Exeter Harrier Elliot Moran ran the race of his life to secure a superb 27th place at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Blackburn. The 15 year old represented Devon Schools in the Juniors Boys’ 3.6km race, and achieved an excellent result in this most eagerly anticipated event of the winter for young cross country runners. Moran, who attends Colyton Grammar School, was nervous and excited on the morning of the event, having achieved 170th last year he was determined to better this. “I had really good preparation” said Moran, “the hotel we stayed in had a swimming pool and spa we were able to use. It was good.” Of the race itself Moran had a great start. “I pushed forward so I was in the first 50 early on. I felt good throughout, and half way through I knew I had to save energy for the sprint finish. I managed to move up 4 or 5 places. I wasn’t expecting to do so well, I’m ecstatic with 27th place, and I’d really like to thank Exeter Harriers and my coach Brian O’Hare for all the support.”
With over 300 athletes competing in each race there were other good Harriers performances. Also in the Junior Boys newcomer Sam Pyne was 163rd, and for the Inter Boys Finley McLear ran an excellent race to come 48th, and Owen Coldwell 266th. Another good performance came from Jake Smith in the Senior Boys’ race with 82nd, with Shaun Johnson 101st and Patrick Livingstone 218th.
In the Junior Girls’ race Anna Downs ran a good race for 119th, Runa Manby came in 240th and Isabelle Beech 287th. Jasmine Wellman, running for Dorset Schools, finished 202nd.
Madeleine Roche and Florence Livingstone came 262nd and 265 respectively in the Inter Girls’ race, and Katie Olding had a very good run for the Senior Girls’ with 55th place, Zoe Kuyken was 112th and Martha Ellett 146th.
“All these athletes have had some hard training sessions recently, building up to the track season which starts soon” said Brian O’Hare, Exeter Harriers Endurance Coach. “They’ve worked hard throughout the winter and have built up good strength. They are coached for 800/1500 really and I’m excited to see what will happen in the track season.”