Two Toms race to national final

Eleven-year-old Stone athlete Tom Brownsill forged a narrow lead over SGS team mate Christian Roe at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) cross country championships in Shropshire.
Eleven-year-old Stone athlete Tom Brownsill forged a narrow lead over SGS team mate Christian Roe at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) cross country championships in Shropshire.

Two athletes from Stone and Barlaston will challenge for honours in the final of a national schools’ cross country event this month after securing a top 10 finish in a regional qualifier in Shropshire.

Eleven-year-old Tom Brownsill was Stafford Grammar School’s best performer at the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) Midlands championships, crossing fifth in the boys’ under-14 race.

The Stone youngster, who is the current Stafford and District Schools’ under-12 title holder, maintained a narrow lead over team mate Christian Roe, 11, who finished the 2.4K race at Bedstone College in sixth place.

Meanwhile 14-year-old Tom Lakin, from Barlaston, booked his place in the national final at Warwickshire’s Princethorpe College when he tackled the under-16 boys’ challenging 3.7K course through woodland and a stream, to capture seventh place.

The Stafford Grammar School quartet who will represent the Midlands at the independent schools’ national championships Pictured back: Tom Lakin (14) from Barlaston. Front from left: Christian Roe (11), Lottie Harries (13), Stone’s Tom Brownsill (11)
The Stafford Grammar School quartet who will represent the Midlands at the independent schools’ national championships
Pictured back: Tom Lakin (14) from Barlaston. Front from left: Christian Roe (11), Lottie Harries (13), Stone’s Tom Brownsill (11)

The pair were among seven youngsters from Stafford Grammar and Stafford Preparatory schools who produced powerful performances to earn themselves a place in the Midlands team. Athletes from 35 schools gathered for the event, with almost 120 runners competing in each race.

Lottie Harries flew the flag for the SGS girls, coming eighth in the under-14 competition. Stafford Prep pupils Daisy Aspinall, 10, and Matthew Cutler, 11, each secured bronze medals in the under-12 races over 1800m, while Jamie Owen was seventh.

Stone’s Brownsill followed his impressive performance in Shropshire with a fine race at Staffordshire University, where he turned out for the district side in the county schools’ championships and bagged the runners-up silver medal.