Thanet runners represent isle at Kent Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championship

And they're off for the boys juniors race

By Steve King

Almost 600 runners battled a twisting, turning course and freezing conditions as Dartford’s Central Park hosted the Kent Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championship on Saturday 20th January.

Franklin Shepherd (Chatham & Clarendon) recovered from a mid-race stumble to win the Senior Boys race and Lola Sutton (Ursuline College) was a strong-finishing third in the Senior Girls’ category.

Franklin Shepherd

Both have now gained automatic qualification to the English Schools’ Championship, at Pontefract Racecourse, West Yorkshire on Saturday 16th March.

Miller Payne

Miller Payne (St Lawrence College) was seventh in the Year 7 Girls’ race, and there was a top-20 placing for Maisie Kemp (Dane Court) in the Junior Girls’ race for Years 8 and 9. Both girls are former winners of the Y6 race at the Quex Park Cross Country and have been competing in the under-13 Kent League races throughout the winter.

Joshua Eve

The biggest entry from Thanet was in the Year 7 Boys’ race, with eight local runners lining up. Joshua Eve (Chatham & Clarendon) was the first of them to cross the finishing line in 22nd place.

In all, 35 boys and girls represented Thanet, with almost all of the district’s secondary schools having at least one pupil taking part.