WILL BATTERHILL, Victoria Weir, Poppy Tank, Tess Masselink and Jade Simson will be hoping to end their English Schools’ athletics careers on a high this weekend.
The 18-year-old quintet have all claimed top five finishes at the track and field championships in recent years, with Battershill and Simson both among the medals in 2014.
And they will all head to Gateshead for the prestigious championships with their eyes on making the podium in a county vest.
Ivybridge Community College pupil Battershill won the intermediate boys’ steeplechase in 2014 but was unable to compete at last year’s England Schools’ Track and Field Championships as he was running for Great Britain at the IAAF World Youth Games in Columbia.
He is currently ranked second in the UK’s 2,000m steeplechase rankings – the event he will run for Devon in Gateshead – but he recently won the England Under-20 3,000m steeplechase crown.
Plymstock School pupil Weir tops the UK Under-20 rankings for the 1,500m steeplechase, which is what she will run for Devon this weekend. She finished fifth last year in the senior girls’ race but will be looking to improve on that after a brilliant season.
One of Weir’s big rivals on Saturday will be Callington Community College’s Masselink, who is competing for Cornwall. She is ranked third in the UK at under-20 level and finished fourth last year.
Fellow distance runner Tank, from Plymouth College, will run the senior girls’ 3,000m this weekend. She finished fifth last year in the 1,500m.
Her City of Plymouth club team-mate Simson, from Plymstock School, will be looking to continue her good form in Friday’s senior girls’ 100m hurdles.
After an injury-hit campaign last year, Simson has been improving her personal best throughout this summer and is ranked in the UK’s top 10 at under-20 level with 14.21 seconds.
Also competing in the senior girls’ category for Devon in Gateshead is Plymouth Studio School’s Aimee-Leigh Clowes. The Tavistock athlete will take part in the high jump.
The other age group to keep an eye on at Gateshead is the junior girls’ category where Sammie Harris, Emily Bee and Mia O’Daly will be in action.
Ivybridge Community College pupil Harris and Plymouth High School for Girls’ student Bee will both compete in the 75m hurdles.
They are both ranked in the UK’s top-10 and have enjoyed some great battles this season both at the hurdles and pentathlon.
They will be among the first athletes in action this weekend. They will also team up in the 4x100m relay for Devon.
Ivybridge Community College pupil O’Daly will be in action in the junior girls’ discus on Saturday. The City of Plymouth athlete is also ranked in the UK’s top 10.