The English Schools Cross Country Championships marked the end of the 2018 season and was held in Temple Newsam Park, Leeds.
Around 8,000 young runners began the journey of qualifying at district level before moving on through county and regional championships, with only the top 350 making it through to compete in eight-strong county teams.
Five Louth AC juniors were selected to represent Lincolnshire, all of whom were making their debut at the event.
In the Junior Boys’ race (Yr 8 and 9), Matthew Spendlove ran a spirited race, completing the course in 17min 17secs for 327th out of 347 finishers.
Evie Brooks completed a strong winter season in the Junior Girls’ race with another determined run against older girls, crossing the line 241st in a field of 342 finishers in a time of 13min 19secs.
The Intermediate Boys’ race (Yr 10 and 11) included the inexperienced Lloyd Buck, who did magnificently to reach this level in his first full athletics season.
Lloyd came home in 306th from 339 finishers in a time of 21min 29secs.
In the Intermediate Girls’ race, the Lincolnshire team had two Louth AC members.
Both Hannah Reid and Issy Dhami have had outstanding winters and thoroughly deserved their places in the team, running as fourth and fifth points counters.
Both made strong starts, but disaster struck when Hannah was tripped and spiked on the first corner and fell. She was spiked for a second time as she tried to get up and pushed to the ground once again.
When she did scramble back to her feet, she had lost more than 100 places in the tightly-packed field, but she battled her way through the field to eventually finish in 234th place, the highest position achieved by the Louth athletes.
She was closely followed by Issy in 264th place from 339 finishers. The girls clocked 16min 32secs and 16min 49secs respectively.
Both are Year 10, so will still be competing in this age group next year when they will be stronger and faster and hoping to move up the rankings.
If the exploits of our juniors have inspired you to find out more about athletics, whether it be cross country, road running or track and field, and you are aged 8 or older, visit www.louth-ac.org.uk to find out more.
The club caters for all ages and abilities, from youngsters who want to give it a try, to adults who want to get fit and enjoy the benefits of regular exercise.
Louth AC models itself as a small friendly club and welcomes new members. Go along for a free trial period.