THE course at Leamington Spa was a muddy quagmire lashed by high winds and rain but the Wiltshire boys who headed home from the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships had a golden glow about them, writes Kevin Fahey.

For the second time in six days Westbury’s Hayden Bailey topped the podium as he won the U13 boys’ race following his success in the Cardiff Cross Challenge.

His Team Bath U15 boys’ clubmates also rose to the challenge as Will Stockley, Themis Bower, Cameron Perkins and John Howorth swept aside their rivals to lift the team title.

Bailey maintained his excellent start to the new year, which also saw him win a silver medal at the South West Championships at the start of the month, finishing five seconds clear of Callum Abberley and Connor Bentley.

Melksham Oak School’s Stockley, from Semington, gave the U15s a great start by finishing fourth – just 11 seconds off the podium.

Themis Bower was not far behind in seventh with Hardenhuish School’s Cameron Perkins eighth.

The scoring was completed by John Howorth of Hilperton on 20th with twin Robert, who suffered a fall into the swollen stream, missing out in 21st, although his support and that of Jonathan Wilson in 31st was essential.

In the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill, London, 20-year-old Katherine Turner, from Bradford on Avon, finished 12th in the senior women’s race.

It was a first race of the year for the Cambridge University student and former St Laurence School pupil, who runs for Team Bath AC, ahead of the British Student Championships in Scotland tomorrow.

  • ORGANISERS of the Wiltshire Schools Cross Country Championships are determined to hold the event tomorrow after the first attempt was aborted on January 18.

The Championships will take place at Grittleton House School after an inspection of the course earlier in the week gave it the green light. The first race is due off at 10.15am.