STRATFORD AC’s Alex Adams has earned a call-up to the England squad after finishing fourth in the Inter Boys’ race at the English Schools National Cross Country Championships.
Adams, representing Gloucestershire, finished the 5,750 metre race in a time of 19 minutes 20 seconds and was pipped to a medal in the final few strides with just one second separating second, third and fourth.
However, despite being denied a medal, Adams has been chosen to represent England in next week’s SIAB Cross Country International at Pembrey Country Park in Wales.
Adams said: “The main goal of getting on the England Team was achieved so I’m really happy.
“It was very hot and very flat which is not meant to be my sort of race but I felt ran it well and I can take plenty of positives from it.
“I managed to get to the front early and ran at the front for a large part of the race, only to lose out on a medal by mere inches.
“I felt comfortable until the second lap where I had to really dig deep and pull out a special performance.”
The top eight runners qualified to represent their respective countries with Adams comfortably achieving selection out of 325 athletes in total.
Stratford had 17 members racing at Hop Farm in Kent with 14 running for Warwickshire and three for Gloucestershire.
Also competing in the Inter Boys’ race was Milo Cullimore who was a late addition to the Warwickshire team and finished in a time of 22 mins 52 secs.
In the Inter Girls’ race, run over 3875 metres, Stratford had four of the top six Warwickshire finishers.
Leading the group, despite her nasty fall in last week’s race that necessitated a visit to A&E was Maisie-Joy Spriggs who was the second finisher for the county and achieved a top 100 place after finishing 93rd.
Maisie-Joy finished in a time of 15 mins 23 secs and was closely followed by Niamh Hillard just five seconds later in 103rd place, an improvement of over 150 places on her last appearance at these Championships in Liverpool.
Maddie Linfoot was next to finish for Warwickshire in 203rd place in a time of 16 mins 10 secs whilst Olivia Robinson competing for Gloucestershire finished in a time of 16 mins 31 secs and finally Lucy Thomas completed the course in 18 mins 2 secs.
In the 4395m Junior Boys’ race, Zak Lambert was the third finisher for Warwickshire, finishing in 93rd place in a time of 14 mins 43 secs, he was followed by William Mayes (15.27) and James Day (15.51).
In the Junior Girls’ race the club had one representative, Martina Grace, who completed the 3190m course as the third Warwickshire finisher with a time of 14 mins 19 secs.
The club also had just one runner in the 4395m Senior Girls’ race as Ellie Deaner ran a time of 17 mins 21 secs to finish as the second placed Warwickshire runner despite having qualified seventh fastest.
The longest race of the day was the 6995m Senior Boys’ race with the club having four of the top five placed Warwickshire runners as well as Taylor Stubbins (276th – 28.58) representing Gloucestershire.
Ned Campbell (27.21) and Alex Pester (27.40) have been pretty much inseparable in all of their races together this season, as was the case once again, with a mere 19 seconds separating them.
Completing the Stratford contingent were Josh Dobedoe (29.06) and Caleb Spriggs (29.29).