Stone athlete runs away with Midlands silver medal

The Stafford Grammar School medal winners -over-16 boys’ runner-up Billy Thorley (18), from Oulton, is pictured left, with fellow Stafford Grammar School medal winners Megan Cogan (15) and Dan Nowell (17).

Oulton athlete Billy Thorley produced a powerful performance to claim the silver medal in a 6K Midlands cross country event in Shropshire.

  Eighteen-year-old Thorley crossed the line in 24.24mins to clinch the over-16 boys runner-up slot at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) regional championships, just behind fellow Stafford Grammar School student Dan Nowell (17).

Dozens of runners from across the region took part in the competition at Bedstone College. The pair’s double medal win over a challenging hilly course was bolstered when Sean Phillips (18), finished 5th and Harry Bowers (17), bagged another top 10 place to steer the Stafford Grammar side to overall team victory and earned the boys selection to the ISA Midlands team.

Meanwhile 15-year-old Megan Cogan (15), from Lightwood, came second in the over-16 girls 3.7K race. Thorley’s podium finish followed success earlier this season when he won the Stafford and District Schools’ senior boys cross country title. But the Oulton teenager’s pursuit of a national rostrum place at the ISA England finals in Warwickshire was scuppered when he broke his wrist playing football for his club side, forcing him to withdraw from the race.

The best SGS performer at the Princethorpe College-based nationals was Cogan, who was nudged out of the medals after finishing fourth in her 4.5K event.