Restormel Junior Schools Cross Country championships at Fowey
IT was testament to the tenacity of the local schools, their young pupils and the Fowey student leaders who assisted the organisers that the fourth Restormel Junior Schools Cross Country went ahead on Wednesday despite a forecast which in the past would have led to a cancellation.
Over the 14 years the league has led a charmed life with only three previous fixtures having to be cancelled due to weather conditions.
This time, there was not even a single phone call to check if the meeting was going ahead.
Some may have wished they had after the rain did eventually arrive towards the end of the four races but the conditions underfoot, from the start, were probably some of the worst that the athletes have had to endure with several shoes being left in the mud and bedraggled children making their way back to schools for their afternoon sessions.
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The races did determine most of the individual placings with one further fixture in February to tidy up the unresolved team positions.
With four best scores to count from the five fixtures these penultimate races saw some youngsters able to go into the final event having already done enough for the top three places.
Harvey Orchard (St Petroc's) had to concede to Samuel Knobloch (Charlestown) for the second time, who closed up on the table leader, beating him by a narrow 6 second margin. This Year 5 age group is the only individual title which will go right to the wire at the last race.
Orchard still holds the upper hand with the lower overall score but with a brace of wins each, a third win for Knobloch would close the gap, the fifth score would then come into account.
Brodie Brydon Campbell (St Petroc's) made it into the top three for the first time, improving at every race. His team-mate, Zac Hancock, could discount his seventh placing and is in best position for the bronze medal.
Patrick Lovell (St Mewan) almost caught Campbell for his best run, holding off Ashley Faulds (St Stephen).
With the scoring four in the top 11 places, St Petroc's, Bodmin, wrapped up the team title with their lowest total so far, Isaac James being the fourth counter.
St Mewan were once again second and St Stephen Churchtown evened up the overall score for third place with Charlestown, beating them for the second time and opening up a final decider to keep the interest going.
Jessica Spry (St Stephen) was the first of the remaining table toppers to complete her fourth successive win to ensure the Year 5 Girls title with another emphatic victory.
Amy Richards (Lanlivery) looks to have done enough with her third placing at second but there was a top three position from Jenny Hughes (St Stephen) for the first time to put her in contention, along with several other girls, for the overall third.
This is the most complicated with scores able to be discarded or athletes having only complete three races so far still able to put in a high postion at the final race.
Katie Thomas chose to compete in the worst conditions for the first time for St Mabyn and thrived at fourth with one of the other girls in contention, Isabella Aldred (Roselyon) at fifth. After Spry, Hughes, Mia Snow (20th) and Meghan Sims (21st) gave St Stephen Churchtown there first win, any of three teams could win this title.
Biscovey, who were in the lead are now equal with a second place, St Mewan could discard their fourth and for good measure, St Petroc's improved to third for the first time. This keenly contested match will be the one to watch next month.
Si-am Juntakereket (St Petroc's) was in no mood to give up his 100 per cent record and stormed off from the start to win but behind him, Reece McKnight clearly loved the mud and water, having been outside of the top ten previously, he celebrated a rare second place, pushing the overall runner up, James Hurst (St Petroc's) into third.
As with the Year 5 Girls, this Year 6 Boys event still has everything to play for after Connor Cooke (St Stephen) helped his chances of a top overall placing at fourth with Jak Tindal (St Mary's), Charlie Teague (Biscovey) and Archie Bees (Pondhu) all still able to pull back from low positions. Jowan Rawson (8th) completed the St Petroc's trio for their fourth win. Probus's second was the first time in the series, lowering Biscovey to the third spot but they still hold second overall. St Mewan at fourth could still grab back a top three overall placing.
The final race of the day saw an increase in the rain intensity but this did not deter Chloe Pettitt (St Stephen) from sprinting away from the start line, also determined not to lose her 100 per cent record.
Again, as in the boys race, she did not look as though she would be caught even though Tia Brown (St Petroc's) put in a concerted second half to close the gap. She was assured of the runners-up position.
Another third for Amara Thompson (Mount Charles) makes her favourite for the bronze but could be put under pressure from fourth placed Elisha Murphy (Tywardreath) who has only completed three races so far.
Maddie Babb's (Roselyon) late charge to fifth also puts her in the frame if she can get back into the top three. St Petroc's bounced back to first and now have equal points overall with Mount Charles, who they pushed into second on the day, thanks to Brown, Loa Armour (12th) and Chloe Trudgeon (13th).
Tywardreath finished third but are unlikely to overturn the third placing overall of St Stephen Churchtown who were fourth.