Suffolk win yet again at Anglian Schools Cross Country Championships

Ruby Vinton (left) on her way to victory at the South of England Cross Country Championships in Brig

Ruby Vinton (left) on her way to victory at the South of England Cross Country Championships in Brighton. Vinton followed this up with a win at the Anglian Schools' event at RHS, Holbrook. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s remarkable run of success in the annual Anglian Schools Cross Country Championships continued apace with another dominant display, this time on home turf at Royal Hospital School in Holbrook last Saturday.

Lewis Sullivan, who won the junior boys' race at the Anglian Schools event at RHS, to help Suffolk t

Lewis Sullivan, who won the junior boys' race at the Anglian Schools event at RHS, to help Suffolk to the overall team title. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott

There were terrific individual wins for Ruby Vinton and Lewis Sullivan, who have both enjoyed terrific cross country campaigns over the winter months.

And overall, Suffolk once again retained their aggregate team title (best six from eight team scores, across the age groups). They have made this title their own in recent times.

In fact, they have made this title their own in recent times – Suffolk have now won for the last 13 years on the trot, a superb sequence of results which started with an initial triumph in 2006.

Suffolk topped the charts with 416 points, ahead of second-placed Norfolk (463) with Northants (464) in third and Cambridgeshire (540) and Lincolnshire a distant fourth and fifth respectively.

Lewis Sullivan, who won the junior boys' race at the Anglian Schools event at RHS, to help Suffolk t

Lewis Sullivan, who won the junior boys' race at the Anglian Schools event at RHS, to help Suffolk to the overall team title. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott


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Vinton followed up her marvellous victory at the South of England Championships, staged at Stanmer Park, Brighton, the previous weekend, with a big margin of victory in the minor girls’ race at RHS.

The 11-year-old, from Woodbridge School, stopped the clock at 8mins 31secs to win by a healthy margin of 17 seconds from runner-up Alice Bennett, of Northants.

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Suffolk were actually second to Northants in this team age group, with top 10 finishes also posted by Anna Cartwright (seventh), Amelie Taylor (ninth) and Connie Davies (10th).

Sullivan, like Vinton, has been beating all-comers in recent months, and he added another title to his collection with a first-place in the junior boys’ category.

A member of Saint Edmund Pacers, and a pupil at Sybil Andrews Academy (Moreton Hall), Sullivan scampered to victory in 12:54, finishing five seconds ahead of team-mate Elliot Gladwell, who had an excellent run in second spot.

Suffolk were comfortable team winners in this age group. Not only did they have the top two, but there were also top 10 displays by James Peck (fourth), Oliver Hitchcock (sixth) and Charlie Turner (ninth), with the six-strong scoring team completed by Freddie Adams in 12th slot.

Elsewhere, there was a silver medal for Ben Peck in the minor boys’ race. Mildenhall School’s Peck was only headed by a powerful run from impressive winner Isaac Morris, of Cambs, who clocked 10:46.

Peck was second in 11:13, and he was backed-up by good runs from team-mate Ryan Grady (eighth) and Moses McBride (10th) as Suffolk collected the silver team medals behind Northants.

Meanwhile, there were individual bronze medals for both April Hill and Nathan Goddard.

The consistent Hill (Woodbridge School) was third in the junior girls’ event, in what was a very tight and exciting finish. In fact, just three seconds separated the first four finishers.

Norfolk’s duo of Madeleine Short (11:32) and Hattie Reynolds (11:33) were first and second, followed by Hill (11:34) and Norfolk’s Grace Jermy (11:35). Tilly Aldis was second home for Suffolk in 10th place.

Goddard also took third in the intermediate boys’ race. David Dow (Cambs) won in 18:01 from Norfolk’s William Mahoney (18:06), while Woodbridge School’s Goddard (18:19) just pipped fellow Suffolk athlete James Pettersson (fourth) by one second.

Elsewhere, Suffolk’s intermediate girls packed well to win their team category, spearheaded by Stowmarket twin sisters Maddie and Millie Jordan-Lee, who were fifth and sixth respectively. The winning team was completed by Katie Challinor (eighth), Holly Fisher (11th), Katy Cuddihy (19th) and Mimi Salsby (23rd).

Suffolk’s senior girls were second team, led home by Olivia Allum and Georgina Russell in sixth and seventh respectively, while Tom Mead (10th) and Alex Tripp (12th) led Suffolk’s senior boys to third place.

Next up is the English Schools Cross Country Championships, while will be held at Leeds on Saturday, March 17.

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