THE district’s most rural school was celebrating great success as three pupils qualified for a national cross-country competition.

Haydon Bridge High School excelled at the recent North of England Schools Inter Counties Championships and pupils Jem Henderson and his brother Nathaniel, and schoolmate Isaac Rogan, booked their place in the prestigious English Schools Championships next month.

The journey for the boys started at the Tynedale championships at Ovingham Middle School in December where Jem led home the field in the minor boys’ races.

Nathaniel followed his brother’s lead and achieved the same in the junior boys’ category, closely followed by runner-up Isaac.

They progressed to represent the district in the county championships at Temple Park, in South Shields, last month, and they again put in sterling performances against rivals from across Northumberland.

Jem and Nathaniel again matched each other’s achievements, finishing ninth in their respective races. Again, Issac finished one place behind Nathaniel.

Their performances earned the trio selection for the Northumberland team which recently competed in the Inter Counties Championships at Lowther Castle in Cumbria.

In this round, they were pitched against the top runners from North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Durham and Cumbria over a testing parkland course.

They showed commendable confidence and resilience, running at the front of the pack with Isaac finishing an excellent 14th, Nathaniel 16th and Jem 45th.

All three have qualified for the nationals. Isaac and Nathaniel have made the team of eight which will represent Northumberland at Sefton Park, Liverpool, in March and Jem has been selected for the 12-strong team which will represent Northumberland at the Year 7 National Championships at Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire, also in March.