04 May 2016
At the weekend the Ruyton Cross Country Team claimed its 39th straight State title and a winning streak that has now lasted 13 years. There were 64 girls who negotiated the undulating Jells Park course (which had a thick grass cover) with great precision and a steely determination.
The Under 14 Team set up this hard fought victory with three teams finishing in the top ten. It is the first time that this feat has been achieved. The Under 14 A team (Koo C, Dee Dee D, Pippa D and Aisha K) came first. The Under 14 B team (Remy M, Zoe O, Molly T and Lydia W) came 6th and the Under 14 C team (Lotti C, Charlotte M, Ruby S and Aimee T) came 9th overall.
The Under 16 A team (Amy A, Lucy D, Olivia H and Maddy T) was expected to finish a long second to Wesley College but turned the tables on last year’s result by claiming victory in this age group. The Under 18 A team (Georgia B, Ella B, Sophie M and Ella W) finished 8th to earn three valuable points in the overall team championship.
By the final race Ruyton had a ten point lead over its major rival, Wesley College. Jessica H, Paris P, Eleanor P and Hannah W put the Championship race beyond doubt as they stormed to a resounding win in the Under 20 age group.
On paper this team of 64 girls was thought to be under siege, having lost 22 athletes from the 2015 selected team. Mainstays of the programme, Sarah Billings, Audrey Campkin-Smith and Natalie Rule were no longer at the School, two of Ruyton’s best runners, Laura P and Charlotte W, were out injured, and a host of other athletes were absent due to illness and existing commitments.
Other schools are mystified when they strike a team like Ruyton, which competes as a family. The solidarity within each Ruyton relay team drew extraordinary efforts out of each girl. Ruyton’s showing at the State Cross Country Relays spoke of the girls’ depth of feeling for their School and their fierce intent to maintain this winning streak. It is only the second time in the Championship history that a school has won three of the four age group Championships.
Mr Stephen Ellinghaus
Director of Athletics
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