Ripon students' runaway success earns them a place at the national finals

A group of Ripon students is celebrating their success at the prestigious North Yorkshire Cross Country Championships in Whitby which earned them a place at the national finals after representing the Harrogate and Craven district.
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Among the Ripon Grammar School (RGS) students who shone at the North Yorkshire Championships, three won first, second and third places, taking them to the national finals.

A further four students from the school, recently named in the top five per cent of sporting schools in the country by School Sport magazine, came in the top 15 for their age groups.

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Up against 243 athletes from all over the county, director of sport Adam Milner said the RGS students showed real grit and determination:

Pictured: James, Angus, Greg and Willow.Pictured: James, Angus, Greg and Willow.
Pictured: James, Angus, Greg and Willow.

Mr Milner said: “All their hard work in training has paid off. They achieved fantastic results and can be rightly proud.

Newly crowned North Yorkshire cross country champion 12-year-old Isabelle Forsyth's magnificent run saw her come in first in her category.

The Year 8 pupil, from Bishop Monkton, defeated Year 9 runners to take the title.

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Isabelle Forsyth will join Willow Baker (2nd, senior girls) and Angus Millar (3rd, Y8/9 boys) at the English National Schools Cross Country finals at Pontefract in March, where they’ll be competing against top runners from each of the 46 counties in England.

Angus, from Pateley Bridge, who came third in the English Schools Fell Running Championships at Giggleswick, has been running since he was eight years old.

The 14-year-old was competing against 33 others in his race, he said: “It was very grey and cold and the course was quite muddy and slippery.

“I was quite pleased with my performance; having been ill during the Christmas holidays I didn't get the preparation I would have liked so wasn't expecting to come third.”

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Those who came in the top 15 were selected for the inter-county races in February, when they faced elite cross-country runners from Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria.

They are: Libby Acton, William Keens, James Pollington-Clyne, and Gregory Walsh.

Ten runners from RGS were chosen to represent the Harrogate and Craven district at the event.