YOUNG athletes from a North-East school dominated the competition at a town-wide cross country running championship.

Runners from Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, not only won the Year 10 & Year 11 Boys Race at the town’s annual Cross Country Championships, but also took second, third, fourth, and fifth place.

First place was won by John Russell, who said: “It feels pretty amazing to have done this. We haven’t achieved this sort of result as a school since I’ve been here, so it’s quite a cool thing to happen to us.”

Second place was won by John’s twin brother Adam Russell, while third place went to Tom Smith, fourth to Sam Rhodes Dawber, and fifth to Harry Wilson.

James Keating, principal of Hummersknott Academy, said: “We have a strong tradition of sporting excellence at Hummersknott, but to take all five top places in a feature race is something very special.

“I’d like to congratulate these five boys, and everyone else who competed in the Cross Country Championships – you’re a credit to the school, and we’re very proud of you all.”

While the weather improved in time for the event, heavy rain beforehand made for difficult conditions underfoot.

In an incredible performance, Freya Talman – representing Hummersknott in the Year 7 Girls race – lost both shoes to the clinging mud 800 metres from the finish line, and still managed to win second place, finishing the race in her socks!

Hummersknott students also won the Year 8 & Year 9 Girls, and Year 10 & Year 11 Girls race, as well as placing in three others.

As a result of this strong performance across the board, Hummersknott Academy were declared the Overall Boys and Girls Winners of the championships.

PE teacher and the cross country squad coach, Alasdair Tatham, said: “I’m delighted that 90 students chose to enter the town competition, and to have so many of them achieve such high performances really is testament to their training and their commitment to the sport.”