Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC

ESAA XC

The English Schools Cross Country Championship is the pinnacle of schools winter athletics with many making their county teams for the first time and others making their last appearance! A six year span! Either way this is a fiercely contested series of races and so making the team as one of the racing 8 or one of the 4 reserves is a massive achievement. The 46 English counties all send their best 8 runners in three age groups, both genders. So each race is potentially made up of over 350 of the countries very best athletes.
 
BBHAC had 27 athletes selected over five school counties, Kent, Surrey, London, Middlesex and Berkshire. 19 to race and 8 reserves.
 
Junior girls
The Kent team finished 5th with great contributions from Aoife Mc making the top 50 and strong runs from year young Evie and Alba. Sofia M represented Middlesex and Sophie and Ariana were both selected as reserves for Kent and Ines M for London.
 
Junior Boys
Kent placed 12th with Kian 2nd Kent boy home backed up well by James and Luca all making their ESAA debuts. Jake was selected as a reserve.
 
Inter girls
A dramatic finish with the leading girl falling just short of the finish line allowing the girl in 2nd to win! (before picking herself up to still secure 2nd place). Naimah helped Middlesex to 16th, placing 78th individually. Megan ran well helping the Kent team to a 15th place finish! Iris had ran superbly at the KSAA and would have done very well at the ESAA but unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury.
 
Inter boys
Our inter boys are strong and proved this by lifting the ESAA team trophy. Reigning English schools champ Joe went into this race full of confidence, despite being a year young and ran superbly but was up against a former National XC Champion, who did enough to take the victory. Joe’s strong 2nd was backed up by a superb 15th place finish for Joseph (4 places higher than his excellent performance last year) and an impressive 29th for Jed, helping to secure the team win. Nathan was selected as reserve for the inter boys in his first year.
 
Senior boys
Last race of the day saw a great battle for team silver and bronze between Kent and Surrey! Arthur looked strong throughout as did Alex Midd who was just a few strides behind. Individually Arthur just pipped Alex but Alex’s Surrey picked up team silver, just in front of Kent’s bronze! Harry ran well in his first ESAA champs. Mark was selected as reserve and unfortunately James wasn’t able to race for Berkshire due to injury!
 
Senior girls
Eliza ran superbly to win an impressive silver behind Devon’s European XC Champion Innes Fitzgerald, helping London to finish 9th (both Eliza and Innes now heading to the World Cross Country Champs in Serbia) One place behind London were the Kent team that included Cary’s strong run, well inside the top 100. Libby made the reserve list despite only racing twice this winter and Eva M was reserve for London.
Paul Austridge

Blackheath & Bromley News Desk

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