ESAA Cross Country success at Pocklington School

Arial photograph of the ESAA Cross Country Course at Pocklington School

Pocklington School hosted the first round of the English Schools' Athletic Association Cross Country Cup earlier this month, welcoming pupils from 12 schools competing for places in the regional final.

In total 229 runners, including several from Pocklington School, competed on a course which was soft after heavy rain, making for a highly competitive tactical cross country fixture. The route stretched across the main playing fields and around the rugby pitches at the far end of the campus. Runners had to negotiate a water hazard, gravel path, trees and shrubs and two mini climbs!

The Junior Girls, who ran 2290m, launched the event with 66 runners - the largest number of competitors in any of the four races. Pocklington School impressed as the team qualified for the regional final in style as champions. A special mention to Niamh Clements and Laura Brooks for strong runs to finish 1st and 2nd.

The Junior Boys also ran well over 2650m but didn't have the strength in depth to gather quite enough points to qualify. They finished 7th overall

The Intermediate Girls also qualified for a place in the regional final, coming a close second to a strong set of runners from South Hunsley School. A special mention to Erin Redfern who led the 2650m race for the first kilometre and then hung on despite suffering from hip pain. Also to Emma Forsyth for her trademark strong last kilometre, picking off competitors at will!

The Intermediate Boys’ race included some strong athletes from across the region and the 4200m course was starting to soften and cut up after three races, which provided an extra challenge. Pocklington ended fifth despite Lucas Walton running out hard to try and break the competition and strong finishes from Henry Rodmell and Thomas McDowell.

The cross country route had been carefully and meticulously marked out with some fabulous work from our grounds staff. It was well marshalled by both staff and our team of Lower Sixth sports leaders, who used the event to gain experience as well as help complete their course. 

Sixth Form Sport Leader students helping on the course of the ESAA Country CupTheir efforts earned praise from the ESAA secretary for the Humberside region, who said: “Pocklington did a great job staging the event giving the athletes an interesting course, well-marked and with plenty of folks around the course to make sure everyone went in the right direction. The recorders and number distributer did a brilliant job and didn't buckle under pressure."   

Students finishing the course said although it was a challenge they had lots of fun – apart from the running through water part!

Robin Crewes, Teacher i/c Boys Cross Country, said: “It was a thrilling day of cross country racing with the soft ground making the course tougher than it looked. However, the rain stopped and with the large number of participants it was a great morning of friendly but competitive racing. All runners were supported around the course and applauded over the finishing line, demonstrating the fact that fitness can be simple, easy and - most importantly - fun.”

He added: “To get two teams through to the regional finals [on November 9] was a fantastic bonus.  Well done to all athletes who took part.” 

Pocklington School’s individual results were (noted in finish order):

Pocklington School Junior Girls team at the ESAA Cross Country Cup held at Pocklington School

Junior Girls (Years 7 and 8)

Niamh Clements 1st position 

Laura Brooks 2nd

Imogen Stevens 15th

Isabelle Sweeting 18th

Sophie Brosenitz 26th

Jess Groombridge 42nd


Pocklington School Junior Boys team at the ESAA Cross Country Cup

Junior Boys (Years 7 and 8)

Luke Nolan 23rd

Austin Taylor 26th

Noah Pym 37th

Dan Rees Gay 39th

Joseph Girking 40th

Eddie Groombridge 56th



Pocklington School Intermediate Girls at the ESAA  Cross Country Cup


Intermediate Girls (Years 9 and 10)

Erin Redfern 8th

Emma Forsyth 10th

Daisy Shepherd 14th

Carmen Brooks 25th

Kitty Webber 26th

Pippa Byron 27th


Pocklington School Intermediate Boys team at the ESAA Cross Country Cup

Intermediate Boys (Years 9 and 10)

Lucas Walton 6th

Henry Rodmell 22nd

Thomas McDowell 23rd

Julian Brittenden 37th

Charlie Wake 45th

Rory Brooks 47th

To view a Flickr album of the event, please click here.