Bright Sparke produces a class performance

PUBLISHED: 16:28 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 26 October 2009

Oaklands College's Ronnie Sparke running in Liverpool

Oaklands College's Ronnie Sparke running in Liverpool

OAKLANDS College students came back from the ESAA Sainsbury s English Schools National Cross-Country Championships with their heads held high after some impressive performances. The college, which has campuses in WGC and Smallford, was represented in the

Oakland College's Rhys Glastonbury in action around Sefton Park

OAKLANDS College students came back from the ESAA Sainsbury's English Schools' National Cross-Country Championships with their heads held high after some impressive performances.

The college, which has campuses in WGC and Smallford, was represented in the national showpiece by Ronnie Sparke and Rhys Glastonbury in the senior boys' race.

Sparke led the way for Herts in the event held around Sefton Park in Liverpool with a top 10 placing.

He finished the senior boys' 6,500m race an impressive ninth out of 330 runners with a time of 21 minutes 43 seconds.

It was another solid performance from the 16-year-old athlete who followed up his victory at the Herts Schools' Championships held recently at St Albans.

Fellow Oaklands student Glastonbury finished well in the same national race with a time of 22 mins 50 secs in the rain.

That was good enough for him to end up comfortably in the top 60 out of the country's top pupils.

The pair were also part of the Herts Schools' squad that finished in the runners-up position overall in the team competition.

The county's senior boys were only just pipped to top spot by the West Yorkshire team by two points.

Both Ronnie and Rhys are doing a sports based scholarship at Oaklands College where they study performance and lifestyle.

This involves practical as well as study elements which will hopefully lead them to a university place.

Gary Anderson, performance director of the Athletics Academy at Oaklands, praised the duo and believes the college is producing some top quality athletes.

He said: "Ronnie and Rhys are seasoned athletes, even though they are still so young.

"Rhys has represented Wales and Ronnie comes from a good athletics background.

"All of our pupils who competed at the championships can be immensely proud of their achievements and I am extremely pleased at their efforts."

Dame Alice Owen's School pupil Ben Nagy competed against Sparke and Glastonbury in the senior boys' race and did well to finish 43rd with a time of 22 mins 39 secs.

Sophie Connor, another pupil from Potters Bar school Owen's, was 81st in the intermediate girls' race.

She was Herts' second runner home in 15 mins 11 secs.


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