Axe Valley Community College Year 10 student Tony Pinder has been selected to run in the National Schools Cross Country championships for the second year running after he put in a strong run against even stronger winds at the South West Schools Cross Country Championships.

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Pinder, running at Bournemouth, had qualified for the Devon team after a gruelling mud bath of a run in January and the weather forecast was not looking much better for the event in Hampshire.

However, the winds kept the rain at bay for all runners on the day.

The course was much flatter, but faster than the previous round and Tony knew he had to get a fast start to compete with the runners from Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Devon.

The field, many being 12 months older than Pinder, was strong and fast, but he kept in touch with the top twenty runners for most of the course to finish 32nd overall.

Perhaps more significantly he was the seventh Devon runner home which means he should now travel to the National Championships being held at Castle Donnington on March 15.

Axe Vale Community College PE teacher Tracy Moran said: “Tony gave a fine performance at Bournemouth, once again having to run in terrible weather conditions. It was wonderful cheering him on and we are all thrilled for him to be going to the nationals again where we wish him all the best.”

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