Sidmouth runner Jason Drew preparing for the South West Schools Cross Country Championships

Local student runners did well at the South West Cross country Championships held last weekend at Bicton.

The South West Championships saw Under-20s in the same field as the senior men running over a gruelling new 10-km course at Bicton which involved no fewer than four laps and a lung-bursting finish!

Jason Drew, representing Sidmouth Community College (who runs at weekends for Sidmouth RC) and still has two more years of running in the Under-20 age group, excelled again coming 46th overall, sixth in the Under-20 age group and that was good enough to secure him second of the Devon athletes in the race.

Drew’s splendid time for the event was 37 minutes and 46 seconds.

Ottery St Mary’s Grey Grierson, who specialises in Orienteering – and performs at a high level on a consistent basis – ran as a year 12 student in the South West cross country championships representing Colyton Grammar (he is also a member at Sidmouth RFDC) and he finished 53rd overall and seventh in the Under-20 section and he too will have a number of other opportunities to compete at this level in the coming years.

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In addition to his individual run young Drew led the senior boy’s area ream whilst Colyton’s Elliot Moran ran into a fourth placed finish in the junior boys event and was the first home of the Devon competitors in the junior race.

Attention now turns to the Devon Schools Cross country Championships being run at Stover School on Saturday, January 17.

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Teams of 16 runners will represent East, South, West and North Devon competing for both team and individual honours.

Jason Drew will lead the senor boy’s area team – they were placed third in the event a year ago.

Elliot Moran (Colyton), who finished fourth and first junior boy at the Devon Championships staged last December is also involved.

In the Under-15 junior girls’ section, King’s School, Ottery St Mary students, Eleanor Brandon and Meg Summers finished first and second at the Exeter and East Devon Area trials raced in Haldon Woods in first week of December, and they too will be involved at Stover School.

In the senior girls’ section Zoe Kuyken (Colyton Grammar) and

Martha Ellett (Exmouth College) will be looking to inspire a winning team performance when they come up against a strong West Area team.

The lead runners in each section will hope to produce times good enough to gain them selection for the Devon Schools team which will be ten runners strong and will compete at the South West Schools Championship at Grittleton House School, Chippenham on February 7.

Success there would lead to eight being selected to represent the county at the English Schools Championship being held at Witton Park, Blackburn on March 14.

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