Josh secures his England vest

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Every now and again an athlete comes along who epitomises what running should be about – a hard work ethic, determination and toughness, while enjoying their running and staying humble and respectful. Josh Blevins is such an athlete and his efforts have been rewarded in fine style.

On Saturday at a muddy Temple Newsam in Leeds, North Shields Poly celebrated their latest International call up when Josh finished a magnificent second place in the Junior Boys race at the English Schools Cross Country Championships.

The English Schools are seen as the highlight to any young athlete’s career. The best eight runners from every County in England go up against each other, with the top eight finishers being rewarded with a chance to don the England vest in the Home Countries International Championship the following week.

Josh went into the race unbeaten on the schools circuit. He won the North Tyneside, Northumberland and Northern Inter Counties Championships and warmed up for the English Schools with a 16th place in the UK Inter Championships where he finished as second placed first year behind Lewis Sullivan of Suffolk, who went into the English Schools as arguably the favourite.

Also in the field would be Josh’s big rival and North East Champion Chris Perkins who would be representing Durham.

After a somewhat mad start, the field settled down and it wasn’t long before Josh was near the head of the field with the two favourites – Lewis Sullivan and Chris Perkins.

Sullivan went on to win the race with Josh a deserved second.

The Home Countries International now awaits this weekend (March 23) in Dublin.