Athletics team make winning start to life in higher division

IMG_7299AN ATHLETICS team from the region made a winning start to life in Southern League Division Two West.

The side, made up of athletes from City of Plymouth AC, Erme Valley Harriers and Tavistock AC, continued their success from last year, where they won Division Three South to gain promotion, by finishing top in their opening meet at the higher level at Andover.

The Plymouth side, despite missing a number of competitors due to injury and events elsewhere, finished with 194 points.

Andover/Overton were second with 181 points, Oxford City (174) third and Epsom & Ewell Harriers fourth with 145.

The absence of some key athletes meant chances for others, including a number of younger competitors making their debuts, and they took the chance to impress in Hampshire.

Sisters Liz and Chloe Edwards got the Devon side off to a great start by winning the A and B strings in the women’s hammer. They later joined forces for the discus, with both finishing third.

There was also another early success with Kerry Smith-Whightman taking top spot in the pole vault with a clearance of 1.9 metres.

Other winners on the day included Matt Gilbert in the high jump with 1.78 metres, Luke Sings in the discus and B javelin, Lilly Edwards and Tamzin Gribble in the 400m hurdles, Hayley Harvey and Jess Strang in the 400m, Dean Smith and Simon Anderson in the 800m, with Anderson also claiming victory in the 1,500m, where Chris Williams also took a second. Matt Bradley and John Cooper both won their respective 2,000, steeplechase events.

There were also valuable points from Lilly Edwards and under-17 debutant Courtney Weston in the long jump, with both claiming third places. Weston also took third in the 100m with a credible 13.00 seconds, with Edwards taking third in B race. Weston also came second in the B 200m with Harvey taking the same position in the A string

Alistair Carpenter and Matt Bradley filled second places in the men’s 400m hurdles, with Luke Sings and novice Conner Bolt securing second and fourth in the hammer, Chloe Edwards and Smith-Wightman claimed two second spots in the women’s shot and also second and third finishes in the javelin.

Jess Strang, who had enjoyed success at the 400m, came second in the 1,500m.

In the men’s, sprints  Tyler Johnson and Ross Evans took valuable points in the 100m before Johnson partnered his younger brother Bradley in 200 metres, with Bradley running a personal best.

Carpenter and Elliott Platt, another under-17, took third and second in the men’s 400m, with Platt clocking a superb 54.00 on his first senior run over the distance.

Steve Burns and John Cooper both claimed second places in the 5,000m, while Aimee-Leigh Cowes (under-17) took second in the high jump on countback with 1.60m, while Lilly Edwards, who had a busy day, won the B string.

Cowes also took third in the A triple jump, with Gribble winning the B string.

In the relays, Plymouth came second in the women’s 4x100m, while the men won the 4x400m event by five seconds and took third in the 4x100m.

The next meeting will be held at Brickfields on May 30 when the visiting teams will be Yeovil, Radley and Newbury.


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