Final preparations are being made for the New Balance English Schools’ Cross Country Championships this weekend.
The event takes place at Temple Newsam Park, near Leeds, where young runners from each of the 46 counties will compete to be crowned the best in England.
It starts at 12:30pm UK time on Saturday in Yorkshire and extended highlights will be streamed at 6pm UK time that evening and available on demand thereafter.
The action can be watched here on runjumpthrow.com and Runnerspace.com if you live in North America.
How it works:
There are six races in total, separated into boys and girls for each age group; juniors (under-15), intermediates (under-17), and seniors (under-19).
Teams comprise a maximum of twelve athletes, of which eight are allowed to compete. The first six finishers in each team count towards the team competition. At the end, finishing positions are added up, and the one with the lowest score wins. If there is a tie, the team whose sixth athlete home finished higher will take precedence.
Winners over the last couple of years include the reigning European under-20 Cross Country champion Harriet Knowles-Jones. Last year, the senior boys race was won by triathlete Ben Dijkstra. A double gold medallist at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games at 15-years-old – Ben went on to win under-20 bronze at the World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in the summer.
Khahisa Mhlanga took the senior girls race before adding the title of European under-20 champion to her growing collection in Grosseto, Italy last July. The Chelmsford athlete, who turned 18 in December, has made a name for herself over 800m, managing to lower her personal best to 2:04.34, putting her at the top of the 2017 under-20 rankings in England.
Who to look out for:
Mhlanga has been named among the Essex team and appears to be set on defending her title in 2018. Alongside her hoping to do well will be Amelia Quirk of Berkshire, who just missed out on a European junior medal in the 1500m in Italy. In the senior boys race, South of England under-20 cross champion Elliott Dee is one of the likely contenders.
The action begins at 12.30pm UK time with the first race, with each being followed by the corresponding presentation ceremony.
12.30 pm – Intermediate Girls Championship – 3800 metres
1.00 pm – Junior Boys Championship – 4100 metres
1.30 pm – Junior Girls Championship – 3100 metres
2.00 pm – Intermediate Boys Championship – 5200 metres
2.35 pm – Senior Girls Championship – 4100 metres
3.05 pm – Senior Boys Championship – 6800 metres