ERMYSTED’S Grammar School cross-country team gave a stellar performance at the Coventry Relays last week.

The event has been hosted since 1972 by King Henry VIII School in and is now regarded by many as the national inter-schools cross country relay race.

Boys and girls compete in their own categories: the Boys’ Race is 6 x 2.3 miles; the Girls’ Race is 4 × 2.3 miles.

The course is over pavement, grass, woodland – and usually quite a few puddles – and is largely flat.

Schools enter their best runners, regardless of their age, although this will usually include predominantly runners in the sixth form.

Top stars such as Seb Coe, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, and Richard Nerurkar have all competed in the past.

Conditions were perfect with a cloudless sky and not a breath of wind, which meant fast times were inevitable.

Ermysted’s have a great crop of athletes at the moment with the school winning national titles both at cross-country and over the fells, however, this flat relay is a far cry from the mud and hills they are used to.

The students had aspirations of a high single figure placing and set off in determined fashion with their only Y13 runner Jimmy Lund.

This was his last run in this event and as school cross-country captain and he was determined to sign off in style.

He was up with the leaders early on before coming back fifth of the 60 entries having run 11th fastest time of the day.

Year 10 Sebastian Seggar-Staveley was next and he lifted the team into the top three.

Sam Jackson ran the third leg and he had some family tradition to live up to as his dad had been part of Newcastle RGS’s winning team in the 80’s.

Jackson ran well to keep the team in the medal hunt. Tom Barrett took over and produced another fast time to put Ermysted's well clear in second place and not far adrift of the Judd School from Kent.

Another Y10, Harvey Lewis took over the baton next and was up against Judd’s fastest runner. He did well to retain a comfortable hold on second place.

Joe Hudson had a lot to do on the anchor leg. He was the team's second-fastest runner and caught up 13 seconds but, Ermysted's had to settle for silver medals and a big runners-up cup.

Judd School won with the second-fastest time ever while Ermysted’s time was the sixth beat in the 47-year history of the event.

The times of the runners showed that the strength of the team was in their consistency as all six were only separated by about 30 seconds. Ermysted’s ‘B’ Team of Louis Hudson, Arthur Peel, Will Thompson, Sam Thom, Joe Carnelley and Alex Thompson showed the strength in depth the school has as they were 15th team beating most of the other ‘A’ Teams.

Giggleswick carried on the runners-up theme as Euan Brennan on the first leg ran the second fastest time of the day.

His time of 11.13 was actually identical to that run by Bradford GS schoolboy Alastair Brownlee when he competed.

The Giggleswick team eventually finished in 27th with their Girls coming 25th as Eve Hutchinson ran their fastest time.