Athletics

Erme Valley’s Battershill returns from America to retain England U20 steeplechase title

ERME Valley Harriers’ Will Battershill returned home from America to retain his England Under-20 3,000m steeplechase title at Bedford on Saturday.

Battershill, who has just completed his first year at Harvard University, was the class athlete in the field and produced a comfortable display of front running.

The former Ivybridge Community College pupil eased to the title in 9:13.57.

That was actually his slowest time in eight attempts at the event, but it was all about winning this weekend in a competition that was doubling up as the European Junior trials.

Battershill has run 8:55.84 minutes this season, which not only ranks him top under-20 in the UK but also in the top 17 seniors. That time is also well under the European Junior Championship qualifying time of 9:05.00. Battershill has actually run under the qualifying time three times this summer.

Second athlete home in baking hot conditions on Saturday was Shatfesbury’s George Groom, who clocked 9:29.40. Basingstoke’s James Beeks was third in 9:41.09.

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