The Primary and Year 7 National Schools’ Cross Country Championships, organised by England Athletics, will take place on Saturday 23rd March at Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire.
The event will incorporate Leicestershire & Rutland Primary Schools County Championships, with young athletes and clubs battling it out to be crowned champions of their county.
Despite the fact that some runners on the day will be barely 8 years old, the event has proved a popular championships over the years and an important setting stone for athletes moving up the age groups ready for the English Schools Championships, once they reach Year 8.
To provide some clarity of the categories and schedule on the day, the Year 3 and 4 races are run as just a local championships, given their age, with the older students competing in the national championships.
Moving up an age group, Years 5 and 6 are a combined national and county championships, meaning that Leicestershire and Rutland areas compete using teams selected by the area team managers.
Eva Scott of Norfolk AC is one to watch in the Year 5 age group, with her average road mile being around 6 minutes. She’s won the East Anglian IAPs XC championship plus the Norfolk School games XC final for the 2nd year in a row & bronze overall for the Ryston Runners U11 grand prix series. A hilly and windy 2km cross country at the Norfolk Grand Prix Final saw her take the silver in a PB of 8:08, the fastest Year 5. So, she’s on our radar this weekend and will be looking to take the title in her age group.
In the Year 6 age group, Shaikira King looks to be a hot favourite. She was last year’s Year 5 champion and has been undefeated in all 12 cross country league events from Year 3-6. She is also currently ranked 1st in the UK for her age group over the 600m, with a PB of 1:46.5.
The incorporated national championships and Year 7 will be competed for by teams and individuals from around the country including those from Leicestershire and Rutland who were not selected for their area team.
For the oldest age group, the Year 7s, this is unquestionably an interesting event from a team mangers perspective, as it gives them a good indicator as to who are stand-out favourites and will be ones to watch at the English Schools Cross Country Championships the following year.
A provisional timetable of the day can be found here.