Cross country boys take on England’s top runners

Wednesday 6 December 2017

At the end of November the junior boys and intermediate boys teams from Senior School at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) competed in the English Schools’ Athletic Association Cross Country Cup grand final.

The boys had earned their place in the national final following two preliminary rounds (local and regional), from which only the top three schools in each progressed to the next round.

They were excellent ambassadors for GSAL on their trip to Sevenoaks School in Kent, where a tough course and icy conditions awaited them.

Despite missing team number 1 Joe Sherman, the intermediate boys ran well against other elite runners from the country, with Lucien Cuming Y10 GSAL’s first runner over the line, followed by Sam Akerman Y10, Sam Williams Y9, Daniel Smallbone Y9, Ben Hall Y10, and Joe Moody Y10.

Sebastien Cuming Y8 provided a nail-biting finish to the junior boys race, with a sprint finish for first place. Sebastien narrowly missed out, but his runner-up place makes him GSAL’s most successful male athlete to date in the national finals.

The rest of the junior team (Oli Baugh Y8, Barnaby Daccus Y8, Joe Conaghan Y8, and Marcus Webb Y7) ran well, with special mention for Josh Marlow Y7 racing a year young and finishing just outside the top half of the field.

Team coach Jon Tyndall said: “Racing at this elite level is tough, and all boys finished the race despite some injury. It is a mark of the character of these young men that they completed the course, and goes to show that GSAL boys always finish what they start.”

Photo: Back (L-R): Samuel Williams and Daniel Smallbone; Front (L-R): Marcus Webb, Joe Conaghan, Oli Baugh, Sebastien Cuming, Barnaby Daccus, Josh Marlow

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