Woodbridge School was delighted to be asked to host the prestigious National Final of the English Schools Cross Country Cup 2023. Being given the opportunity to host a large national event of this standard is both an honour and a privilege; something that takes months of planning and the support and involvement of the entire School community in order to organise and deliver. And what an excellent day it turned out to be!
With the help of staff, parents and English Schools Officials, on the morning of Saturday 2 December some 1,000 athletes from schools across England arrived at Woodbridge School, including our own students who had qualified to compete, along with over 1,000 parents watching and supporting. Everyone enjoyed a spectacular day of sport.
Members of the Woodbridge School Sports Team
Schools need to navigate a County and a Regional Cross Country round to earn the right to line up at the start of the Nationals; with over 6,000 secondary schools in England, just 27 had qualified and were at the start of each race. Woodbridge School had teams in three of the six age group races, Junior Girls, Junior Boys and Senior Boys, a superb achievement which in itself matches a best ever for the School. Woodbridge School has now qualified one or more teams for the Nationals every year since 2016.
It turned out to be a string of fourth place finishes for Woodbridge School, which some might be forgiven for thinking this to be a little frustrating – but on the national stage this really is quite an achievement for our young athletes, and certainly something to be extremely proud of – as we and they are.
The best individual finish came in the Junior Boys where Year 8’s Digby finished in fourth place. Our full results can be seen below:
Junior Girls Team
Year 7’s Alexandra – 22nd
Year 7’s India J – 27th
Year 7’s Ella – 29th
Year 8’s Grace –51st
Year 7’s India B – 104th
Year 8′ Marina – 115th
Junior Boys Team
Yer 8’s Digby – 4th
Year 7′ s Dexter – 6th
Year 7’s Charlie – 67th
Year 7’s Alfie – 82nd
Year 7’s Josh – 84th
Year 7’s Otis – 86th
Senior Boys Team
Year 12′ Iwan – 82nd
Year 11’s Angus – 102nd
Year 12’s Bruce – 105th
Year 11’s John – 141st
Although the Senior Boys team finished 27th, it was incredible to still field a full scoring team at a national event. They were without Year 13’s Henry as he was resting ahead of the European Cross Country Championships on the 10 December, where he will be racing in Brussels for Great Britain; Henry has also just this week signed for Oklahoma State University, current NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Champions, so huge congratulations to him.
And congratulations to every single athlete who took part on Saturday, competing with the very best in the country! It was a very special day for Woodbridge School and a huge thank you to the entire community assisting with the delivery of a successful event!
Paul Allison, Chairman of the ESAA and Mark Goddard, Cross Country Coach at Woodbridge School
Shona Norman, Head of Woodbridge School and Paul Allison, Chairman of the ESAA