Best season for St Albans School's cross country team

The team have won all 11 races this season

The team have won all 11 races this season

First published in Sport

St Albans School's cross country team have enjoyed their best season winning all 11 races that they entered.

Their success included the prestigious Knole Run at Sevenoaks, the biggest mass-start race in school cross-country, for the first time in a decade and adding an unassailable eleventh win in the relay equivalent, Coventry’s King Henry VIII Cup.

These two races, the biggest in the cross country calendar, attract fields from across the UK. Some 350 runners from 30 schools took part in the Knole Run with Mark Pearce finishing fourth overall and St Albans’ last counting runner in 35th giving St Albans a score of 106 points ahead of Judd School on 162.

Pearce starred at the King Henry VIII Cup relay, taking the second leg, and with it the lead, in a time that proved to be third fastest in the day. Having briefly conceded a narrow advantage on the third lap to closest rivals Judd, St Albans were restored to pole position by Robbie Lightowler, leaving Adam Thorpe and Joe Redwood to stretch the margin further to 55 seconds, securing the team’s 11th win in the history of the race.

The school with the next best record, Bradford Grammar, has four wins and only St Albans has ever won the event three times in succession.

Cross Country manager Kenny Everitt said: "The whole team has performed magnificently well and at times in some horrendous conditions. Of particular note was the incredible improvement in Mark's running - he has come on tremendously compared to the previous season. We look forward to the next season and to hopefully repeating these achievements."

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