HUNDREDS of children swapped their pens and pencils for running shoes at a county-wide athletics meeting in St Ives. More than 500 children from 23 schools took part in the ninth Cambridgeshire Primary Schools Athletics Championships on June 28. Organised by Priory Junior School, St Neots, children pictured right, the event showcased a wide range of talents and gave children a chance to experience the excitement of a large athletics event. There were a number of close finishes - only one point separated Buckden from the championship winners, Brampton - and medals from the 18 events were shared between 17 schools. Priory Junior team captain Courtney March performed well, earning two silvers from both the individual sprint and relay, and Amanda Nicholson, Lucy Thomas and George Watson secured three individual bronzes for Priory Junior in the 80m sprint, 600m and long jump respectively. Having taken the prize every year since the contest began, Priory Junior also won the St Neots Area Team Award. The Small School Team award was won by Duxford. Mayor of St Ives, Councillor Deborah Reynolds, and junior international athletes Suzie Boast and Andrew Bullimore awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals for each event. Organisers of the contest, Linda Wagner and Kevin Sadler, said: "The enthusiasm and excitement generated by the children who entered was very noticeable this year - helping them achieve record-breaking performances and some exciting finishes. "It's Cambridgeshire's own Mini Olympics.