Perse runners set for national cross country finals

The Perse junior girls’ group running team will be heading to the English Schools Athletic Association (ESAA) Cross Country Cup final after winning their regional competition.

The team, made up of Year 7 and 8 pupils, stormed to victory in the East Central finals, held at The Perse’s Abington site, with Jasmine Christmas the school’s first athlete home in third as she covered the 2.1km distance in just 7min 18sec.

She was followed by Athene Ross in eighth, with Olivia Kaser 10th, Orlaith Carey 15th, Emma Walshe 17th and Eva Jonas, who came 22nd despite carrying a slight injury, meaning all six Perse runners finished well inside the top half of the 63-strong field.

They will now go to next month’s ESAA national finals in Newquay, where they will face 26 other school teams who have qualified in the top three from their respective regions.

Perse running coach Chris Ingram said: “I was highly impressed by the toughness and determination showed by all the team, with every single one of them stepping up their level from what was already a fine performance in the previous round.

“All six of them juggle significant commitments with multiple other sports too, and this is a testament to their dedication to training and commitment to the school.”

Elsewhere at the regional finals, Verity Valentine finished third in the intermediate girls’ (Years 9 and 10) race, covering 2.6km in 9.02 as her team came seventh overall, while George Christmas was sixth in the intermediate boys’ event with his team also coming seventh.

In the senior (Year 11 to Upper Sixth) section, Isaac Rothwell was sixth in the boys’ race with the team narrowly missing out on qualification in fourth, while the girls’ team were sixth overall.


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