THERE were some good performances from the region’s athletes at the UK Youth Development League National Finals in Birmingham.
Team DC (pictured above), made up of athletes from Devon and Cornwall, had qualified for the under-20 and under-17 finals by storming to victory in the Midlands Premier League South West.
However, they were not at full strength for the finals at Alexander Stadium due to other events and so were not able to challenge for a top three finish in the eight-team national event. The other finalists were Birchfield Harriers, Blackheath and Bromley Harriers, City of Sheffield, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Rugby and Northampton AC, Team Edinburgh and Windsor, Slough/Eton & Hounslow AC.
But many of Team DC’s athletes did claim top three finishes, while others forfeited individual glory to gain valuable team points.
City of Plymouth athlete Victoria Weir enjoyed a good afternoon. She won the under-20 2,000m steeplechase in 5:12.38 and also set a season’s best of 4:43.27 to come second in the A string 1,500m.
Weir’s team-mate Poppy Tank won the B string 1,500m in 4:51.12 and took second in the A 3,000m race in 10:14.66.
Erme Valley Harriers’ Nathan Brown came third in the under-17 A 800m in 2:02.94 and also won the B string 400m in 52.00.
His team-mate Will Battershill was one of the athletes to put individual glory aside for the team. He ran the 1,500m, 3,000m and 2,000m steeplechase.
Had he just been doing his favourite steeplechase event the Great Britain junior international would have been favourite to win as he was the fastest in the field by a long way, but had to settle for third in 6:21.6, which was 30 seconds off his PB, having already run the 1,500m and 3,000m.
Battershill, the fastest British-based under-20 steeplechaser, did clock a season’s best time of 4:06.19 to finish fourth in the 1,500m before doing the B 3,000m.
His club team-mate Owen Parkin ran the A 3,000m and achieved a personal best of 9:05.33 to finish fifth.
Tavistock athletes also claimed valuable points for Team DC. Jade Kinsey came third in the A 300m in 42.94 seconds, with Team DC team-mate Georgia Doyle-Lay coming second in the B string in 43.26.
Josh Blake, of Tavistock, took second in the under-20 B 800m in 1:58.17 and came fourth in the B 400m (53.04). His club colleague Samuel Lane de Courtin took second in the under-20 B 1,500m in 4:12.71.
Plymouth’s Jenna Bierton was fourth in the A under-20 100m hurdles and came third in the B triple jump.
There was also plenty of success for Cornwall-based athletes.
Charlotte Cayton-Smith came second in the under-20 A 800m in 2:18.73 and came third in the 400m (58.49).
Yoyo Barnsley was third in the under-17 A 1,500m (4:39.63) and won the B 800m (2:20.84).
Molly Caudery and Rebecca Gray impressed in the jumps. Caudery won the under-17 A high jump (1.60m) and the pole vault (3.80m), while Gray won the under-20 high jump (1.60m) and took second in the pole vault (3.65m).
Fynley Caudery, meanwhile, won the under-17 pole vault with a leap of 3.95m, while Harry Whinny won the triple jump (12.57m) and came third in the long jump (6.12m) and Georgia Doyle-Lay triumphed in the under-17 girls’ triple jump (10.94m).
Cornwall’s throwers were also in good form. Patrick and Connor Swan claimed lots of points in the shot, discus, hammer and javelin events.
Patrick Swan was second in the under-20 A shot (14.53m), third in the A discus (47.15), fourth in the A hammer (43.11m) and third in the B javelin (36.88m).
Connor Swan was second in the under-20 A javelin (48.50m), finished second in the B discus (35.08m) and came third in the B shot (10.84m).
Kieron Madden was second in the under-17 shot (13.05m) and third in the discus (31.70m).
Exeter’s Jack Moncur was second in the under-17 javelin with a best throw of 54.46m.