Four talented runners, studying at The Sixth Form College, Solihull, have been picked to represent the county in the upcoming Cross Country Championship in Leeds.
Christopher McLeod, Keelan Hopewell, Thomas Symmons and Harry Fellows were selected by running in the West Midlands Schools Cross Country Trials at Walley Woods, where they raced in difficult conditions, with the temperature at -3 degrees amid heavy snow. The top eight were selected for the English Schools Championships. Christopher McLeod finished first in the trials, Keelan Hopewell was third and Thomas Symmons and Harry Fellows finished 7th and 8th to book their places.
All four boys are part of the Solihull and Small Heath Athletics Club, where they compete in cross country, track and road races. Christopher has previously been running for Worcestershire at English Schools for the past three years, while Keelan has been running for the West Midlands.
Christopher McLeod commented:
“I have been running since I was 11 years old. My best distance is 3000m track, as I ranked 5th in the country last year in the under-17 age group. I hope to earn an England or GB vest within the next two years and hopefully go on to become a professional runner.”
Thomas Symmons added:
“This is my fourth year attempting to get into the West Midlands team and the fourth time lucky I got in. I run for Solihull Athletics Club and I have been training with them for nearly five years. I’m a middle distance athlete and in the winter season I do cross country. My best distance is on the track which is 800m and 400m. My career ambitions are to get a scholarship and train on the track.”
Harry Fellows added:
“I generally do cross country to improve my stamina for the summer season with my main events mainly being 400m and 800m. Therefore, I have no expectations going into this race and am just going to enjoy it and perform to the best of my abilities. I am going to make every moment of it and make sure it is an experience never to forget. This cross country season was my first with the seniors and I managed to finish 47th of 288, which is an outstanding result in my first season and I hope to improve on this further next year. I hope to continue running at university and Loughborough University is my most likely first choice at the moment.”
Christopher, Keelan, Thomas and Harry juggle their cross country running with their A level and BTEC studies at the College.
9 March 2018