More than six hundred runners completed the Sussex Schools Cross Country championships in difficult conditions at Waterhall on Wednesday. Since these championships have been transferred to a mid-week event numbers have increased every year and 334 boy and 297 girl finishers is certainly a record for this century. The recent frosts had made the ground hard but the slight easing of the temperature and a glorious sunny winter’s day meant that the surface became quite greasy and cross-country spikes were certainly the order of the day.
There were plenty of close battles but none more so than in the senior boys (U19) race at the end of the afternoon when two of Brighton & Hove AC athletes, Brodie Denholm (Brighton College) and Stephen Ferroni (BACA) staged a dead heat in 27:42s. They had dominated the race from the start and finished well clear of BHASVIC’s Jack Leitch who clocked 27:55s.
There was a run-a-way victory for another B&H AC athlete Cardinal Newman’s Martha Coyle. Coyle took full advantage of the company of the Boys for the first lap, all seniors start together but the girls do not run as far as the boys. Coyle clocked 18:29s while reigning champion Rosie Ellis (Chichester Coll) recorded 19:19s in second place.
In a tightly run Intermediate (U17) boys race Ben Collins from Chichester, who romped away with the junior (U15) title last year had a much tougher battle this year before managing to finish just ten metres clear of B&H’s Tomer Tarragano (Brighton Coll), who had finished third behind Collins last year clocking 21:35s to 21:38s.