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Cross Country Cup

Mud, Sweat and Tears - XC Cup 2015




At Tapton students across all key stages are involved in cross country running. David Lewis, one of our sports ambassadors, reports on Tapton’s journey to the finals of the English Schools XC Cup.

Cross country – the epitome of the brutality and singlemindedness that sport entails. Despite not being an Olympic sport, cross country is a sport with a great tradition and culture on the national and international stage with a history of being a stepping stone for great names to develop and shine; Paula Radcliffe, Seb Coe, Mo Farah, Haile Gebrselassie to name a few.

Cross Country is not known as a sport with a team aspect to it, but there is one competition every year that breaks this mould – The English Schools XC cup. Here, schools battle it out in regional rounds to try and make it to the grand final and the top 24 schools in England.

Tapton’s intermediate boys team (Y9 and Y10) had made it to the grand final for the past 2 years and had genuine hopes of not just making it 3 times but of finishing the race inside the top 5 teams nationally. The junior girls team (Y7 and Y8) on the other hand had made it the year before and with a very strong unit of girls hoped to repeat the previous year’s performance with merit. Each team has 6 runners that run in a race, the first four count towards the teams finishing position which is reached by the sum of these four’s finishing positions - lowest team score wins.

The first round of the Cup took place at Loughborough Grammar school on the 7th of October; where the junior girls team qualified very comfortably in 1st place, the boys came home in 2nd place in their round with solid performances for all runners.

Tupton hall school, Chesterfield was the scene for the 2nd round of the competition, (it was also the old school of our head of PE, Mr. Davis). Again both teams qualified with flying colours to the final; the girls finishing 2nd and the boys 3rd in their respective competitions.

The final was held in Beauchamp Middle school in Bedford, our teams went down the night before to stay in a luxury 5-star Premier Inn. After a good night sleep both teams were ready to go and take on the rest of England. The girls were first off with the stand out performance of the day coming from Jodie Hill who battled it out right to the line to finish 2nd in a highly competitive race. The team as a whole pulled through and did themselves justice, finishing 19th out of the whole of England. The boys were next to go and were led in by Matt Fuller who finished 10th in a quality packed field. The rest of the boy’s team finished respectably but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to break into the top 10 and so they finished 18th.

Many thanks to all PE teachers who made this possible through their dedication and willingness to give up their own time to take us across the country to follow our dreams.

David Lewis