THE annual inter-counties cross country challenge match was staged recently at Basildon, Essex.

Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex, Sussex, Surrey and the host county all sent strong teams, with qualification to the English Schools' national championships a major incentive for all the competitors.

Christopher Dennis, Peter Batten and Carol Thompson, all pupils at the Mountbatten School and Language College, earned selection for their respective Hampshire teams through the recent county championships at Anstey Park, Alton.

Once again, Dennis demonstrated his undoubted potential by finishing 25th in the Junior Boys race, while the ever-improving Batten finished in 35th place. Batten and Dennis helped the county team to an impressive team victory.

Carol Thompson enjoyed a late call up to the intermediate girls' team, due to an unfortunate injury to team-mate Michelle Hallett.

Thompson grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and demonstrated what an exciting prospect she is at this level. She finished an impressive 47th, helping the county team to second place in the team competition.