Team and individual medals were fiercely fought for at the West Sussex West cross-country championships, held at Bishop Luffa School for the first time.
While the boy’s honours were evenly distributed among a number of schools, in the girls’ races Chichester High School made a clean sweep of the four individual and team titles.
In the biggest field of the day, 90 runners contested the junior boys’ race with the outcome in doubt until the final few strides.
Felpham’s Casey Keates and Ed Gerwat from Bishop Luffa were stride for stride before Keates accelerated to win by one second from Gerwat, with team-mate Harry Lyne third and Ewan Willis completing the Felpham scoring in eighth to give them a winning total of 12 points, five better than Bishop Luffa.
There were noteworthy runs from Westergate’s Max Newton in fifth and Zac Hurst sixth as the first Year 8 boys home.
In the intermediate boys’ race combined with the seniors, there was a commanding performance from Harry Leleu from Seaford College who had more than half a minute to spare as he crossed the line ahead of Callum Adams, who led team-mates Miles Jenkins and Elliott Hannan to team victory in the senior age group.
Second and third to finish for the intermediates were Dan Eeles from Midhurst Rother College and Josh James, the latter leading team-mates Jolyon Dannatt (10th) and Jamie Woolnough (11th) to team victory for Chichester Boys’ High School with 25 points, seven clear of Bishop Luffa.
There was a thrilling individual battle at the front of the junior girls’ race with Charlotte Reading from the Girls’ High School just getting the better of Tara Bage from Seaford College, with the High School’s Rose Ellis third. The three were separated by just five seconds at the end.
With Holly Olding completing the High School scoring in fourth, their near-perfect score of eight points was the best of the day. Olding was first Year 8 runner home, followed by Molly Whatmore from Bishop Luffa.
In the intermediate girls’ race, Georgina Warner was always in command, although Emma Maynard kept the gap down to finish five seconds adrift after nearly 12 minutes of running.
Chichester Girls’ High School always had the edge in the team event with Warner first, Nicola Mead third and Lucy Ellis fifth edging out Bishop Luffa, who had Maynard second, Lois Peake fourth and Holly Van Driel sixth.
There was also competition for places in the West Sussex West team to be selected for the Sussex schools championships to be held at Lancing Manor on January 21.