Determined Sidmouth teen takes Devon running title

PUBLISHED: 12:15 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:46 25 January 2019

Toby Garrick (centre) poses with his medal his fellow runners Tommy Reardon and Will Ashby after winning the race. Picture: Sidmouth College

Toby Garrick (centre) poses with his medal his fellow runners Tommy Reardon and Will Ashby after winning the race. Picture: Sidmouth College

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A determined young runner is celebrating achieving his 'lifetime' aim of becoming Devon schools champion.

Toby celebrates with his fellow runners Tommy Reardon and Will Ashby after winning the race. Picture: Sidmouth CollegeToby celebrates with his fellow runners Tommy Reardon and Will Ashby after winning the race. Picture: Sidmouth College

It has been seven years in the making for Sidmouth College’s Toby Garrick who has competed at every level of the Devon Schools Cross Country competition since year seven.

The head boy has seen his race standings improve over the years, finishing third in the contest in 2018 and he knew Saturday’s race was his last chance to try and claim the title.

Now in Year 13, the A-level student had been training four to five times a week to help prepare for competitions.

The hard worked paid off, as Toby completed the 6.4km-course in 21 minutes and 44 seconds– winning the race by a comfortable 32 seconds.

Toby said: “To be Devon champion has always been a lifetime aim, which always seemed an impossibility. Over the years I have improved my race position, with last year being the third runner home a year young.

“This year was my last in schools cross country so I wanted to give it my best shot.”

Earlier this month, Toby finished sixth in the South West Cross Country Championships in the under-20 men’s category.

He said: “I have always been in control of my training, choosing what sessions to do, when I want to do them and for me this works.

“I train four to five times a week with additional gym work and attend Sidmouth Running Club weekly. Running has always been my main interest and hobby and I plan to compete for many more years with hopefully more successes.

“I was feeling in good form coming into this race. It has certainly fuelled my desire to try to compete to the best of my ability in the upcoming English Schools and British Inter-Counties in March.”

Head of PE Lisa Malton praised the pupil’s determination.

She said: “Sidmouth College is immensely proud of Toby’s achievement. From the moment he joined the college in year seven, it was clear he had the determination and natural talent to succeed in cross country. Toby has been incredibly committed to the sport, practising in and out of school and taking part in every running event thrown at him. After seven years of competing, Toby can now say he is the under-19 Devon champion and we couldn’t be happier for him.”

More on Sport page 36.

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