In the Hunt's 180 years, many historic races have been established and firmly placed in the school's calendar, most notably of course the annual school Tucks run, and the Inter-House Paperchases and Steeplechases. Never before in the Hunt's history, however, have we hosted a Prep Schools' Cross-Country Championships, but as we look ahead to future years it seemed fitting to host such an event to coincide with the rising success of the club at senior level.
Nine Prep Schools from around the country competed and over 100 boys took part in the U11 and U13 races. We were fortunate to have absolutely stunning Autumnal weather, ideal for the very many parents and staff who came to support the event. In the first race, the U11 boys tackled a 1.3 mile course that took in much of Top Common, the Bank and the river path. The standout school were Cundall Manor at this level, with the top three places being occupied by pupils from the North Yorkshire school. The winning time of 8.16 was very impressive indeed, and suggests that there is much promise at this age-group.
1st Jake Doyle 8.16 Cundall Manor
2nd Dillon Staveley 8.43 Cundall Manor
3rd Tom Mewes 9.09 Cundall Manor
4th Oliver Reed-Daunter 9.21 Abberley Hall
5th Conor Barker 9.23 Old Hall School
6th Daniel Humes 9.23 Packwood Haugh
7th Alex Veitch 9.27 Old Hall School
8th George White 9.32 Birchfield
9th Leo Walton 9.41 Prestfelde
10th George Gough 9.44 Shrewsbury High Prep
1st Team Cundall Manor (winners of The Huntsman's Cup)
2nd Team Shrewsbury High Prep 'A'
3rd Team Abberley Hall
At U13 level, there were some big names competing, and having offered Packwood's Freddie Fielding a sports scholarship recently, it was no surprise to see him get off to a flying start off Chance's Field. Despite strong opposition, Freddie quickly spread out the pack, and his winning margin by the end of the race was over a minute, a significant margin in a 2.3 mile race. His time of 12.04 suggests that he is a star in the making, and having been ranked top three in the UK over the past years, it is clear that there will be exciting times ahead as he moves to the senior ranks next year.
1st Freddie Fielding 12.04 Packwood Haugh
2nd William Hayward 13.11 St Richard's
3rd Dan Orchard 13.19 Prestfelde
4th Charlie Tait-Harris 13.27 Birchfield
5th Jack Soulsby 13.28 Terra Nova
6th Simon Waterhouse 13.31 Packwood Haugh
7th Freddie Barrell 13.39 Abberley Hall
8th Oliver Wilson 13.41 Cundall Manor
9th Guy Morris 13.45 Packwood Haugh
10th Cameron Bates 14.04 Prestfelde
1st Team Packwood Haugh (winners of The Bob Parker Cup)
2nd Team Prestfelde
3rd Team Cundall Manor
We were delighted with how smoothly the first running of the event went, and look forward to developing the championships further, including girls competition at both levels. We very much hope that this event will become a notable fixture on the Prep Schools' sporting calendar, and that in turn this will further strengthen the Hunt as an historic and successful club.