ASHBOURNE race star Amy Stone won the Derbyshire Schools Sports Association (DSSA) Junior Girls Cross Country Championships for the third consecutive year at the weekend.
Held in the picturesque surroundings of Catton Park near Burton-on-Trent, the event is one of the biggest dates on the County Schools sporting calendar and it attracted well over 600 runners, participating in eight races.
The Championships featured no fewer than 20 Queen Elizabeth Grammar School students representing the Derbyshire Dales across four different age groups.
The morning of the event brought bright sunny skies, but deceptively cool temperatures, and with the course being low-lying, conditions underfoot were wet and extremely sludgy in long sections, making the going tough from the start for both competitors and spectators alike.
Stone’s Junior Girls race was the third event of the day, and with 120 starters, was also one of the biggest.
By the start the course was already becoming quite heavy in places, but the Anthony Gell Sports College student blazed a trail from the gun, attacking the hilly circuit with conviction.
Stone kept a fast pace throughout and crossed the finish line a comfortable winner over her County rivals.
Amy now goes through to the prestigious English Schools Cross Country finals, which this year are being organised by the DSSA at the same venue in March.
The top eight from each age group go through to the nationals, with the only QEGS runner guaranteed a place at the moment being Daniel Evans in the Junior Boys’ age category, who ran a competitive race in finishing seventh.
Other QEGS runners who impressed at Catton Park included Katherine Round, who finished ninth in the Inter Girl race, while Oliver Sadler was 10th in the Inter Boy contest.
Ellie Wainwright was the 10th Senior Girl home, while in the Year 7 Boys race, Jacob Buckley finished 12th, with Ross Keeling 23rd, Eden Banks 26th, and Stephen Elliott 36th.
Helena Shapton was 21st in the Year 7 Girls race, with Libby Gould 17th and Kate Moore 25th in the Junior Girls.
Finally, Dougie Anthony crossed the line in 21st place in the Junior Boys race.