A TALENTED cross-country runner has taken a major stride towards his Olympic dream after securing another win.

Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS) student Stefan Hornsby sped to the front of the field at the start and stayed there to finish 50m ahead of his nearest rival in the Durham County cross country trials at Meadowfield.

The year 7 student was spotted at primary school for his raw talent and dogged determination.

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Despite little training he has secured a number of top places over the years with his strategy of leading from the front.

“I do get nervous before a race and once it starts I use this to energise me,” said the 12-year-old, of Darlington.

“I always like to get clear of the field so I can focus on the finish and always seem to have enough energy for the race. The latest event was very cold and muddy but really good fun and I was very excited to win.”

A keen footballer, Stefan plays right midfield for Stockton Town.

He said: “One day I would love to compete in the Olympics, perhaps in 2020 in Tokyo.

“Failing that I would love to play football for Paris St Germain or Manchester United.”

Stefan’s win qualifies him to run for Durham in the inter-counties contest, which is due to take place on February 1.

If he finishes well at this level then he will be able to compete in the nationals later in the year.

DSMS sports teacher Karen Philips said: “Stefan is such a natural runner and doesn’t do any training other than his football. He is a real gutsy performer and a proper sportsman willing to take part in anything.”