are the runners from the top three teams and not necessarily the fastest individuals.

This was where Ermysted’s excelled, as their four scoring runners were all in the top ten after the first lap and moved up to finish in procession with one-time leader Sam Bentham 5th, Samesh Chotai 6th, Ewen Wilkinson 7th and Tom Hooper 8th, for one of the lowest winning scores of the day and one that means they will be challenging at the sharp end in next month’s final.

Settle College were unlucky not to make the final as they came 5th of the 12 teams.

Ermysted’s Seniors had won the team event at Aireville Park but that would not guarantee a final place so the heat was on Thompson's team-mates.

Dougie Segger-Staveley ran well for 13th with Oscar Smyth 20th and Freddie Marsh 22nd, securing qualification as third team and only three points behind the runners-up.

That of course also meant Thompson will get his chance to run for what would be a truly remarkable treble at next month’s finals.

Ermysted’s Juniors also won at Aireville Park and again at last week’s Area championships, but their team is made up of runners who are all in Year 7 and that year makes a big difference.

Year 7 Area Cross-Country champion, George Marsh, ran well to finish 9th with Will Oakden 16th, but then there was a little gap before Will Pease in 31st and Will Farrell in 32nd.

They completed the team with 88 points, 19 behind 3rd place.

But, with all their runners eligible next year, their time should come.

The Junior Girls race had some exceptional local talent with five of the six medallists from last week’s Year 7 and Year 8 Area Championships.

Year 8 champion, Izzy Wright, from Skipton Girls High School, had hopes of qualification and another individual victory.

Unfortunately, although Wright challenged at the head of the race, she had to settle for the runner-up spot by the end.

Her team did run well, with Macy Plunkett 16th, Rita Box 20th and Lilly Nixon 31st for a total of 69 points.

One of their closest rivals would be South Craven, who were runners-up behind SGHS in the last round.

But with Patefield’s two points for second place, Izzy Patefield in 11th, Lydia Eastwood in 21st and Holly Fitch in 24th for a total of just 62 points, South Craven had reversed the school’s positions.

This meant South Craven qualified for the final in third and SGHS despaired as their team was 4th, just missing out on a trip to the seaside.

The Intermediate Girls had another battle between South Craven and Skipton Girls.

South Craven’s Layla Kirkley led their charge in 4th place with Olivia Aldham 15th, Alice O’Sullivan 37th and Isla McDonald 54th, which gave them 110 points and only 7th place.

Skipton Girls came 10th, with only Meghan Wilkinson in 14th making the top half of the finishers.

There are now just two weeks for the finalists to fine tune their preparation for Cornwall, where Ermysted’s Inters will be one of the challengers for team victory and Thompson has a realistic chance of individual glory.