Video and galleries: Over 400 pupils take part in Norfolk Cross Country Championships

Action from the Norfolk Schools Cross-Country competition at Sloughbottom Park in Norwich.Picture by

Action from the Norfolk Schools Cross-Country competition at Sloughbottom Park in Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Over 400 young athletes braved the elements at the Norfolk Schools Cross Country Championships.

A windswept Sloughbottom Park in Norwich was the venue for the event. The athletes created a colourful, enthusiastic spectacle and in spite of the conditions provided some outstanding individual performances.

For many it may have been an early competitive event while for others it was another step towards future athletics success.

Jack White led from the start of the under-15 boys event and built up a huge lead by the end of the 5km race. Katie Goldsmith led home Ellie Taylor in the under-15 girls (years eight and nine) 3.2km race.

Femke Rosebergen had a very big lead in the under-13 girls race after leading from the start. These girls showed their class in winning the Southern Counties team event in the under-13 age group at Brighton last weekend, an outstanding team performance from the young runners.

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In the senior age group Sophie Alden was a clear winner of the girls 4km race to add to her triathlon successes and Annie Rooks, from the west of the county, was the winner of the competitive under-17 girls 4km race.

Luke Spear moved ahead to take the under-17 boys title over 6.2km and Ben Spratling ran well to take the senior boys championship and win a county schools title for the first time.

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This all shows that cross country running is flourishing in the county and a number of athletes are surely going on to bigger things in the future.

As a result of the championships teams will be selected to represent Norfolk in the Anglian Schools event at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich early next month.

The big prize will be selection for the Norfolk team for the English Schools championships at Blackburn in March.

The county's results in the major events last year were disappointing. Surely much better results will follow if the performances displayed by the athletes at Sloughbottom Park are anything to go by.

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