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Posted on: 15/11/2017


Loreto Grammar School's cross country runners will hope to go one better this year in the National School's Cross Country finals in Sevenoaks.

Last year Loreto’s Intermediate team came second in the blue ribbon meeting for young cross country runners and this year both the Junior team for years 7 and 8 and the Intermediate team for years 9 and 10 have qualified. Loreto, widely acknowledged as one of the U.K's leading all girls' sports schools, are former national champions.

Leading the way at the regional qualifiers in Sedbergh were team captains Aisling McHale, 12, from Altrincham who crossed the line first in the Junior Race and Jessica Spilsbury, 14, from Timperley who broke the tape in the Intermediate race.

As well as their training programme at Loreto, both girls train three each week with Sale Harriers both on the track and the roads and have ambitions to run at international level. However they both know the National Schools' Championships is a team event and it is the strength of the group that counts.

Aisling said: “We have a great team spirit and I feel proud to represent Loreto to continue the school's great tradition.” While Jessica added: “I know I am running in the footsteps of some brilliant former runners and that's very exciting. We are all great friends and we win and lose together.”

Six girls run in each age category with the first four counting so team orders are vital. Loreto's Grammar School's Head of Physical Education Catherine Ball said: “In extremely tough muddy conditions we finished second in the regional qualifiers in each age category so the girls will have to step up a level when we travel down to Kent for the race on Saturday November 25, but they have shown they are made of the right stuff and I am expecting a strong showing from two outstanding and determined squads.”

Cross Country 11 17

Pictured on the back row from left to right are the intermediate team of Amelia Smithers, Evie Craven, Hannah Camden, Katie Moss, Jessica Spilsbury, Siobhan Gregory, Rosie Sinclair and Caitlin Doohan. On the front row are the Junior team of Verity Charnley, Orla Flynn, Aisling McHale, Ella Gillespie, Louise Hobson, Grace Clancy and Sinead O'Driscoll.

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