This is the single biggest race of the schools' running calendar, attracting schools from all over the country, and has in the past been the breeding ground for future Olympians (indeed Olympic champions in the case of Seb Coe and Alastair Brownlee).
This year has to go down as our best ever performance in that both our boys and our girls were superb. Our boys came home with team bronze medals (out of 51 teams from across the country) for the second year in a row, which is the third year in a row we have been on the podium. It was a very young side with two Fourth Formers (Freddie Huxley-Fielding and Charlie Tait-Harris) and two Fifth Formers (Oscar Dickins and Ben Remnant), so we are very much looking ahead to the future, with the 'core' remaining for the coming years. It was a brave team performance, with some hard runs in the final two legs from our Sixth Formers Theo Clarke and Huntsman Rory Fraser, with Rory bringing the bronze home overtaking Loughborough College in the final leg. Our 'B' team were 15th overall again, pointing to the depth coming through.
As good as the boys were, the girls, however, were the real highlight of the day with an incredible performance that saw them not only break into the top 10 for the first time, but in fact surging to finish in 4th place overall (out of 32). Given that our previous best had been 15th in 2012, this marks a crucial moment for girls' running, announcing Girls’ Hunt on the national stage. Teacher-in-Charge Kait Weston has been brilliant in enthusing the girls and really getting girls’ running going this year. Their success is a massive achievement for girls' sport generally at Shrewsbury.
Tory Mobley was the star of the show with the third fastest time of the day, but the other girls also ran brilliantly. Sophie Pelling got off to a strong start, and there were terrific team performances from Tatty Hunt and captain Lucie Cornwell-Lee in the anchor leg. We are a few years off from where the boys have reached, but with Tory and Tatty remaining in the squad next year, they will be able to aim even higher in 2015.
A full report will be published shortly.
Below: Oscar Dickins at the finish, having given his all