The British Schools Championships took place on Sunday 18th November 2012 and were held in Delamere Forest near Chester. After training hard for a year our students travelled in hope and returned with numerous trophies and medals. More importantly, after a two year gap they regained the Large School Trophy and returned with the title of ‘Best Orienteering School in Britain’.
Delamere Forest is well used for walking, biking and horse riding. It’s many paths and tracks could be very confusing and it was always important to keep the map orientated. The pressure to run fast sometimes produced silly mistakes. The vegetation ranged from open woodland to dense conifers and, much to the runners dismay, large areas of brambles. The high rainfall in recent weeks resulted in the marshes being much bigger and deeper than expected and some of the ditches were impassable. The runners had to make quick decisions about route choice in order to find the easiest and quickest way to the controls. Luckily the weather couldn’t have been better. After an early frost the sun shone all day which made participating very enjoyable.
There were some excellent individual results. The school won 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Alex Foster (B7) (pictured above top) only started orienteering in Sept, but ran steadily throughout the course to win the silver medal. Angus (pictured right) recovered from a conservative start to register 4 fast splits at the end of the course which moved him from 7th into 3rd place and the bronze medal. The final individual medal was won by Katie in Girls 12. In a very competitive field she kept a fast pace throughout, making few mistakes to finish 3rd. Lois, Girls 11, just missed a medal, finishing in 4th place for the second year running. Heather, G7 was even closer to a medal, just 7 seconds off bronze.
Ulverston’s greatest strength is the large number of orienteers who compete for the age class trophies. UVHS won 5 age class trophies and achieved 2 second and a third place. One of the highlights was the success of the Boys 7 team. With only 2 months of training behind them the boys were faced with the largest class (78 runners, 11 teams). However, Alex (2nd), William (10th) and Francis (11th) blew the field apart to finish as champions, 16 point clear. The Girls 7 team were unlucky to be beaten into 2nd place by just 6 points.
The other highlight was the continued success of the Boys 12 team. Angus (3rd), William (5th) and Patrick (14th) retained their trophy and have yet to be beaten after 6 years. The third winning boys team was the year 8 team who retained their trophy from last year. Sam (6th) Harry (14th) and Stewart (22nd) beat Torquay by 12 points.
Perhaps the most unexpected win came from Girls 9. After finishing 3rd last year Mary (8th), Daisy (10th) and Grace (16th) leapfrogged into first place to win by 13 points. The older girls teams were not to be out done and there was success for the Girls 13 team who, despite having only two runners, were able to retain their trophy. Meghan (5th) and Collette (7th) brought the trophy home.
Boys 7 – 1st (A 2, W 10, F -11)
Boys 8 – 1st (S 6, H 14, S 22)
Girls 9 – 1st (M 8, D 10, G 16,)
Boys 12 – 1st (A 3, W 5, P 14)
Girls 13 – 1st (M 5, C 7)
Girls 7 – 2nd (H 4, H & E 12, M 13)
Girls 8 – 2nd (F 8, A 17, R 27)
Girls 12 – 3rd (K 3, K 8)
The competition for the Large Secondary Schools trophy was very exciting. With teams from as far away as Devon and Aberdeen, as well as the usual contenders from Kennilworth and Coventry the competition was close. After a tense wait it was finally announced that Ulverston had regained the trophy after a 2 year gap, beating Banchory Academy into 2nd place by 10 points.
Large Secondary Schools
1. ULVERSTON VICTORIA HS 38 (2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6)
2. Banchory Academy 48 (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9)
3. Kenilworth School & Sports College 58 (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 10, 11)
Photographs kindly provided by BSOA and Ray Barnes.