By Henry Fagan
On Thursday 18 November, the cross country team with members from year groups across the School travelled to Richmond Park to compete in the annual Richmond Schools Championships. The team was made up of 36 athletes, each eager to qualify for the Middlesex Cross country team. The event took place across the whole afternoon and many schools took part from across the borough, bringing their top runners from each age category – U19, U17, U15 and U13.
In the U15 race, Second Year pupil Marcus Solomon won the race and secured the coveted Gold medal, his triumphant moment captured on the Hampton Sport’s Twitter feed, a real achievement in a strong field which included twelve Hampton Second and Third Years.
In the U17 race, Fifth Year pupil Ethan Flack received the Bronze medal, finishing third out of a field of over 100 participants containing nine Hamptonians. A special mention goes to Freddie Bate who put in a strong performance on his first race back from injury.
So far so good, but then events took a rather unfortunate turn…
A decision to combine the girls’ and boys’ race for the U19 category went unnoticed by any Hampton athlete such that the race started without a Hampton soul on the start line but certainly in sight of it! After some high-level negotiation from Mr Mills, a separate time trial race was constructed for the seven Hamptonians. Despite the lack of competition, the squad put in a sterling team effort and having checked our times with those of the actual race participants, it transpired that Henry Fagan actually came first overall and Charlie Coulter, who only until recently had been doing Rowing as a sports option, finished in third place.
The course was very familiar to the majority of the team who had been training around the same hilly routes during lockdown. Thank you to Mr Mills, Mr Ting and Mr McTernan for ensuring that we all had the chance to compete despite the older team’s mishap and we look forward to competing in the Judge Cup relay races on Wednesday, a little closer to Hampton.