Big weekend for the region’s young track and field athletes

Will Battershill

MANY of the region’s top young athletes will be in action at important meetings this weekend.

David King, Will Battershill, Poppy Tank, Tess Masselink and Jade Simon are entered in the England Athletics Under-23 and Under-20 Championships at Bedford, which take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Other highly UK-ranked athletes like Victoria Weir, Sammie Harris, Emily Bee and Aimee-Leigh Clowes will compete at the South West Schools’ Track and Field Championships at Exeter on Saturday.

Sprint hurdler King, who has his eyes on securing a place at this summer’s Olympic Games, is the top ranked 110m hurdler entered in the England Under-23 Championships, but will face tough competition from Khai Riley-La Borde on Sunday.

Battershill (pictured top) will compete in the under-20 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday. The national championships are acting as a trial for the World Junior Championships. To secure a place in the team, the Erme Valley Harrier, who is the fastest entry, would need to win on Saturday and run under 8:50.

Tavistock’s Masselink will also compete in the 3,000m Under-20 steeplechase at Bedford, while City of Plymouth’s Tank will compete in the 3,000m flat and team-mate Simson the 100m hurdles. All three will be in action on Sunday.

At the South West Schools’ Championships at Exeter, City of Plymouth’s Weir, who is the country’s top ranked 1,500m steeplechaser, will run the senior girls’ 800m for Devon.

Club team-mate Clowes, a pupil at Plymouth Studio School, will compete in the senior girls’ high jump. Also in the Devon senior girls’ team at Exeter will be Mount Kelly’s Jade Kinsey (100m), Plymouth College’s Lily Mills (shot and javelin) and Tavistock’s Jennifer Sabine.

In the senior boys’ section, Ivybridge Community College’s Nathan Brown, a member of Erme Valley Harriers, will run the 800m and Devonport High School’s Tom Blackford the 2,000m steeplechase.

Mount Kelly’s Josh Davies (400m) and Plymouth Studio School’s Ethan Hardie (discus) are in the intermediate boys’ section and Tavistock’s Luke Cressey (80m hurdles and high jump) and Mount Kelly’s Jamie Wavre (discus) the junior boys’ category.

Plymouth and west Devon will be well represented in the junior girls’ events.

Harris (Ivybridge Community College and Erme Valley) and Bee (Plymouth High School for Girls and City of Plymouth AC) will compete in the 75m hurdles. Bee will also do the long jump.

Jenny Milburn (Plymouth High School for Girls) and Elena Sidman (Devonport High School) will take part in the 800m, Mount Kelly’s Natasha Farrington the 1,500m, Tavistock’s Leah Parnell the high jump, Devonport High’s Emma Liardet the javelin and Ivybridge’s Mia O’Daly the shot and discus.

Ridgeway’s Courtney Weston (100m) and Devonport High’s Lois Fileman (hammer) compete for Devon in the intermediate girls.

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