The ISA Cross Country Championships took place on Wednesday 22nd January at Scarisbrick Hall. The switch to a new venue was totally justified, as the grounds of the picturesque Lancashire school proved ideal for a cross country course. With the mile run taking in fields, woods, road and lots of mud, this was a real test of mental strength and physical stamina. With 25 of the 35 Bridgewater competitors having run in the Salford League, they were prepared for a test, but maybe not such a tough test!
The U10 girls’ 1000m race launched the event. Once again, Ada led the Bridgewater chase and finished in a fabulous 17th place. With over 120 competing in each race from 20 schools, this was a superb achievement, especially as many of the runners were also a year older. Furthermore, the next Bridgewater runner Maya, finished in 90th, followed by Amelia (97), Lucy (102) and Lottie, Angel and Hannah all in the 120s.
In the U9 boys’ race, Alex topped the list of the Bridgewater runners, finishing in an impressive 24th. Tommy Jack (49), Anton (54) and San (59) ran in almost together, with Samuel (89) and Raj (95) further down the field. The youngest runner in the entire competition Jensen ran bravely to cross the line in 123rd.
The U11 boys faired much better, following on from their impressive form in the Salford Cross Country League. Luca ran superbly to lead the Bridgewater team over the line with an amazing run to finish in 14th. Luca out sprinted Alfie who tired near the end, but can take pride in a 20th position. Thomas ran a brilliant race to cross in 22nd and Tobias (46), Regan (43) and Sebastian (45) added to the U11 team achieving a top five position overall. Moaed lost his trainer to hop home in 84th, with Hari suffering a similar fate in the home run to put him in 70th. David, Harrison and Josh all finished around the 100 mark in a fast and tough 1500m race.
In the final race of the day before the Senior races took place, the U11 girls took to an increasingly muddy course. Yasmeen was determined to extract revenge on Anya, who beat her to the line in the final Salford race of the year on Saturday. Yasmeen raced ahead of the Bridgewater pack to finish in 39th, with Anya (65), Evie (69), Chloe (86), Mia (76), trailing in her wake. The final Bridgewater runners, Esme, Molly, Abigail and Molly, all made it into the top 100 and will be back for another go at the event next year. Once again, Alia showed her tenacity and commitment by completing the course to tremendous encouragement from the rest of the girls.
All in all, the new venue for the ISA event was a huge success, with competitors having to run a serious cross country course. A special well done to Luca, Ada, Alfie, Thomas and Alex, as to finish so high up in high quality fields is a fantastic achievement. Hopefully, our runners will be inspired enough to join Mr. Grant and Mr. Suter on a Friday lunch time at the Prep Cross country Club. See you there!