Shropshire Star

Shropshire runners put on a good show in Yorkshire

Shropshire came home from the English Schools Cross Country Championships held at Pontefract Racecourse with plenty to shout about.


The county saw three girls finish in the top 16 places among a host of impressive performance in Yorkshire. The championships feature teams from 44 counties, with some 350 runners in each race.

The best Shropshire performance on the day came from Thomas Telford’s Zoe Gilbody, a previous four-time winner of the English Schools title – two on the track and two at cross country.

Gilbody is just returning to racing after a lengthy injury lay-off since July last year. Her first race back was due to be the National at Weston Park, which was unfortunately postponed due to flooded car parks.

She ran in the British under-20 inter-counties race at Nottingham last week, finishing 10th. And at Pontefract, she took part in the senior girls’ race over an undulating four-kilometre course and claimed a superb fifth-placed finish, just 20 seconds behind second place. GB International Innes FitzGerald, from Devon, dominated the race as she won by almost a minute.

The team had the best Shropshire team score of the day, finishing 27th out of the 44 taking part. Five of the Shropshire team were from Thomas Telford School with Rosie Kind 133rd, sister Ava Kind 147th, Isobele Standell 177th and Zoe Asquith 274th. Sophia Coulson, 187th, and Ella Leigh Livingstone, 281st, from Shrewsbury School, completed the line-up.

Wrekin College’s Chloe Stuart ran an amazing race in the junior girls, finishing a magnificent 11th – just seconds away from 10th and an England international call-up.

As it is, 11th gave her the first reserve place for the Home Countries International in Dublin next Saturday – a first for any Wrekin College student and with only a handful of Shropshire students ever getting anywhere near an England Schools International vest. Showing her amazing ability, Stuart even turned out to score a big victory in the Ercall Hill Race held the day after in Wellington.

Other Shropshire junior girl finishers were Annabelle Wood, Newport Girls High, 258th; Megan Buckingham, Church Stretton, 318th; Alisa Agrawal, Thomas Telford, 323rd; and Erin Woolcock, St Martins, 332nd.

Beth Trow from the Corbet School, Bascurch was the third top Shropshire performer on the day. She finished a brilliant 16th in the intermediate girls’ race.

The team finished 41st and the other team members were Elsa Lovelock, Church Stretton, 198th; Amelia Edge, Wrekin College, 317th; Polly Heintz, 331st; Amelia Blackledge, 340th; and Kitty Forrest, 341st; all from Shrewsbury School.

William Hughes, from Haberdasher Adams, Newport School, had the highest boys’ position of the day as he came home 76th in the junior boys’ race.

He was closely followed by William Neil, Priory School, in 127th. Ian Wang, another Haberdasher Adams student, was 250th, with Isaac Pollock, Belvidere 257th; Tom Lloyd, Meole Brace, 263rd; Stan Lammiman, Thomas Telford 286th; and Dylan Williams-Yang, Haberdasher Adams, 315th.

The team had the second highest Shropshire position on the day, 35th out of 44 counties.

Jack Stockton, from Oldbury Wells School, Bridgnorth, ran well and led the Intermediate boys’ team home in 81st. He was followed home by Zac Wasteney, Shrewsbury School, 156th; Simon Bagshaw, Idsall, 224th; Kody Gilbody, Thomas Telford, 295th; Alex Mackinmon 309th; and James Nash, 329th – both Shrewsbury School. The team were 39th out of 44.

Shrewsbury School’s Harry Parker McLain had a good run to place 84th in the senior boys’ race, held over a six-kilometre course.

Thomas Telford’s Charlie Preece was the next man home in 183rd, followed by Daniel Newman, from Shrewsbury College in 214th; Oliver Coburn, North Shropshire College, 243rd; Dom Weilds 258th; and Archie Price-Siddiqui 305th – both Shrewsbury School. The team had the equal second best place of the day, finishing 35th.