SEVEN days after winning gold at the UK Intercounties Championships, Essex’s girls were on top of the podium once again - this time at the English Schools Cross-Country Championships.
The senior girls team won by an absolute landslide at Donnington Park in Leicestershire, to prove this generation of Essex distance runners are head and shoulders above anyone else in the country.
And with five of the eight-strong team still eligible to compete again next winter, it would appear their domination is well placed to continue.
Like a week earlier, it was Thurrock Harriers’ Gemma Holloway who lead the team home with a 15th-placed finish on a fast and dry course.
Holloway was followed by a flurry of team-mates, with the next runners all finishing in the top 60.
Jess Burgess was 22nd, one spot ahead of Katie Solis, with Lydia Hallam in 27th and Georgia Tuckfield 30th.
Basildon AC pairing Emily Bullis and Kaylee Dodd were 43rd and 60th respectively with Jasmine Hayward 144th.
For Dodd and Bullis, it was the perfect way to end their Essex Schools cross-country careers, with Dodd getting to lift the trophy as skipper.
The county’s junior girls team showed there may be a new generation of talent not too far around the corner as they finished fifth overall.
Khai Mhlanga was their leader, finishing in 15th spot with Isabella Hoy 36th.
Southend High School for Girls pupil Katie Faint had a fine run to finish in 38th spot, with her Chelmsford AC team-mate Rachel Broome 55th.
Basildon AC’s Niamh Smith impressed to be next home in 67th with Jessica Whiley 73rd, Kate O’Neill 111th and Benfleet’s Sinead Clark 144th.
The intermediate girls team finished in 10th position, led by Hannah Irwin in 34th.
Southend High School for Girls’ Victoria Hiscock was next in for Essex in 56th place with Sarah Wilson 92nd, Jodi Ratcliffe 104th, Basildon AC’s Isobel Ives 146th and Rosie Poole 159th.
Megan Williams was 160th with Canvey’s Jodie Judd finishing 213th.
Colchester Harrier Jordan Rowe was the highest placed individual finisher on the day as he was fourth in the senior boys race with the team finishing in 12th position.
Paulos Assogodam was 21st, Callum Charleston 40th and Basildon AC’s Adam Houchell 76th.
Three Southend AC athletes were in the team with Rob Frith 201st, Joe Ray 222nd and Henry Snell 248th, with Will Deasy the other finisher (230th).
The intermediate boys team was 13th overall with Basildon AC trio George Elliott (97th), Christian Gray (146th), and Lawrence Willmore (191st) and Southend AC’s Adam Jordan (104th) all in the squad.
Basildon AC’s Gus Withers was the first Essex scorer in the junior boys race as he finished in 85th position with his training partner Mason Webb 184th. Southend High School for Boys’ Mosope Oyelola was 169th and Thurrock’s Samuel Barella 283rd.