YOUNG cross country runners from across the North-East descended on Haydon Bridge High School for a prestigious annual event.

For the 17th consecutive year, Haydon Bridge had the privilege of hosting the Tyne and Wear Schoolgirls’ Cross Country Championships, which took place in and around the school’s spectacular countryside location.

As usual, the competition attracted a bumper entry, with 57 teams competing across four different age groups, on the school’s widely respected Waite Farm course.

The day started with the minors race for Year 7 and below. Poppy Wilde, representing the A team of of Dame Allan’s School in Newcastle, took gold.

First local finisher was Rebecca Wardle, of Haydon Bridge High’s A team, who finished in a creditable 41st place.

The junior race for Years 8 and 9 was won by Poppy Olde, representing Newcastle High School for Girls’ A team.

First home for the Haydon Bridge’s A team was Hannah Teasdale in 48th place, with Prudhoe High School’s Ruby Hamilton Forsyth close behind in 50th.

Haydon Bridge High School had its best result in the intermediate race which saw Ella Pigg finish strongly in eighth position, leading the school’s A team home to third team place.

Prudhoe High School also had a strong showing in the event, producing two top 10 finishers in Charley Lee (third) and Meg Armstrong (ninth), with their team taking second place.

The senior race saw Prudhoe’s Keely French edge out Alnwick’s Duchess High School runner Jess Moses for first place. Also finishing strongly for fourth place was Allendale’s Sarah Jackson, representing Newcastle High School for Girls.

The event was staged and led exclusively by 65 of Haydon Bridge High School’s young sports leaders. They gained experience in a wide range of leadership and volunteering roles including team managing, registering of teams, recording results, marshalling the course, and serving refreshments.

The annual event continues to grow in popularity, and the number of teams entered were up by 20 on last year.

The school’s head of PE Liz Hicks said the day was a resounding success once again, and praised the efforts of runners of all schools involved.

She was also delighted with the young sports leaders, and was pleased with the way they conducted themselves and represented the school.

In recent years, Haydon Bridge High School has excelled on various sporting fronts, including athletics, cross country, and golf, with pupils gaining national recognition.