The final race in the Bridgewater Cross Country trilogy came to a head last week, as Prep III-VI competed for the House Cup. With points allocated for every runner finishing the race, it was a real team event and every child would certainly matter. Following on from the success of the virtual events in the Salford League and the AJIS Championships, the new internal competition promised to be an exciting one. However, with 78 runners from four classes, nobody could predict just how close the final result would be!
The first two races took place on Wednesday 25th November, with Prep V and VI in action on a new course around Bridgewater School. With the fields deemed too wet, a new course was hastily designed to ensure it met the 1600 metre (1 mile) required distance. The Boys’ VI race was another classic, with Alfie chased by Luca and Sebastian once more to secure another victory. All three boys set personal bests and reduced overall times down to 6 minutes 12 seconds for the 1 mile race. Despite losing both trainers somewhere on the course, Alfie refused to be beaten and showed incredible resilience to cross the line in first place. The respect the boys showed for each other was an absolute pleasure to see and the admiration for each was genuine and clear to see. With Luca, Harrison and Jackson all improving their times on each of the three races and Jonnie taking nearly three minutes of his last run, it is a clear that health and fitness is on the up at Bridgewater Prep. Alfie may have won the race for the Green House, but it was the Yellow House that earned the most points overall.
The Green House took the honours in the Prep VI Girls’ race too, with Molly once again holding off Esme to seal a hat trick of wins. This was all the more remarkable as the top four girls were all separated by a mere three seconds! In fact, Abigail, Jasmine, Miranda and Kayley all showed the importance of attitude and determination as each shaved almost two minutes off their previous times. The Yellow House gained another 28 points for their House to stretch their overall lead over the Green and Blue Houses.
If the Prep VI races were close, then we needed VAR to determine who won the Prep V Boys’ race! Alex and Anton were awarded the same time, but it was Alex who was once again declared the winner by the narrowest of margins. Frankie and Sam had a similar battle for the final podium position, with Tommy Jack getting closer by the second. The Yellow House took another impressive haul of points, but the Blue House started to show signs of a fight back, thanks to the efforts of Anton, Tommy and Mark. The Prep V Girls’ race was not such a close affair, with Maya winning for the third time for the Green House. Maya added some valuable points for the Yellow House, but thanks to Ava, Hannah and Elissa the Green House closed the gap considerably. By the end of the first day of competition the Yellow House had opened up an 8 point lead at the top of the table and it was all down to Prep III and IV to see who would lift the Bridgewater House Cross Country Cup 2020.
The Prep III races have been of an exceptional standard in the two previous events and this one was to be no different. Oscar made it a family double by romping home in a time that would have given older brother Alfie a run for his money! Oscar was chased home by Henry, Oliver and Jacob to give the Green House a boost in the race for the title. Jensen and Daniel added to Oscar’s tally for the Blue House, whilst the most improved performance went to Mason, who took three minutes off his original time! In the Prep III Girls’ race, it was Maia who once again left the field trailing, sprinting home in a fantastic time of 8 minutes 12 seconds. This secured more useful points for the Blue House, although it was becoming a two horse race between the Yellow and Green House at this stage of the competition. However, with the Yellow House benefiting from tremendous runs by Emily, Isabella, Ying Wun and Lucy it was down to the last race to see who would be the first winners of the inaugural Bridgewater House Cup for Cross Country.
It was all to play for going into the final race, with the Green House needing to gain 34 points over the Yellow House to lift the trophy. With San comfortably winning the race once more, this extended the overall lead of the Yellow House. However, thanks to Lucas, Frankie, Toby, Alex and Min Jun the Green House incredibly not only reduced the deficit, but took the lead! Just before the champagne could be cracked open and the celebrations could begin, Leo crossed the line to pick up six momentous points to bring the total scores to:
3rd Place BLUE HOUSE on 57 points.
2nd Place GREEN HOUSE on 150 points.
1st Place YELLOW HOUSE on 152 points.
The fastest 15 runners from across all age groups were as follows;
- ALFIE (Prep VI) 6mins 33 seconds.
- LUCA (Prep VI) 6mins 35 seconds.
- SEBASTIAN (Prep VI) 6 mins 47 seconds.
- JOSHUA (Prep VI) 7 mins 25 seconds
- ALEX (Prep V) 7 mins 32 seconds
- ANTON (Prep V) 7 mins 33 seconds
- OSCAR (Prep III) 7 mins 37 seconds
- HARRISON (Prep VI) 7mins 40 seconds
- LUCA (Prep VI) 8 mins 11 seconds
- MAIA (Prep III) 8mins 12 seconds
It was a thrilling end to a series of events that have surpassed expectation overall. The U10 Boys won the Salford Virtual Cross Country League Team event, with Alex recording the fastest time in Salford. Over the course of the term, 79% of our runners improved their times significantly and can be very proud of their efforts to do so. Some runners even took 2-3 minutes off their times, emphasising that attitude and determination is a game changer when looking to do anything well.
The improvement in physical health and fitness since September is important during these incredibly unusual and difficult times around the world. It has been a real pleasure to see all Bridgewater Prep children from EYFS to Prep VI enjoying PE lessons and attending a variety of lunch time and after school clubs. With the focus being on providing fun, safe activities to boost activity level and promote health and fitness, it is safe to say that the children have responded superbly to the challenge. During a six week unit of fitness work using the Multi Stage Fitness Test, 80% of Prep III-VI improved their levels significantly. The addition of Sports Captains and the introduction of Playground Leaders in January will further enhance the quality of break, lunch time and extra-curricular sport at Bridgewater. Hopefully, the new term will bring about happier times in all respects and we can look back at our “virtual sporting experiences” as a catalyst for even greater successes in and outside the classroom and of Bridgewater. Thank you to everyone who has made this such an enjoyable and rewarding term and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.