County cross country honours for Perse runners

Perse runners set the pace at the Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire round of the English Schools’ Athletic Association (ESAA) Cross Country Cup.

The county stage of the competition was held at The Perse’s Abington site for the first time, with 12 schools taking part across six team events with the top three teams in each class qualifying for the regional finals.

The girls’ teams were especially successful, winning in each age category – junior (Years 7 and 8), intermediate (Years 9 and 10) and senior (Year 11 to Upper Sixth).

In the junior girls’ race, Year 7 athletes Jasmine Christmas and Olivia Kaser were runner-up and fifth respectively, with Jasmine crossing the line in 7min 35sec.

Verity Valentine (Year 9) won the intermediate girls’ event in 9.17, with Millie Ely sixth, while Natalie Ronco came home first in the senior girls’ race in 14.07 as Perse runners claimed the top five places.

The senior boys’ team also triumphed with Isaac Rothwell coming almost a minute ahead of his nearest rival in a time of 17.57 and Daniel Zailer-Fletcher finishing fifth. Both runners have been in excellent form with Isaac helping Cambridge & Coleridge win the U17 boys’ title at the English Cross County Association National Relay Championships and Daniel runner-up in the men’s U20 section of last month’s TTP Cambridge Half Marathon.

Meanwhile, the Perse team was runners-up in the intermediate boys’ race, but there was individual success for George Christmas, who won by more than 30 seconds in 14.35, while Marcus Wentzell came fourth.

In the junior boys’ category, the team came fourth overall, with Cassius Abood third (9.41) and Jonathan Tan sixth.

Abington will also host the ESAA regional finals on 19 November, with five Perse teams now aiming to reach the national finals in Newquay next month.

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