Eastbourne athlete Beth Cook beat hundreds of the country’s top runners at the weekend to win the English Schools Cross Country Championships and earn her place representing England, for a third time, in this Saturday’s Home Nations Championships in Dublin.
The Roedean Moira House schoolgirl, who lives in Eastbourne, tackled rainy and muddy conditions to win the intermediate girls title at the 3.75km Leeds course a full 13 seconds in front of the second place Wiltshire runner Bea Wood, who had been unbeaten in over a year.
Beth won the Sussex Schools Cross Country championships at Waterhall stadium in Brighton in January.
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Now Beth, 14 and the youngest competitor in her group, has got her eye on becoming UK champion at the weekend when she travels to Dublin.
Beth, who is also a champion triathlete, said: “I have qualified for English schools twice before, in the ‘Junior’ age group both times coming second. It feels amazing to finally win it! I’m just looking forward to the next challenge on Saturday now - it feels amazing to be representing my country!”
Beth’s parents Glenn Cook and Sarah Coope are also successful athletes and run Eastbourne’s Team Bodyworks, a triathlon performance organisation.
Roedean Moira House headmaster Andrew Wood said: “We just could not be prouder of Beth. Despite her undoubted talent and athletic ability, she is modest and unassuming about her successes and a great inspiration to all the girls here at school. We wish her all the luck in the world for this weekend.”