AFTER making it through school, district and county competitions, 46 athletes from Herefordshire and Worcestershire headed to Liverpool for the “New Balance” English Schools’ Cross Country Championships.

The annual national schools competition sees 45 counties come together to compete for individual and team trophies, in races with up 350 competitors.

The muddy course was one of the challenges, nevertheless, all the H&W athletes completed their respective races and with a least six finishers, Hereford & Worcestershire yet again featured in all the team score results and an aggregate team score total for males and females.

The senior boys' and girls' teams gained the best points scores (1044 & 1045 respectively, both placing 32nd in the county placings) whilst the intermediate girls placed the highest county position - 29th with 1058 points.

Girls team captain, Holly Love (The Chase School, Malvern) gained a top 100 place, finishing 99th, in the senior girls race in her sixth and final year at English Schools Cross Country. Love's team-mate, Tiegan Ward, from Hereford Sixth Form College, was close behind, finishing 112th.

Also in the senior girls' team Aoibh Clarke (Lucton School) and

Lucy Austin (Hereford Cathedral School) also gave it their best.

Emma Young, from Malvern College, improved her position by 80 places from last year, to place 108th in the junior girls' age group.

Meanwhile, Lilia Mico (Malvern St James) in her first English Schools competition finished 136th in the same race.

Also the junior girls team Darcy Clarke (Lucton School) was also in action.

Amongst the H&W boys there was a battle to be the highest finisher.

Thomas Birley (another Malvern College athlete) secured this accolade in his first year as an intermediate boy, in 110th place.

Also in the intermediate boys Matthew Brunnock (Whitecross HS) and Joe Collins (Fairfield HS) were competing for honours.

In the senior boys age group, Malachi Cashmore from The Chase School in Malvern, improved on his position from last year, to be the highest H&W athlete placing 123rd.

Herefordshire had a trio of runners in the senior boys with Will Kennedy (Hereford Sixth Form College), Forbes Wilson (Lucton School) and Harry Ratcliffe (John Kyrle HS) all competing.

Finally for Herefordshire in the junior boys' race was Ned Collins (Fairfield HS) and Benjamin Hawkyard (St Mary’s RCHS).