SERENA O’Connor starred as Dorset’s girls finished top of the minor counties table at the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships.

O’Connor overcame an age disadvantage to finish the senior girls’ race just six seconds outside the medal places in an impressive sixth position. Bridget Dence was exactly one minute behind in 33rd place.

Abbie Lovering (20th), Maddy Johnson (49th) and Holly Nixon (60th) led Dorset’s junior team to 12th place. Though not currently in form, Grace Copeland battled to 46th to lead the county’s intermediate girls.

The ESAA National Cross Country Championship is the most eagerly anticipated event of the winter for young athletes.

Organised entirely by teachers, the best athletes are brought together from each of the 45 counties in England to compete for the honour of being the nation’s best.

Dorset received the Sidney Rose Trophy as the best girls’ squad from a small county.

  • For all of the results from the event, pick up your copy of today's Bournemouth Daily Echo.