St Albans School's boys cross country team swept to a record tenth victory at an event deemed to be the national championship of relay running.
The King Henry VIII School relay held in Coventry was won by St Albans in dramatic fashion as they vied for position with reigning champions, Judd School, for most of the race before World Biathlete Champion Robbie Lightowler gazumped the opposition with a sub-12 minute fifth lap.
This meant by the time Lightowler had handed over to anchor man, Adam Thorpe, St Albans had opened up a 65-second lead over their rivals and they sealed the victory, an unprecedented 10th success for the school.
St Albans School girls’ team had earlier finished third with Lizzie Bird, an international runner, going fastest in their relay race.
The school’s B team competed in the senior race and included members of the three-time English Schools Cross Country Cup Under-15s champions who propelled the second-string to a commendable fourth place in the competition.
Coach George Harrison and manager Kenny Everitt have been at the head of the club over the past few successful years and Harrison declared himself spoilt for choice in terms of submitting a team.
Harrison said: “We could have organised our squad, most of whom represented England in the World Championships in Malta last year, in up to 35 different combinations for the race.
“There were several difficult decisions to make with so many excellent runners to choose from – we only decided on the final team before the race.
“The whole team ran superbly and for a young B team to finish only one place out of the medals in the premier relay race in the country both shows our strength in depth and augurs well for the future of St Albans School cross country.”