STEETON brothers Will and Alex Thompson were a key part of the Ermysted’s Grammar School Cross-Country team that put in another fantastic performance to finish as runners-up at the Coventry Relays last Wednesday.

It was the former's last event at Coventry, being a Year 13 pupil, while the latter ran a sub-12 minute final leg to ensure second spot.

The pair were joined by Keighley and Craven Athletic Club's Louis Hudson, whose fifth and penultimate leg helped Ermysted's overtake a couple of fellow podium contenders.

Since 1972, King Henry VIII School in Coventry has hosted what is now regarded by many as the national Inter-Schools Cross Country Relay Race.

Boys and girls compete in their own categories: the boys’ race has six runners, each doing a 2.3 mile leg, and the girls’ race has four runners competing over the same distance.

The course is over pavement, grass, woodland, and usually quite a few puddles, and is largely flat with no real hills.

Schools enter their best runners, regardless of their age, although this will usually include predominantly runners in the Sixth Form.

The race has a strong legacy, boasting former competitors of the calibre of Seb Coe and Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.

Conditions were very good, cloudy but with only light winds, which meant fast times were possible.

Ermysted’s have a great crop of athletes at the moment, with the school being picked to represent England later this year as a result of recent impressive performances, not least winning this event last year.

The students had aspirations of a high single figure placing again and set off in determined fashion, with Year 12 runner Sebastian Segger-Staveley continuing his good form.

He was up with the leaders early on, before coming back eight seconds clear of the other 56 teams, as he ran the individual second fastest time of the day.

Joe Carnelley took over on the second leg and slightly extended the team’s lead, but the pre-race favourites, Judd from Kent, were now in second place.

Cross-country captain Will Thompson was the only Year 13 student in the Ermysted's team and he was determined to run well in his last time at Coventry.

Unfortunately, although Will and then Arthur Peel on leg four ran well, they were up against Judd’s best runners, and Ermysted's soon fell behind as Judd gained an unassailable lead.

Hudson took over with the team virtually neck and neck with Woodbridge and RGS Guildford. He ran a good time to reclaim second place and built up a cushion over Guildford for last leg runner Alex Thompson.

He brought the Skipton school home in the runners-up spot of the 57 teams, but well behind the impressive winners Judd.

Ermysted's time was fast and put the school 15th on the all-time list.

Ermysted’s ‘B’ Team of Matthew Kenneth, Ben Rees, Will Atkinson, Donnabhan Rudden, Robert Mann and Year Nine pupil Dougie Segger-Staveley showed the strength in depth the school has, as they came 25th out of 57, beating most of the other schools' ‘A’ teams.