COLCHESTER and Tendring Athletics Club youngsters produced strong performances at the Essex Schools Cross-Country Championships.

The event took place in muddy, strength-sapping conditions at Chelmsford’s Hylands Park.

Elsie Gray clinched an English Schools finals place, finishing seventh in the senior girls' race - a great result after her disappointment at missing out by one place in 2017.

Amy Thompson (33rd) and Rebecca Ventre (35th) also performed well in the inter-girls' race, on their Essex schools debuts.

For the boys, Aidan Cahill (11th) and Jack Wharton (17th) secured Essex spots in the inter-counties race at Newbury in February.

The senior boys' event was a gruelling race of two laps in the oozing mud.

Freddie Richardson battled to 12th place, just ahead of team-mate Ben Miller (13th).

Jonathon Lord finished in a respectable 31st.

Meanwhile, in similar conditions, CATs member Matt Brayshaw won his schools race at Wellingborough to qualify for the Anglian Schools race at Holbrook.