The ESAA National Cross Country Championship is the most eagerly anticipated event of the winter for young athletes, and you could say we’re quite excited for the action too. It’s the 59th Boys and 51st Girls championships in 2019 and it will be taking place in Temple Newsam Park, Leeds on Saturday 16th March, the same location as 2018. Set within a historic estate of over 1500 acres of parkland, the course is set to be a scenic yet challenging one for all.
We’ll be providing coverage of the event as delayed stream, so you’ll be able to watch all of the action in the evening in the comfort of your own home. Also keep an eye on social media and our live bog page for live action of the day.
Last year saw Matthew Willis of Cheshire take the Senior Boy’s title, 18 seconds ahead of 3000m specialist, Cambridgeshire’s Thomas Keen. Willis had a solid 2018 and went on to finish 14th at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg at the end of the year. Holly Page of Kent headed up the Senior Girls field, 10 seconds clear of second. But, no longer junior athletes, Willis and Page leave the 2019 titles to the younger generation.
In the Senior Girls this year, clear favourite is surely Greater Manchester’s Keely Hodgkinson and we spoke to her a few weeks ago. She was top of the rankings in 2018 over the 800m, clocking 2:04.26 back in May, and she finished in second here this time last year behind Merseyside’s Ella McNiven. Henry McLuckie of Hampshire and Vets moves up into the Senior Boys ranks this time around, after winning the title here last year in the Intermediate Boys. But, he’ll be up against the silver medallist Thomas Keen who will compete here for the final time as a junior. With no Matthew Willis, the 8:14.41 3000m man will be looking to take the national title in Leeds.
In the junior categories, run away favourite last year was Woody Jerome for the Junior Boys with his convincing win by 9 seconds. Speaking of wood, Beatrice Wood of Wiltshire was the Junior Girls winner who will compete at an Intermediate Girl this time around. Click here for a full list of last year’s winners.
The course this year is almost identical to the course in 2018 and the distances covered by each age group will be:
Junior Girls: 3km
Junior Boys: 4.1km
Intermediate Girls: 3.71km
Intermediate Boys: 5.22km
Senior Girls: 4.1km
Senior Boys: 6.7km
Full full course details, timetables and country entries, head over to the event page on the English Schools Athletics Association website.