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Downsend pupils in seventh heaven

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: April 18, 2012

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DOWNSEND School maintained their record by securing a seventh national title at the National Biathlon Championships at Crystal Palace.

The school in Leatherhead have maintained their 100 per cent record of a national title for the seventh year in a row, since first entering the championships.

The competition standard has improved vastly over that time, and more than 350 schools were represented on the day, having fought through regional and semi-final rounds.

All of the Downsend biathletes produced excellent times in both the run and swim to challenge for top places, and the results showed a reflection of the hard work and determination that the pupils have displayed since the cold winter months back in October when they first started training.

The Year Six boys' team were represented by two members from last year's runners up team, so it was great for them to finally achieve the gold medal position on the podium and to secure the national title.

As well as great team achievements for Downsend, there were a number of individuals who also competed to a very high standard, beating personal bests and enjoying the whole experience, which was new for many of them.

THE Cranmore U10 team also came home victorious as they scooped gold at the championships.

Cranmore School's squad of Nicolas Andrews, Paul Dewey, Erin Warnock and Oscar Wood faced stiff opposition from 62 boys competing in the Year Five age group, however, after their superb 500m run it was clear that they were the team to beat.

After two hours' rest, it was time to get in the water for the 50-metre swim which all the boys finished in under 40 seconds. The final results showed a clear victory for Cranmore who scored a total of 7,488 points, putting them nearly 400 points ahead of their nearest rival, Newcastle-under-Lyme School.

"It's a great result for the boys," said Kim Ewins, head of swimming at the West Horsley prep school. "To reach the finals is a major achievement, but to take home gold has given the boys a real Olympic feeling."

The final individual places were Paul Dewey 11th, Erin Warnock 19th, Oscar Wood 23rd and Nicolas Andrews 36th.

The run and swim times together with the results from the semi-finals and finals will be sent for inclusion in the World Schools' Biathlon Rankings List.

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