In the last big schools cross country race of the season, Chiltern athletes finished in fine form. The best 24 schools in each age group from all around England came together to compete in an event postponed from December in the picturesque surroundings of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
There were thirteen Chiltern Harriers competing across four schools in the junior and intermediate age teams. Hannah Morton gained the best individual performance of the day with second in the Junior Girls and the Challoners Grammar quartet of Will Perkin, Sam Henning, Rob Hall and Fred Sanders achieving a splendid team effort with third place in the Junior Boys.
The Junior Boys event was the second race of the day and on a very short but tough, hilly and stony course of 2750m, the DCGS boys had hopes of a top five or ten position. Will Perkin led the team out strongly and made up a handful of places to finish a superb 8th in 9.17. Sam Henning continued his great recent form but had a nasty fall on a steep section and lost several places. He recovered to finish a very good 24th in 9.38 just ahead of Rob Hall in 25th (9.40) and Fred Sanders in 27th (9.41).
The points score of 84 would have been enough to win last year's event but this year achieved third place behind strong teams from Queen's College Taunton (69) and Southend High School (77). David Willcox had a solid run to be 77th from the 137 finishers.
The Junior Girls had an even shorter challenge of just 2100m. Hannah Morton running for Aylesbury High School broke fast from the pen and maintained a great tempo to finish a brilliant second in 7.19. Katie Bench of Beaconsfield High had a good run to be 44th in 8.02 and their second scorer, and Hannah Thear started very fast leading out for Wycombe High but faded to 50th in 8.05. Sophie Chesterman was Chiltern's other interest, third Becky High scorer in 76th in 8.22. Aylesbury were 6th, Beaconsfield 14th and Wycombe 20th. The Intermediate Boys ran over 4250m and the Dr Challoners Grammar team featured four Chiltern runners. James McCarthy was first scorer in 23rd in 14.50 with Joe Aherne 26th in 14.52. Andrew Stenning had been ill in the week but still managed 62nd place in 15.29 as third scorer. Joe Cochrane was sixth Challoners fnisher in 110th in 16.21. The DCGS team finished in 12th place