Will Battershill produces world class performance at Tavistock

6454264-largeERME Valley Harriers athlete Will Battershill ran under the IAAF World Youth Championship qualifying standard for the 2,000m steeplechase at the Devon Open Meet at Tavistock.

Battershill, pushed by North Devon senior Phil Norman, ran a superb time of five minutes and 51.57 seconds in glorious weather at the west Devon venue. That was a new personal best for the 17-year-old and took him back to the top of the UK rankings.

Worcester’s Declan McManus had clocked 5:53.89 the day before to put pressure of Battershill.

Although the Ivybridge Community College pupil has achieved the World Youth Championship qualifying mark it does not guarantee him selection for the event in Cali, Columbia this July.

Great Britain will select their team on June 29 and announce it the following day but they have said they will only take athletes they believe can finish in the top eight to South America.

Athletes who are picked to go to Columbia will miss the English Schools’ Track and Field Championships.

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Meanwhile, Battershill’s Erme Valley team-mate Owen Parkin moved himself up the UK under-17 5,000m rankings by setting a new personal best of 17:00.61 on his way to winning the men’s and under-20 race at Tavistock.

Nathan Brown, also of Erme Valley Harriers, was just outside his PB in the under-17 800m with a strong 2:00.02. Brown, inside the UK’s top 50, was 15 seconds faster than another else in his age at Tavistock.

There was a good turnout for the meet, with the host club particularly well represented.

They enjoyed plenty of success. Among Tavvy’s top performers was Jade Kinsey, who won the women’s under-17 100m, 200m and 300m in quick times of 12.71, 26.81 and 42.25 seconds respectively.

Another hot Tavistock sprinter was Josh Davies, who clocked a fast 12.35 seconds to win the under-15 boys’ 100m ahead of team-mates Jude White (12.83).

Tavistock also enjoyed success in the 1,500m, with 13-year-old Jenny Milburn claiming victory in the under-15 girls’ race in a personal best time of 4:52.67, which ranks her in the country’s top 45, while Alice Rogers won the women’s race in 4:57.06.

North Devon’s Charlotte Sutton clocked an impressive 12.94 seconds to win the girls’ under-15 100m, ahead of team-mates Emily Tyrrell and Olivia Sayer, while Torbay’s Elyse Leech won the under-20 race in 13.00 seconds ahead of City of Plymouth’s Jess Strang (13.3).

Meanwhile, North Devon’s Isabel Wakefield moved up to 14th in the UK under-17 girls’ long jump rankings with a personal best of 5.50 metres.



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