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Bronze for Miell-Ingram at the races in Pontefract

Submitted by Dan on
Quinn Miell-Ingram - 3rd - Senior Boys

Pontefract Racecourse were the hosts of the 55th Girls' and 63rd Boys' English Schools Cross-Country Championships. 

Given the 320 mile round trip, the Oxfordshire team had the luxury of a overnight stay; a wonderful chance to get to know teammates and build camaraderie before the racing commenced on Saturday afternoon. Greeted by dry spring conditions, the athletes set about learning the course and early indications were of a sticky and challenging course given persistent rainfall in recent weeks. 

First off were the Inter Girls, led home by Caitlin Smith (101st) who just missed out on a double-digit finish, closely followed home by Beatrice Burrows (113th) and Florence Williams (147th). The remainder of the team ran strongly with Ivy Uhart (202nd), Isabella Haines-Gray (216th), Abigail Corby (302nd) and Ella Ramsey (339th) helping the team to a 30th place finish. 

Next was the Junior Boys, with the majority of our squad being year 8 and a year younger than most of their competitors. Similar to our Inter Girls, Ewan Shayler (101st) just missed out on the top 100, with Daragh Cassidy (186th) and Leo Blyton (197th) making the top 200. Edward Styles (212th), Erlgean Mensah (220th), Henry Read (233rd), Zachary Honour (281st) and Ollie Rose (337th) ran strong for a 33rd place team finish. 

The Junior Girls was third on the programme, many of which donning the Oxfordshire blue and white for the first time. Charlotte Campbell (54th) and Amelie Lorimer (66nd) achieved our first top-100 finishes, supported valiantly by Tabitha Bosley (139th), Nia Parry-Spring (175th), Ursala Clarke (242nd), Annabel Godwin (243rd) and Syvlie Kentish (330th). 

Our Inter Boys squad had a real mix of seasoned club runners and aspiring triathletes. Triathlete Monty Salmon (79th) led us home, followed by William Potts (93rd) 9-seconds behind. Ralph Allen (151st), Harry Owens (163rd) and Thomas Styles (177th) were split by 11 seconds - and 26 places, showing just how compacted fields are at English Schools. Jonas Tipping (203rd), Josh Hatt (219th) and Elias Easterbrook (226th) closed our team out in 21st. 

Despite some late dropouts, our five Senior Girls embraced the opportunity - many of which running their last school cross-country race. Anna Jolliffe (95th) became our 3rd girl of the day to make the top 100, and was followed home by Tilly Lainchbury (129th), Martha Sherwood (171st), Rosie Cowls (259th) and Giulia Gerritsen (298th). 

Last and by no means least was the Senior Boys. Given their 7th and 6th place finishes in recent years the boys were very much set the target of keeping our streak of top 10 finishes. In his final school cross-country and fresh from the announcement of making his Great Britain debut at the World Cross-Country Championships in a fortnight, Quinn Miell-Ingram led us home magnificently. Biding his time in the lead group, Quinn covered the decisive moves of Aron Gebremariam and James Dargan ahead of him to finish 3rd and just 11 seconds shy of the winner. Charlie Jones (17th) gave us hope that a top-10 finish was possible with a performance he couldn't quite believe himself. Then came arguably the moment of the day. Harry Richards (105th), Connor Morgan (113th), Owen Stocker (119th) and Oliver Sherratt (127th) finished just 14 seconds apart putting on a show of the importance of the pack, and working hard for one another. Casper Cumberland (177th) and Matthew Quartermaine (188th) ensured all 8 men made the top-200 - something only 3 other counties achieved. This culminated in a 9th place finish and an elated squad celebrating Quinn's bronze medal in the presentation tent. 

All athletes can be proud of their achievements, and remember that whatever your finishing position these are experiences you'll remember for a lifetime working hard for your teammates and trying to be the best you can be for the county of Oxfordshire. 

Quinn's bronze medal was Oxfordshire's first individual medal winner on the boys side for 53 years. (1971 - Ray Crabb - Inter Boys Silver)

We look forward to the next edition at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex on the 15th March 2025.