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BGS scoops national schools’ cross-country title

Published Tuesday 18th of January 2022 12:00:00 PM

Teenagers from a Yorkshire school are celebrating after becoming senior national schools’ cross country champions.
The team from Bradford Grammar School (BGS) had a nine-hour trip to Tretherras School, in Newquay, to take part in the senior category of the English Schools’ Athletics Association Cross Country Cup.

Rebecca Flaherty, Amelie Lane, Emily Gibbins, Carla Barennes, Grace Dawson and Elsa Foster competed on a fast, challenging course that was muddy underfoot. Strong winds also made for a tough competition.

Rebecca led her teammates to victory from the start of the race to clinch first place. Amelie and Emily were just a short distance behind.

Sally Barennes, specialist running coach at BGS, said: “Rebecca’s confidence increased as the race went on, she held her form as well as the lead up and down the sharp inclines, gritted her teeth as it got tough and finished with three seconds to spare over her nearest rival. It was a great victory for her.

“Amelie and Emily had Rebecca in their sights and were also able to work off each other. Both themselves are seasoned competitors. They finished strongly, in 5th and 6th respectively.

“Every position counted for the team. Carla, Grace and Elsa found the course and conditions particularly gruelling, but they dug deep and were rewarded with good finishing positions. Overall, the girls were comfortable winners of the team race with 37 points to spare over their nearest rival, St Catherine’s School. We’re incredibly proud of all of the girls for becoming national cross country team champions.”

Oliver Rogers, director of sport at Bradford Grammar School, said: “BGS has a long tradition of excellence in the cross country and orienteering fields. The girls have worked incredibly hard for a number of years to get this far and to see them take it one step further and win the title was fantastic. Well done to all of them.”

The students are a young team and four will still be eligible in two years’ time. In the New Year, all six girls will compete in the Bradford, West Yorkshire and maybe also English Schools’ Cross Country as individuals. They also have the prestigious King Henry Relays to look forward to as a team.

The cross country title follows a successful year so far. Amelie won the ESAA Fell race Championships earlier this season and Emily recently won the British Schools Orienteering Championships. Rebecca and Emily also represented England at the Home Countries U18 International in the Lake District in the summer
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