For the top school cross-country runners in Wales, all roads lead to Brecon on Wednesday, March 7th, when the Penlan playing fields are the venue for the Welsh Schools National cross-country championships. This will be the fifty-sixth staging of the event, and the seventeenth consecutive year that the fixture has been held at Brecon. Some exciting competitions are anticipated, with selection for the teams to compete at the SIAB schools and Home Countries internationals, at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on March 24th, are at stake.
The Junior Girls will get the event started at 1pm, this is one of the most competitive contests of the day with the likes of Daisy Thompson (Bro Myrddin), Tiffany Rees (Olchfa), Ella Davies (Gwyr), Samia Jones (Syr Hugh Owen) and Abigail Davies (Porthcawl) set to battle it out.
It has been a case of 'west is best' for our Junior Boys this winter, with Dyfed starting as strong favourites for the team title, we expect to see Frank Morgan battling with Bro Myrddin team mates Liam Edwards, Dafydd Jones and the much improved Ioan Cressy-Rodgers.
Abbie Williams (Pembroke) will be hoping to go one better than her silver medal last year when the Senior Girls get under way (1:40pm), she will face a stern test from Abi Fisher (Crickhowell) who recently won the Welsh Under 17 title.
The Year 7 races which follow are likely to produce some surprises and see some new names coming to the fore. Athletes from David Hughes won the team event in the Inter Schools in November, Tudur Harper-Lloyd and Harri Morgan were two that impressed. The Year 7 Girls event is wide open.
The Senior Boys race will give another opportunity for Dominic Smith (Olchfa) to win a Welsh Schools title. Smith has been close on a number of occasions but will face strong challenges from James Vincent (Whitchurch), Larry Ryan (Radyr), Morgan James (Gelli Haf) and Ethan Ackroyd (Alun).
Mia Roberts (Brynhyfryd) will start as favourite in the Middle girls after a return to form in the recent Welsh Championships at Singleton Park. Her nearest challengers are likely to be the Afan Nedd Tawe pairing of Eluned King (Gwyr) and Ashleigh Willis (Olchfa).
The final race of the day will see the Middle boys go head to head, this again is a difficult one to call with James Penrose (Wycliff) looking to defend the title he took in 2017. He should be well supported in the South East Wales team by Spencer Smith (Caerleon), Lloyd Sheppard (Blackwood) and twins Connor and Finley Richards (St. Josephs).
CAR PARKING ON WEDNESDAY
Athletes, supporters and spectators who are travelling to the event by car are advised that the Lower Car Park at Brecon High School is available. Spectators are also advised that the limited parking at the track is for officials only. These restrictions mean that parking space will be at a premium and spectators are asked to arrive early and park responsibly.The post code for Penlan playing fields is LD3 9SR.
WALKING THE COURSE
As part of the event risk assessment, every competing athlete is advised to walk the course BEFORE they compete to ensure that they know where they are going and to check for any potential hazards. If a competitor identifies a potential hazard, they must report it to the event organisers.
Awards will be presented to the first three individuals in each race and to the scoring members (six to score) of the first three complete teams in each section.Presentations will be made through the afternoon and will take place at the front of the pavilion.
Live Event Results
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