Due to the current pandemic and national lockdown, Berkshire Schools Athletic Association was unable to hold its usual schools Cross Country Championships and therefore organised a virtual cross-country championship instead. Anyone in years 7 to 13 who attends school in Berkshire could enter and had to run a set, timed distance under COVID rules between Saturday 6th to Sunday 28th February 2021. Runs had to be carried out on a cross country (not road or track) course, had to start and finish at around the same point (200m leeway for GPS errors), could not include laps of less than 1km and have no more than 10m net elevation loss.
The distances that athletes had to run were similar to those which athletes would have had run at the actual county cross country championships:
- Under 13 Girls (Year 7) 2500m, Under 13 Boys (Year 7) 3000m, Junior Girls (U15) 3000m, Junior Boys (U15) 4000m, Intermediate Girls (U17) 4000m, Intermediate Boys (U17) 5500m, Senior Girls (U19) 4000m, Senior Boys (U19) 7000m
Despite not having returned to school due to the COVID-19 lockdown, an amazing 444 pupils completed the run in a way that met the defined criteria for the competition.
WSEH’s Intermediate and Senior athletes led the way in the overall results. Nathalie Camp and Freya Ruffels recorded the 1st and 2nd fastest times in the Intermediate Girls event with 14:50 and 14:55 respectively and Luke Birdseye was equal 2nd in the Intermediate Boys recording 20:02. In the Senior Boys virtual race, Sam Hodgson was 1st in 25:08 with Will Goddard in 2nd in 25:17. There was also a club 1-2 in the Senior Women’s virtual race with Jasmine Young recording the fastest time of 14:48 closely followed by sister Amy in 2nd with a time of 14:52.
Other top 10 finishers were James Farley 6th in the U13 Boys, Stephanie Massie and Anna Passos 6th and 7th in the Junior Girls, Ben Dewar, Guy Branston and Nathan Rollins 4th, 5th and 6th respectively in the Junior Boys, Oona Gibbons 9th in the Intermediate Girls and Sam Johnston 9th in the Intermediate Boys.
In addition, Sofia Sabbah was 53rd in the U13 Girls race, Abigail Farley 13th in the Junior Girls race followed by Maizie Tearle in 42nd and James McSharry, Jack Harding, Sam Thuo and Sohan Nath were 14th, 15th, 21st and 43rd respectively in the Junior Boys event.
Josh Mingoia was 12th in the Intermediate Boys race, closely followed by George Thomas in 13th and Satvick Nath in 23rd with Ross Van Herde 11th in the Senior Boys competition.
See full results here.