ERMYSTED’S Grammar School Cross-Country team put in another fantastic performance to finish runner-up at the Coventry Relays last Wednesday.

Since 1972 King Henry VIII School in Coventry has hosted what 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 has six runners each doing a 2.3 mile leg and the girls’ race has four runners competing over the same distance.

The course is over pavement, grass, woodland – and usually quite a few puddles – and is largely flat with no real hills.

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

The race has a strong legacy, boasting former competitors of the calibre of Seb Coe, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, and Richard Nerurkar.

Conditions were very good, cloudy but with only light winds, which meant fast times were possible.

Ermysted’s have a great crop of athletes at the moment with the school being picked to represent England later this year as a result of recent impressive performances, not least winning this event last year.

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 Year 12 runner Sebastian Segger-Staveley continuing his good recent form.

He was up with the leaders early on before coming back eight seconds clear of the other 56 teams as he ran the individual second fastest time of the day.

Joe Carnelley took over on the second leg and slightly extended the team’s lead, but the pre-race favourites Judd from Kent were now in second place.

Cross-country captain Will Thompson was the only Year 13 student in the Ermysted's team and he was determined to run well in his last time at Coventry.

Unfortunately, although Will and Arthur Peel on leg four ran well they were up against Judd’s best runners and Ermysted's soon fell behind as Judd gained an unassailable lead.

Louis Hudson, running Ermysted's fifth leg, took over neck and neck with Woodbridge and RGS Guildford.

He ran a good time to reclaim second place and built up a cushion of time over Guildford for last leg runner Alex Thompson.

He ran another sub 12 minute leg to bring the Skipton school home in the runners-up spot of the 57 teams, but well behind the impressive winners.

Ermysted's time was fast and did find the school 15th on the all-time fastest times list.

Ermysted’s ‘B’ Team of Matthew Kenneth, Ben Rees, Will Atkinson, Donnabhan Rudden, Robert Mann and Year 9 pupil Dougie Segger-Staveley showed the strength in depth the school has as they were 25th team, beating most of the other school’s ‘A’ teams.