TALENTED Euan Brennan and Joe Hudson struck gold again in the English Schools Cross-County Championships.

Just a week after helping Yorkshire Clubs top the podium at the Inter Counties Championship at Loughborough they were part of the winning North Yorkshire senior boys team at Temple Newsam in Leeds.

Giggleswick’s Brennan was North Yorkshire’s second counter as he came back 12th of the 350 or so runners, with Hudson of Ermysted’s in 37th.

And there were bronze medals for South Craven’s Sam Smith and Ermysted’s Alex Thompson in the junior boys’ race.

Smith has improved out of sight this year, illustrated by his phenomenal rise in the finishing standings. He was 158th in last year’s event and finished fourth on Saturday just four seconds off an individual medal.

Ermysted’s Thompson, who was 93rd, scored for the team and so gained a bronze medal with school-mate Ben Rees 314th in this age group and a non-scoring member of the team.

The runners had to cope with very testing conditions. The grounds are undulating, and the surface was quickly caked in mud. The snow and Siberian wind added to the difficulty for the runners

North Yorkshire’s Intermediate Boys team had three Ermysted’s runners who were unlucky not to gain medals. Harvey Lewis 56th, Sebastian Seggar-Staveley 85th and Louis Hudson 112th were all in the scoring positions for the county who were placed fifth of the 44 teams.

However, bearing in mind all the scorers were athletes from Y10 and therefore at the bottom of the age group, surely better things lie ahead.

With a first, third and a fifth team placing, North Yorkshire boys also won the overall trophy for medium-sized counties.

There was a good showing from Skipton Girls High School in the girls’ races. In the junior girls’ event Lilli Carr 62nd, Alice Jones 86th and Harisah Ghafoor 240th helped North Yorkshire to fourth place.

Their older school-mates Ruby Firth 118th and Emily Jones 155th helped North Yorkshire to 18th of the 43 counties. North Yorkshire’s Senior Girls team were 21st of the 40 teams but had no Craven representatives

The English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships are the most eagerly-anticipated event of the winter with athletes from each of the 46 counties in England competing for honours.

Athletes are selected by their county and only eight runners are allowed to compete in each age group. With the first six finishers in each team counting towards the team competition, the finishing positions are added up, and the team with the lowest score wins.

This year’s event was held in very testing conditions. The grounds of Temple Newsam are undulating, and the surface was quickly caked in mud. The snow and Siberian wind added to the difficulty for the runners