Young runners brave 'worst ever' race conditions
GROUND conditions on the course for the third fixture of the Restormel Junior Schools' Cross Country League at the Par Recreational Fields, adjacent to Par Athletics Track, were as bad as they have ever been since the league's inception in 1998, forcing the re-alignment of one section to avoid deep surface water.
Despite this, 364 children completed the four races over the Year 5 and six distances, many returning to school for their afternoon lessons covered in mud, as they slithered and skidded into the finish line, which soon resembled a skating rink.
The Year 5 Boys' race saw its third winner in as many races and remains the most open of all four age groups as it heads into the final two races in the New Year.
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Siam Juntakeret (St Petroc's) has moved from third to second and now equals the points overall with Connor Cooke (St Stephen), who has also held all three top places, this time in second.
Archie Bees (Pondhu) is still in touch with a fourth, first and now third but with the best four from five results counting, anyone can win this age group.
Having taken team wins in all four age groups last month, St Petroc's Bodmin repeated this achievement taking the first of the day but by only three points from St Mewan.
Siam, James Hurst (9th), Sam Smith (11th) and Harvey Orchard (12th) made the difference.
However, with only one point overall separating the two schools, this is also likely to go down to the final event for the title. Charlestown moved into the top three for the first time.
Maddy Babb (Roselyon) was celebrating her first win in the Year 5 Girls event after league leader Chloe Pettitt (St Stephen) was clearly out of sorts finishing fourth, a position she may be able to discard at the end of the season.
Maddy has been showing a steady upturn of form and improved her overall chances in the table.
Tia Brown (St Petroc's) was the big mover of the day, having previously finished fifth, then tenth, she rocketed into second ahead of Elisha Murphy (Tywardreath), who was back in the top three after a slight dip last month.
St Petroc's second win over Tywardreath and St Mewan was clear cut with Alishia Davey (10th), Lola Armour (13th) and Rachel Trethewey (14th) backing Tia's second place.
As with last year, Tom Randles (Tywardreath) is starting to stamp his mark on the Year 6 Boys' title race with his second win of the series, but still does not have everything his own way in the closest top three finishers of the day.
Charlie Parker (St Petroc's) and Huey Campbell (St Mewan) made this an exciting race to watch as they vied for the lead until small gaps developed as they turned into the final 200m run-in.
With only three to score in the older races, St Petroc's took advantage with their trio of Charlie, Jack MacKenzie (7th) and Tom Anderson (8th).
St Mewan took the second spot but could rue the team number change with four in the top nineteen and Tywardreath who also had William Wright at sixth could have challenged with another high scorer.
Keeping up her 100 per cent record of wins this year and seemingly unstoppable, the biggest winning margin of the day went to Clare Tapsell (St Petroc's) who stormed off from the start of the Year 6 Girls race and steadily built up a 30 second lead to the line.
Neve Birnie (Grampound With Creed) tried to keep in contention and managed to hold a clear second place to repeat last month's position with Ellie Phipps (Roche) making the break through into the top three for the first time.
The overall third place will be closely contested if Ellie's school mate, Ellie Trevail gets back to form after a blip in the mud with Rosie Dowen (St Petroc's) a consistent fourth place still able to move into the overall top three.
Clare, Rosie and Amy Crane gave St Petroc's their clearest win over Biscovey and an equal tally for Carclaze and St Stephen, although, the team results are still to be confirmed as one finisher does not appear to have been declared and could affect the points when established.
This will not influence the first placing or the top individual positions.
The change to three scorers has benefited this smaller race the most but there were still several schools that still needed the third athlete to put them in the overall frame.