CITY of Plymouth runner Poppy Tank has earned praise for her debut cross country season in America.
Tank left Plymouth College in the summer and took up a place at the University of Utah.
The 18-year-old has really established herself as a key member of Utah’s cross country team and has earned all-regional honours in her freshman year.
At the weekend she helped the university to their highest-ever finish at the NCAA Division One Championships.
Their women’s team finished 20th overall at the all-American event in Terre Haute. Their previous best was 26th.
Tank was Utah’s third finisher at the major event, coming 110th in a race packed with international and national-standard athletes, most in their early 20s.
She was the university’s top freshman finisher, with team-mate and fellow debutant Amanda Gehrich 151st. Their top runner home was Grayson Murphy, who finished 53rd and only 19 seconds in front of Tank, with Hannah McInturff 60th. The rest of Utah’s team all finished in the 200s.
Utah’s head coach Kyle Kepler said: “True freshmen Poppy (Tank) and Amanda (Gehrich) are just very consistent for us.
“They have been consistent all year and I was proud of how they were able to control the emotions of being at this meet for the first time. They helped us finish in the top-20 and I am excited for their future here.”
Tank had finished 25th the week before at the NCAA Division One Mountain Region Championships.
Meanwhile, Tank’s club back in England, City of Plymouth AC, enjoyed plenty of success at the Devon Sportshall Championships at Dawlish.
Their youngsters won 19 individual county titles and picked up 35 medals in total.
Mali Heard won three golds in the under-11 girls’ two laps, four laps and standing long jump events.
There were two titles apiece for Mia Endacott (U10 girls’ one lap and one lap hurdles), Lakaysha Pay (U10 girls’ speed bounce and chest push) and Andreas Isaias (U11 boys’ vertical jump and standing jump). Other City of Plymouth winners were Rebecca Eadie (U15 girls’ high jump), William Hardiman (U13 boys’ high jump), Olive Endacott (U10 girls’ two laps), Daniel Bevan (U13 boys’ two laps), Janea Oligan (U13 girls’ standing long jump), David Littlejohns (U13 boys’ four laps), Mia Mytton (U13 girls’ standing triple jump), Jake Bettey (U11 boys’ speed bounce), Lili Fern (U13 girls two lap hurdles) and Nina Trachet (U11 girls’ soft Javelin).
Erme Valley Harriers won seven individual Devon titles, with Olivia Travers and Brandon Whitford both claiming two golds. Travers triumphed in the under-13 girls’ four laps and vertical jump, while Brandon Whitford won the under-13 boys’ two lap hurdles and speed bounce.
Erme Valley’s other winners were: Paige Johnson (U13 girls’ two lap), Rosie Medlicott (U10 girls’ vertical jump) and Harvey Whitford (U10 boys’ speed bounce).
Tavistock claimed nine titles at Dawlish. Their winners were: Sheldon Higgins (U10 boys’ chest push and vertical jump), Hannah Walker (U11 girls’ high jump and vertical jump), Nicolas Maczugowski (U10 boys’ two laps), Max Port (U13 boys’ standing triple jump), Charlotte Walker (U11 girls’ standing triple jump), Matthew Jenkins (U11 boys’ soft javelin) and William Warren (U13 boys’ shot).
Full results can be viewed HERE.