The Inter-Schools Cross-Country Championships moved to a new venue this year at Port-e-Chee Meadow on the outskirts of Douglas.

With Douglas Rugby Club as the headquarters, it proved to be a successful move and the event was blessed with weather conditions that could not have been better, with mainly good, dry running and even some dazzling winter sunshine.

The races were mainly dominated by competitors who are regulars in the Isle of Man Cross-Country League, and there were some fine runs and exciting contests right through the age groups as the island’s six secondary schools battled for supremacy over a variety of distances.

The Year 7 Boys were first off and this race was dominated by Harry Stennett (Ramsey Grammar School) who won by a convincing margin from Liam Blake (St Ninian’s High School).

Next up was the Senior Boys race in which Ryan Corrin (Ballakermeen HS) had to work hard to shake off Charlie Swales (Ramsey GS) but eventually opened a winning gap of 23 seconds. These two were well clear of the rest of the field.

The Intermediate Boys race was a cracker, with the Ramsey GS pair of Lucas Stennett and Sam Perry in close company for almost the entire race.

It was only on the approach to the finishing straight that Perry surged into the lead and he crossed the line to win by nine seconds. Corbyn Schade and Gethin Owen (both QEII HS) were third and fourth respectively.

The Junior Girls were next to go and victory in this one went to Penny Webster (King William’s College) by 11 seconds from Lucy Ormsby (Ramsey GS), with Abi Clayton (Ramsey GS) taking third by two seconds from Kayleigh-Dee Corrin (Ballakermeen).

The Year 7 Girls race was won impressively by Amelie Geldart from her KWC team-mate Marczhela Pitao-Cubbon, with Millie Lunt (St Ninian’s) third.

The Junior Boys followed and this race resulted in another KWC one-two with Kieran Douglas winning a very close race with Charlie Arculus by two seconds. Harris White nicked third from fellow St Ninian’s student Sam Corkill by a stride.

The final race start saw the Senior and Intermediate Girls running together over the same distance. The first three athletes home were intermediates, Macy Hillier (KWC) winning by 14 seconds from Madison McMullan (Ramsey GS) with Lola Bass (KWC) third.

Ella Crowe (Castle Rushen HS) was the winner of the Senior race, with Catherine Perry (Ramsey GS) second and Mairi Harrison (Ballakermeen) in third.

There is a strong team element to this championship, and the most successful school on the day was Ramsey Grammar School - winners of the Senior Girls, Inter Boys and Junior Girls categories, also claiming three second places overall.

King William’s College and St Ninian’s each took two victories and Ballakermeen one, while the QEII School teams were consistent through all the age groups.

Grateful thanks go to the two main organisers, Andrew Baker and Andy Fox, and to the many sixth-form students who assisted with course marking and marshalling to make the event an enjoyable and successful one.

Thanks also go to Douglas Rugby Club and the farmer for use of the land and facilities.

l Full results can be found on the Manx Timing Solutions website.