VICTORIA WEIR and Will Battershill both ran personal bests to claim English Schools’ steeplechase titles on Saturday afternoon at Gateshead.
Plymstock School and City of Plymouth athlete Weir claimed her first national crown with a dominant run in the senior girls’ 1,500m steeplechase event.
The 18-year-old smashed her PB and the championship record by 10 seconds. She clocked a stunning 4:40.23 to overcome the challenge of her big rival Tess Masselink, who was representing Cornwall.
Callington Community College pupil Masselink, who competes at club level for Tavistock, took silver with a new personal best of 4:50.45.
Weir and Masselink were the only two athletes to run under five minutes in the final.
The Ivybridge Community College pupil destroyed a top quality field to win by more than seven seconds and set a new PB.
Erme Valley Harrier Battershill, who recently won the England Under-20 3,000m steeplechase crown, ran 5:49.44 minutes, which was more than two seconds quicker than he had run before.
Suffolk’s John Millar was second in 5:56.83, with Somerset’s Archie Walton, who went into the race with the quickest time, third in 6:02.48.
There was also a medal for fellow Ivybridge Community College pupil Mia O’Daly. The City of Plymouth AC athlete took bronze in the junior girls’ discus with a throw of 31.27m.
Her club team-mate Poppy Tank, from Plymouth College, just missed out on a podium finish. She came fourth in the senior girls’ 1,500m with a time of 4:36.53. Tank was just 0.06 seconds off bronze.
Another City of Plymouth athlete, Jade Simson, from Plymstock School, was fifth in the senior girls’ 100m hurdles final with a time of 14.50 seconds.
There was disappointment for fellow Devon hurdler Sammie Harris in the junior girls’ competition.
Ivybridge Community College and Erme Valley athlete Harris had qualified third fastest for the final, but in it she hit the second barrier heavily and finished eighth.
Emily Bee, of City of Plymouth and Plymouth High School for Girls, reached the semi-finals of the same event.
The pair did team up to help Devon reach the final of the 4x100m relay, but the county were disqualified as they pushed for a medal.
Plymouth Studio School and Tavistock athlete Aimee-Leigh Clowes came ninth in the senior girls’ high jump in Gateshead with a leap of 1.58m.