Story by REDintern Denise Chia. Photos by Jerald Ang and Chua Kai Yun/Red Sports.

Nicole Low (#2101) of VJC emerged first in the A Division Girls category with a timing of 13:46.33. (Photo © Chua Kai Yun/Red Sports)

Nicole Low (#2101) of VJC emerged first among the A Division girls with a timing of 13:46.33. (Photo 1 © Chua Kai Yun/Red Sports)

Bedok Reservoir Park, Wednesday, March 23, 2016 — Nicole Low of Victoria Junior College (VJC) covered the 3.6km route in a time of 13 minutes and 46 seconds to clinch the A Division girls title for the second year running at the National Schools Cross Country Championships.

Winning back to back individual A Division titles is a rare feat. Only seven female A Division runners have achieved this feat since 1971. The last A Division female runner to do so before Nicole Low was Loh Yanni, then of Raffles Junior College, in 2005 and 2006. Before Loh, it was Pamela Chia Xian Qing, then of Hwa Chong Junior College, who did the double in 2002 and 2003.

Nicole’s teammate, Vanessa Lee, clinched the silver medal in a time of 14:09.90 while Natalie Soh of Raffles Institution (RI) came in third with a time of 14:51.11, repeating their finishing positions from the previous year.

The front pack split quickly pulled to the front almost immediately after flag-off. Vanessa led the pack from the beginning of the race to the 400m mark, where Nicole caught up with her following a slower start. Natalie followed at a distance while maintaining a constant rhythm.

However, Nicole and Vanessa picked up the pace at the turnaround point, leaving Natalie trailing behind. Nicole eventually managed to outsprint her teammate towards the end to secure her national title.

“My timing was better today compared to the previous races – however, I wish my timing was better!” said Nicole, who had finished behind Vanessa in the races leading up to the Nationals.

Nicole and Vanessa, along with teammates Ng Qi Hui and Alexandra Wee, also helped VJC defend their team title. RI were second while National Junior College (NJC) and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) came in third and fourth respectively.

This was the first time VJC defended their girls’ title since 1996, when they won their second of three consecutive titles.

The runners will now turn their attention to the National Inter-School Track and Field Championships, which begins on April 13.

A Div Girls (Top 20)
1st Nicole Low Sui Xian (#2101, Victoria Junior College) — 13:46.33
2nd Vanessa Lee Ying Zhuan (#2104, Victoria Junior College) — 14:09.90
3rd Soh Hann, Natalie (#2069, Raffles Institution) — 14:51.11
4th Nah Yi Xin (#2067, Raffles Institution) — 14:58.80
5th Chiang Aiting, Faye (#2062, Raffles Institution) — 15:21.28
6th Mariana Ramos Branicio (#2021, Catholic Junior College) — 15:37.53
7th Ng Qi Hui (#2100, Victoria Junior College) — 15:47.03
8th Awe Wan Qi, Valencia (#2045, National Junior College) — 15:48.28
9th Alexandra Louise Wee Rei-Min (#2097, Victoria Junior College) — 15:49.66
10th Lau Jia En, Ashley (#2048, National Junior College) — 15:56.81
11th Lai Zi Qing, Valarie (#2065, Raffles Institution) — 16:10.91
12th Low Yi Ern (#2012, Anglo-Chinese School Independent) — 16:13.81
13th Hor Wai Yin Dilys (#2027, Hwa Chong Institution) — 16:20.51
14th Audrey Tey Ee Teng (#2098, Victoria Junior College) — 16:20.96
15th Lok Qi Ying Amanda (#2066, Raffles Institution) — 16:28.25
16th Tay Jin Wen (#2052, National Junior College) — 16:29.24
17th Hui Sau Han, Melanie (#2071, River Valley High School) — 16:30.11
18th Jiang Jing (#2084, St. Andrew’s Junior College) — 16:39.63
19th Yap Jia Hui (#2015, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 16:42.73
20th Crystabelle Wang (#2026, Hwa Chong Institution) — 16:53.55

A Division Girls Team Results (Top 4)
1st Victoria Junior College
Nicole Low (1st), Vanessa Lee (2nd), Ng Qi Hui (7th), Alexandra Louise Wee Rei-Min (9th)

2nd Raffles Institution
Natalie Soh (3rd), Nah Yi Xin (4th), Faye Chiang (5th), Valarie Lai (11th)

3rd National Junior College
Valencia Awe (8th), Ashley Lau (10th), Tay Jin Wen (16th), Lee Wern Pebbles (36th)

4th Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
Low Yi Ern (12th), Yap Jia Hui (19th), Gillian Michaela Ong (23rd), Khor Ting En (26th)

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