AN Independent school on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border had 12 student represent the Midlands at the National Cross County Championships held at Princethorpe in Warwickshire.

Bedstone College only has 200 students, but from their Junior School, Catty Collings came 23rd in the Year Four race, with Emily Gurney finishing 48th.

In the Under-12 boys category, Archie Collings was eighth, despite only being 10 years old, while Tesni Beavon from Year Six came 36th and Phoebe Rozee, a reserve, coming in 53rd. Michael Beavan, meanwhile, was 33rd in the Year Nine and 10 boys section, with Dan Walker 43rd.

In the under 18 boys’ race, Freddie Baum was eighth with a great time of 18 minutes and nine seconds, pipping Archie Pugh, who came 11th, by 10 seconds.

Both boys are in Year 11 and competed against Sixth Form students.

Fiona Patterson had the stand-out performance with a fifth place position in the Under-18girls competition, where Leah Boyd finished 15th.

"These results are a fantastic achievement for this small, independent school," said Rachel Pritchard, director of admissions and marketing at Bedstone College.

"Over six per cent of the whole school was selected to represent the Midlands, picked from the best runners from over 30 often much larger schools.

"Further, Bedstone as a school is not selective or offering full scholarships for good sportsmen and women.

"Instead, it focuses simply on bringing out the best in every child, finding their talents and helping every student achieve their very best.

"The highly experienced teachers work hard to instil a sense of healthy competition with good sportsmanship,teamwork, leadership and encouraging every young person to push themselves that little bit further.

"The proof that this approach works is shown by the results."