Bronwen’s national win

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Six young athletes from Scarborough Athletic Club represented North Yorkshire Schools, and another club member represented Humberside Schools at the finals of the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Nottingham.

The championships, which are the final major championships of the season, are open only to athletes that have achieved success at county level, and are seen as a stepping stone to representing England at full international level.

Previous winners have included the former Olympic gold medalist Steve Ovett, double Olympic Gold medal winner Kelly Holmes, former world champion Steve Cram and the current world marathon champion and record holder Paula Radcliffe, all of whom competed in these championships, which started in 1960.

The top athletes at this event all strive to gain selection for the Schools Home International which is held a week later.

In the Junior Girls race, Bronwen Owen of Lady Lumley’s school, gained immediate selection for the English Junior Girls team, after achieving a decisive win when finishing ahead of Surrey’s Kate Sheil-Rankin who was one of the pre race favourites.

Bronwen ran what her coach described as the perfect race to subsequently finish eight seconds ahead as she crossed the finish line.

She will now lead the England team at the Schools International in Northern Ireland today.

In the same race, Bronwen’s team-mate and training partner Louise Taylor of Driffield School, made her second appearance in the championships for Humberside, and justified her selection as the team’s second scorer, when finishing well up in 148th of a top class field of 347 finishers.

In the Intermediate Boys race, Jack Robertson of the George Pindar Community Sports College and Bobby Scarborough of Graham/Raincliffe School also competed in the championships for the second time.

Jack was the second team scorer when finishing in 94th of the 320 finishers, and Bobby who received a late call-up and moved up to the intermediate group this year, was the eighth scorer and 266th in the race.

Becky Mills, of Whitby Community College, competed in the corresponding girls race once again after her county debut last year.

She finished as the sixth scorer for North Yorkshire and 197th overall of a record field of 337.

In the senior races, Charlotte Edge and Josh Schofield who are both Scarborough Sixth Form College students, lined up again with their county teams, which for Charlotte was a second consecutive appearance, while Josh who missed last year due to illness, was making his third appearance for the county.

Charlotte improved her championship best when finishing as 100th overall of 290 and the third country team scorer, while Josh had to settle for 20th and eighth team scorer this time.

In addition to the Scarborough Athletic Club athletes, Danni Braithwaite of Whitby Community College and Loftus and Whitby Harriers, who was competing for the third time in the championships for North Yorkshire, achieved her best ever result when finishing as the first scorer for the team and 37th overall in the Intermediate Girls race.

Keziah Paxton of Norton College and Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers, who was also making a third appearance for North Yorkshire Schools at these championships had to settle for 168th and seventh team scorer in the Senior Girls race.