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League Titles Decided in Final Fixture

Tor Leisure, Glastonbury, Tue 23 March 2004

The final fixture in this years Mendip Junior Schools Cross Country League was held last Tuesday at Tor Leisure, Glastonbury. This year the league has again been a great success, with an average of around 300 children and 17 schools taking part in each of the five events. After the fine weather of the penultimate race dark clouds threatened, and a heavy hail shower preceded the first race. Thankfully it soon ended and the four races got off without anyone getting wet.

As usual the year 3 and 4 girls were the first to toe the start line for a 1km lap of the playing fields that took in a number of twists and turns. Ruby Kelly, having already won the league title by finishing first in three of the opening four races did not have an easy time of it, as local girl Jo Callendar-Wood of St Benedict's ran well to come home in front, with Kelly (representing St Joseph's) a clear second. St Benedict's also had third placed Naomi Neale, who was closely followed by Stephanie Hale (Millfield Prep), Alice De-Quidt (wells Central) and Hannah Grattan (Horrington). St Benedict's were again clear team winners with Amber Chant closing the team in 14th place. Brookside finished in 2nd place, a single point ahead of St Joseph's. With the gold and silver going to Kelly and Callendar-Wood, Neale's third place was enough to overhaul Brookside's Abigail Locke, who could only finish eighth at Glastonbury. Hannah Hurford of St Benedicts, missing on this occasion, closed the top five individual rankings. With St Benedict's winning all five fixtures there was no doubt in who would win the team trophy - though St Joseph's and Brookside could not be separated for second as they had traded places throughout the season.
Ruby Kelly
Kieran Young
Kieran Young made short work of the lower school boys race as the St Aldhelm's youngster pulled Evercreech's Daniel D'Arcy away from the chasing pack. This was led by Liam Hodges (St Pauls) from Elliot Rutter (Wells Central), Luke Dowding (Evercreech) and Harry Bushill (St Viga) who came in with teammate William Norris. The St Joseph's pair of Callum Parker and Ben Millar were next, with Upton Noble's William Sharpe closing the top ten. Evercreech came out as team winners, from St Viga and St Joseph's. In the individual league standings Young triumphed over an absent Oli Bryant of Wells Central, with D'Arcy taking the bronze medal. Fourth was Hodges, with Rutter fifth. Despite Wells Central having a disastrous final fixture won the team award from Evercreen and St Joseph's.

St Joseph year five pupil Aoife Thorogood had her victory celebrations marred as she was bettered in the final race by Millfield's Christy Jones. Sophie Allin (Millfield) was third with Lydia Ruff (Wells Central) fourth and Lucy Etherington (Millfield) just snatching a share of the individual bronze medal by finishing ahead of another year 5 girl in St Benedict's Shannon Kurle. Whichever was the points were totted up both girls could not be split over the season so joint medals were awarded to both girls. Abbey Rimmer, having shown great promise in the opening two fixtures slipped back to seventh, though the Millfield girl had done enough to secure the league silver medal. The top ten at Glastonbury was filled by Millfield teammates Jessica Goodfellow and Posy Frederick, and Emily Derreck of Hugh Sexey. With Millfield comfortable team winners, Wells Central just got the verdict over St Benedicts by 2 points with St Joseph's a further 2 points behind. For the season St Benedict's were to rank second, with Wells Central ahead of Hugh Sexey's and St Joseph's.

Aoife Thorogood
Sam Norris The upper school boys race was all set to be the most exciting of the day - as any one of four boys could still theoretically win the overall league title. Top dog was Well's Sam Norris, who only needed to finish better than sixth, while Well's Central teammate Dan Wright and Millfield lad's Callum Batten and Kurtis Gibson all needed to win to keep their hopes alive. A determined Dan Wright appeared at the head of a long column as the boys swept past the finish line on the start of their second lap with Batten (still only a year 5) and Joe Clake of Millfield in hot pursuit. At this stage Norris was biding his time by sitting on the shoulder of Gibson, with Ross Padfield once again making the team race a close affair for Central. By the end of the second lap Wright had pulled clear for his first ever victory in the league, with Batten second and Clarke fourth. Norris got past Gibson on the run-in to seal an excellent season with the individual league gold from Wright and Batten. Ross Padfield crossed the line sixth from Hugh Wyatt (Millfield) Laurie Olive and Ja'Mahl McMurran (both Hugh Sexey). The top ten was closed by St Paul's Blake Brockway. With the team orders the same for the third race in a row, Millfield were awarded the team trophy, with Wells Central ahead of Hugh Sexey for the runner-up spot.

The final two trophies of the day were awarded to be best overall schools. Rather amazingly two schools finished on the same number of points, with the small school's trophy being awarded to St Joseph's (2nd Lower girls; 3rd lower boys; 5th upper girls; 6th upper boys) and the large school's trophy going to Wells Central (10th lower girls; 1st lower boys; 3rd upper girls; 2nd upper boys). With the league now finished the winter season in almost over - with the only event still to run being the annual inter-area match against Yeovil, Taunton and Minehead. This was due to take place this Tuesday at Millfield senior school in Street - see next week's Journal for full results.

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