Following our usual practice, Woodbridge pupils arrived at Abington Park, Northampton nice and early so that they could walk the course for the Anglian Schools Cross Country Championships in a relaxed and unhurried way. Despite the well hidden nerves there was plenty of good humour and mutual support with the glorious sunshine and parental support team working its magic.
First up were the minor girls. Ruby Vinton (Y6) and Amy Goddard (Y7) came an exceptional 4th and 8th, setting an inspirational benchmark.
The minor boys did not disappoint with Henry Dinwiddy (Y7) piped on the line but still a brilliant 5th with Ed Rufford (Y7) 25th and Ed Buckingham (Y6) an excellent 38th; Suffolk taking the minor boys trophy with ease.
Bea Thomas qualified for the English Schools with an impressive 23rd place in the Junior Girls (7th for Suffolk) whilst Molly Marshall came a well deserved 46th; Suffolk missing this trophy by just two points!
In the Junior boys Charlie Turner, George Wharam and Kit Evans Lombe were all running a year up but they exceeded all expectations on this hilly course. Charlie and George came an amazing 3rd and 6th (1st and 2nd for Suffolk) with Kit 22nd. All three off to English Schools a year young and looking strong. Charlie can be especially proud winning the bronze medal a year young.
In the intermediate girls, Sarah Barker, Amy Graham and Milly Buckingham were again running a year up, but the results told a different story – Sarah 7th (and 2nd for Suffolk), Amy 26th (6th for Suffolk) and Milly a well deserved 32nd (9th for Suffolk so still in contention for English Schools).
In the intermediate boys, Nathan Goddard was also running a year up, but after an exceptional run last weekend at Parliament Hill, London, in the Southern Championships, he was confident and relaxed. Running a tactically astute race, he finished a brilliant fourth, taking some notable scalps.
So; an amazing seven top 10 finishes for Woodbridge pupils, five of them a year younger than the age category in which they ran; and aided by the excellent performances of Woodbridge pupils, Suffolk took the overall trophy.
Running is progressing fast at Woodbridge with Dr Wharam now assisting Mark Goddard on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the year, so that training can be split into 3 or 4 groups with an emphasis on running for fun and fitness. Parents are welcome as well, and it is not unusual for there to be 40+ runners of varying abilities, ages and commitment at a training session. Training sessions run 52 weeks a year (yes, we did train on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day!)and there is an infectious enthusiasm. An increasing number of pupils also use the running club as a way to improve their performance in other sports.