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Hampton success at Tiffin School’s Judge Cup cross country relay

By Henry Fagan

On a Wednesday afternoon in November, 12 Hamptonians made their way to Tiffin School’s playing fields to each compete in a 2.8km race against several other local schools. The weather was cold yet dry, and the course only had a small number of hills, making it perfect for fast times.

The format of the race was a relay with each school entering two teams, an A team and a B team, with six athletes per team. The team had to comprise of one First Year, one Second Year, one Third Year, one Fourth Year and then two Seniors (Fifth Year and above), with the order of the relay going from the youngest to oldest competitor.

In the first leg, the First Year B team runner actually finished faster than the A team runner rendering the B team ahead of the A team after the first stage. However, this all changed when Second Year Marcus Solomon began running his leg. Marcus had already made up the gap to second after his first lap and if he’d been given more time, he would have surely overtaken first place. Marcus secured an impressive course record for the Year 8 category.

Through the third, fourth, fifth and sixth legs of the A team race, the Hampton athletes Oli Swetman (Third Year), Sam Bond (Fourth Year), Ethan Flack (Fifth Year) and Henry Fagan (Lower Sixth), managed to hold on to second place by a comfortable margin yet unfortunately first place was nowhere to be seen due to the speed with which the opposition finished the race. Although they had the slight advantage of having two Upper Sixth runners as their seniors, Judd’s School put in a very strong effort to win the Gold. Unfortunately, the B team just missed out on the medals with a fourth place finish, yet all the athletes on the B team still ran very well, and taking part strengthened the squad for the next meet.

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