Perse Runners Power On
After a comfortable victory in the County Round of the School Cross Country Cup, the Perse U15 boys team and the U13 girls teams took part in the Regional Finals in Bedford last Saturday. This was contested by the top three teams from each county in the region, and comprised teams from as far away as Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire and Suffolk.
The U15 boys, led by an outstanding run from Oli Cantrill, earned enough points to come a narrow second and qualify for the National Finals, where the top 24 schools in the UK will compete. Particular praise must go to Oli who ran a superb tactical race in the spirit of Mo Farah by biding his time in the leading pack before dropping all the other runners with a lung-bursting push in the final 500m to win the event by several seconds. His time of 15min 24 seconds over 4,200m of soft, muddy grass with many corners was an average speed of well over 16km/hr.
Ciaran Flaherty also ran an impressively-paced race, allowing some of the other runners to run too fast on the first lap before overhauling them on lap 2. He finished 10th just ahead of Robbie Sewell in 11th. With Will Louth a fast-finishing 21st, Harry Schumann (of Year 9) 23rd and George Gilligan 36th, it meant all six runners finished in the top half of the field – an impressive achievement given that all the teams were of high standard, having had to qualify.
The girls team had done brilliantly to qualify from the County round and despite Hannah Lin and Elisabeth Townsend finishing in the top half of their field, their points tally did not get them in the top 3 teams. Having qualified in third place in the county round, it was an excellent effort to move ahead of the Impington team and finish as second best Cambridgeshire team.
The boys team will now represent the Perse at the National Finals, which will be held in Bolton on December 1st.