It takes more than a bit of mud to put Sussex’s cross country runners off, and on the evidence of the Sussex School Games, more than a bit of snow too. Almost 300 school-children braved the February chill to compete in the level three event at Hickstead Showground, travelling from every corner of the county.
Ground conditions forced a late change of course, and a large group of spectators lined the muddy bank as the girls took to the start-line. Two kilometres later, Eleanor from Maynards Green (North Wealden) came through the finishing line to claim her gold medal, closely followed by Dulcie from Balfour (Brighton and Hove) in second and Holly from West Park (Southern) in third.
The boys’ race started with drama as two unfortunate Hastings and Rother runners clashed off the start-line, but Fionn from Bishop Tuffnell (West Sussex West), Ziggy from Burwash (North Wealden) and Harry from Southwater (Central) emerged from the pack in first, second and third places respectively.
Beyond the top three, runners were vying for places to earn vital points in the team competition. The winning girls team were Brighton and Hove (135), followed by Mid Sussex (167) and Southern Area (178).
Mid Sussex (168) took the boys team crown, with Southern Area (172) in second and South Downs (181) in third.
Thank you to Judy Lasis, Linda Ingle, Sussex Athletics and all of the volunteers and staff that helped make this event happen.