Athletes from over 85 schools and colleges across Wales will line up in Brecon on Saturday for the annual Inter Schools Cross Country competition. The event will again incorporate the Welsh Colleges Championships. Underfoot conditions are expected to be heavy, following recent rain and the fact that the course was used for the Gwent League fixture last weekend. Athletes are advised to arrive early to give sufficient time to walk the course and inspect conditions.
As happened last year there will be the usual “curtain raiser” of the primary school races which start at 11am. The main programme gets underway at 1.15 when the Under 13 Girls line up, the final race gets underway at 3pm when the Senior Boys (school years 11 to 14) have last use of the course. The races incorporate a team competition with the leading 4 athletes scoring for their schools. The race is also a first opportunity for those aspiring to represent Welsh Schools in next year’s Mini London Marathon to show some form and attract the selector’s attention.
The Under 13s races tend to be wide open, although Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin) is sure to be to the fore in the boys’ race. The Under 15 Girls should see Moli Lyons (Bro Morgannwg), Samia Jones (Syr Hugh Owen) and Nia Clatworthy (Porthcawl) battle it out. Anya Lennon (St. Martins), Daisy Thompson (Bro Myrddin) and Ella Morgan (St John Baptist) are others who will be well up and in contention.
Rhys James (Dwr y Felin) is probably the form athlete entered in the Under 15 Boys following his recent podium placing at the Cardiff Cross, he will renew his rivalry with Ben Reynolds (Y Gwyndy) who got the better of the track confrontations through the summer. They are likely to be tested by Lloyd Sheppard (Blackwood), Cai La Trobe Roberts (Tryfan) and the Bro Myrddin pairing of Liam Edwards and Dafydd Jones. Finley Hines (Ystalyfera) is another who can spring a surprise over the country.
It is difficult to look beyond Mia Roberts (Brynhyfryd) in the Senior Girls race although Kiara Frizelle (Radyr) is sure to present a stern test. Remi Adebyiu (Gwynllyw) is another who starts as favourite in the Senior Boys, but with the likes of Jackson Mountford (Rougemont), James Penrose (Wycliff) and Cedol Dafydd (Tryfan) also in the field podium places will be hard fought. Last year’s Under 15 winner Sebastian Lewis (Bishop Vaughan) is making a welcome return from injury and will be another with top 6 potential.
Good luck to all entered on Saturday.