It may have been a damp November day but somehow the cross country athletes from Woodbridge School brushed that aside with considerable ease. Spirits were high, with all four teams competing following their wins in the Suffolk leg. Anything seemed possible. We were up against seven counties including the might of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The fact that Woodbridge School had never had a Team qualify for the National Finals gave the task ahead some context. 21 Teams (top three from each of the seven counties) would be reduced to three for Nationals in each of the four races.
First race of the day was the Junior Girls (u14) and although the team had worked hard and were likely to finish as a fairly compact unit, we were not expecting this young group to qualify.
How wrong we were!
Bea Thomas ran an exceptional race and every athlete raced for the line making every position count. The result – A Trip to Nationals by finishing third, beating 4th by just two points.
Individual results were Bea Thomas 5th, Molly Marshall 15th, Amy Goddard 20th, Issy Eaton 34th, Cecily Royal-Dawson 35th, Anna Jackson 66th.
Congratulations Junior Girls!
Second race was the Junior boys (u14), our strongest team and the one where we genuinely felt we had our first chance of qualification. We were not disappointed as the Woodbridge vests soon made their way to the front of the race and the boys finished second, a single point behind the school that won.
Charlie Turner was the star performer running an exceptionally well judged race to close in on the lead pack and then power home for second place.
Individual results were Charlie Turner 2nd, Kit Evans-Lombe 7th, Henry Dinwiddy 15th, Will Franklin 22nd, Edward Rufford 32nd, Tom Turner 47th.
Congratulations Junior Boys!
Next up were the Inter Girls (u16). Perhaps an outside chance we thought. Better than that the girls qualified for Nationals in a strong second place. Sarah Barker and Amy Graham worked their way through the field and were full of running in the closing stages to claim 3rd and 4th respectively. Special mention should also go to Charlotte Dinwiddy who ran a brave attacking race to finish 23rd.
Individual results were Sarah Barker 3rd, Amy Graham 4th, Charlotte Dinwiddy 23rd, Milly Buckingham 31st, Sophie Graham 38th, Victoria Burrows 40th.
Congratulations Inter Girls!
Final race of the day saw the Inter Boys (u16) line up. Whilst the Team realistically knew qualification was unlikely, the boys had trained well and were keen to improve on last years 7th place.
With Nathan Goddard leading from the front with another of his powerful displays for 2nd place, the boys packed well for the team to come home in 5th place.
Individual results were Nathan Goddard 2nd, George Rufford 19th, Daniel Davies 28th, Alex Evans Lombe 29th, Tom Harrington 35th, Nathaniel Gunn 42nd.
With that effort is has to be – Congratulations Inter Boys!
So off to Nationals we go. Formby, Lancashire on Saturday 3rd December.
With some 4000 secondary schools in England only 25 make it through to the Nationals and Woodbridge School will be in three of the four races.
We are one of only three schools in England to qualify more than two teams – Now that is something!