Georgina Blatt helped Tadcaster School to the national finals of the English Schools' Cross Country Cup by coming eighth out of 70 runners in her first race.

Blatt's fine debut run helped Tadcaster to third place in the North East final at Skipton and the rest of the junior team followed her example.

Nicola Lampard came in sixth, Kate Hollier in seventh, and Michaela Peach battled to 18th place to book Tadcaster's place in the national finals.

There was more to celebrate because the girls will have home advantage on December 2 after the venue for the finals was set at Tadcaster.

The flat and shorter course will certainly be an advantage after Tadcaster found the hills and mud at Skipton difficult to master despite their excellent finish.

It will be the first time the final has been held in North Yorkshire.

There will be four races, each with 24 schools, and the event is expected to attract a large crowd of parents and supporters.

Competitors include British Schools' champion Ahmed Ali (Barking Abbey, Essex) while well known schools taking part include Millfield (Somerset), Dulwich College (Kent) and Manchester Grammar. Two schools travel from Cornwall - Penair and Helstone.

Competing with many top cross country schools will be Canon Lee School's intermediate girls' team and Tadcaster's junior girls.

Canon Lee will be led off by Asha Hibbert, ninth in the junior race in the final two years ago. Opponents include last year's junior winners Canon Slade, Bolton and previous junior champions Wolfreton (Hull) and three strong Essex teams - Fitzwimark, Brentwood Ursuline and Southend High.

Tadcaster won the North East Region without one of their top runners. With their less experienced runners improving rapidly, their newly acquired strength in depth could help them to a top ten placing - the previous best by a York school is 13th.