SWINDON Harriers athlete Josh Burns’ won his first Wiltshire School’s title last weekend after landing the junior boys’ cross country race at Sheldon School in Chippenham.

Fifth a year ago, Burns showed just how he has improved as he raced away from his rivals to win his first county title and maiden victory under coach John Dill.

There was a hint that Burns was a runner to watch just a few weeks ago when he placed a solid 12th at the South West Inter-Counties Championships over a tough course near Yeovil, and that experience clearly stood him in good stead on the flatter terrain around Sheldon School.

Burns enjoyed a comfortable 21-second gap over Bishop Wordsworth’s William Tavener at the finish with Marlborough College student Philip Monaghan third.

Josh has been with me for about 10 months now and came with lots of raw talent,” said coach Dill.

“I’ve worked on his pacing and giving him a bit more speed. Josh is a very dedicated lad with a great attitude and an excellent trainer.”

Coach Dill also enjoyed another medallist in the inter-girls’ race with a bronze for Kelly Marie Marsh.

The Commonweal School student has also shown great improvement recently, making the podium in her first attempt in the new age group, having finished fifth as a junior last year.

There was also a bronze medal for fellow Harrier Harry Woods in the inter boys’ age group.

The Ridgeway School student, who is coached by Kevin Buttle, moved up from seventh a year ago to make the podium as he pushed clubmate and Commonweal School student Jack Gunning into fourth.

Fourth can sometimes be the most frustrating position in which to finish, but New College student Rachel Oram – who is also in the Dill coaching group at Swindon Harriers – should be congratulated on her highest ever finish in this event.

And with another year competing in the age group, Oram can set her sights on a podium finish in 2021.