Thanet youngsters represent district at Kent Schools’ Cross Country Championship

Competitor William Northrop

By Steve King

Thirty-six pupils from eight local schools represented Thanet District at the Kent Schools’ Cross Country Championship at Central Park, Dartford on Saturday 21st January.

Recently crowned Kent Champion Jake Stevens (pictured above) of Dane Court finished second in the Senior Boys (Y12-13) race over a challenging 7350m course.

Shortly afterwards, Franklin Shepherd (pictured) of Chatham & Clarendon, this winter’s Kent League Champion, came third in the Intermediate Boys (Y10-11) race over 6250m. Both boys’ placings gained them automatic qualification to the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championship at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 18th March.

Of the girls, Natalia Austin (Dane Court) fared best, finishing seventh in the Intermediate category. She will have a further opportunity to qualify for English Schools via the Inter-Counties meeting in Sussex on Saturday 4th February.

Particularly pleasing at the weekend was the number of Year 7 pupils who rose to the challenge, many of whom used to regularly compete in the Quex Park primary school races. Alex Smith (CCGS) turned in an eye-catching performance, finishing third in the boys’ race, with Finlay Dyer (Charles Dickens), Reuben Johnson (St George’s) and William Northrop (CCGS) farther back in the field.

Maisie Kemp

In the corresponding girls’ race, Harriet Brooks and Melody Flowers (both Wellesley Haddon Dene), Maisie Kemp (Dane Court), Edith Chapman (Royal Harbour Academy), Brooke Golden (CCGS) and Chloe Shimmen (Charles Dickens) all represented their schools with credit.

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