TWO Cannock and Stafford athletes produced outstanding performances to nail emphatic victories in the Stafford and District Schools’ cross country championships.
Elisha Walker, the reigning under-12 champion, stepped up to the higher age group and finished the 2.2k girls’ year eight/nine race at Stafford Grammar School 30 metres ahead of second placed Rachael Jones (Walton High).
The promising 12-year-old Blessed William Howard runner continued her impressive start to the season, having already clinched top two placings in two Midlands competitions. School-mate Ellie Baxter was third.
Fellow C and S member Harry Redford (Walton High) was equally dominant over the 2.6k boys’ under-14 course.
He forged a 20 second lead on his nearest rival, Josh Wilson (King Edward VI High) who crossed second ahead of Luke Owen (Wolgarston).
More than 200 runners from schools across Stafford and Stone challenged for eight titles in a chase for a top 10 finish to secure a place in the district team and the chance to compete in the county championships next February.
Meanwhile in a sprint finish there was little to separate Walton Priory Middle School trio Max Cuthbert, Will Harvey and Bradley Langford when they claimed the top three slots in the year seven boys’ 1,800m event.
In the same age group, C and S athletes Mollie Shermer (Walton High) and Iris Davies (Sir Graham Balfour) built up a formidable lead ahead of the chasing pack, with Shermer eventually claiming the title. Tori Hamplett (Stafford Grammar) finished third.
Representing King Edward VI High, Jagon Edge (C and S) nudged James Russell (Stafford Sports College) into the year 10/11 runner-up place, closely followed by Adam White (Stafford Sports College).
In the girls’ contest C and S’s Alice Burnhope (St Dominic’s Brewood) edged ahead of Megan Cogan (Stafford Grammar) over the 2.4k course, with Hollie Stow (St Dominic’s Priory, Stone) crossing third.
Billy Thorley (Stafford Grammar) captured the under-18 senior boys’ 3.2k title and fellow SGS sixth form students Sarah Lovewell and Catherine Horsnall took the top two places in the senior girls’ event.