Three cross country events were held in the grounds of Christ’s Hospital School during February and March – the Sussex Schools Years 7 and 8, the Horsham District Years 5 and 6 and the School’s own Steeplechase when all year groups participate.
The Sussex Schools Years 7 and 8 Cross Country Championships took place on 27 February in glorious sunshine. The CH grounds staff had worked wonders to ensure the course was very well presented, despite all the heavy rain over the winter.
Over 600 runners attended from 60 schools. A good number of County officials were in attendance, and to also help ensure the event ran smoothly CH provided over 40 GCSE PE pupils to act as marshals on the course at the finish line and in the results pavilion.
All the age group races were well contested with some 150+ runners in all the races. The winning schools were: Year 7 Vinehall and St Leonards; Year 8 Seaford Head and Brighton Hove Girls.
Presentations were made by the Association’s President, Reg Hook. The Championship Cross-Country Secretary Chris Jones, hailed the Championships a great success, providing a great afternoon of sport and socialising for the young athletes.
The Horsham Area Primary Schools Years 5 and 6 Cross Country Championships was the next event which was held on 6 March. 25 schools made for a large field in both the boys and the girls events and once again CH pupils were on hand to act as marshals for the event. David Messenger said: “It is fantastic to see so many youngsters enjoying their running; it is a pleasure for CH to be able to host such a great event for local primary schools.”
After two very competitive races all the points were counted and Steyning Primary came out on top of the girls’ event and Southwater Junior Academy won the boys’ event. Zara Smith (Steyning) won the girls’ event and Sam Clarke (Heron Way) was the individual victor in the boys’ race. Following the presentations, the event organiser Martin Masingiri, congratulated everyone who took part and gave special thanks to the CH and grounds staff for all their efforts to help the day run smoothly.
The final cross country event of the term was the CH Steeplechase on 13 March in the sun soaked grounds. The course incorporated the surrounding fields to provide a challenge for all age groups. There were six races in total. David Messenger said: “I was impressed with the spirit and enthusiasm with which the pupils participated. Special mention must be made to Rob Vallance for winning the Senior Boys race in a time which was over two minutes ahead of the 2nd placed runner. Helen Jones (Captain of Athletics) is also to be congratulated, winning this event in her first year at the School.”
The Steeplechase finished in the Quad, with the competitors running the last 200m of the race up the Avenue to the cheers of their friends and parents which gave a real boost to the final sprint home!