ATHLETICS: Bee wins South West Championships and moves to the top of UK rankings

CITY of Plymouth’s Emily Bee triumphed at the South West Schools’ Combined Events Championships in Yeovil – and in the process moved to the top of the UK under-17 heptathlon rankings.

Bee broke the intermediate girls’ championship record with a stunning performance over the two days. She scored 4,763 points, which not only puts her at the top of this year’s rankings but in the top 30 of all-time.

The Plymouth High School for Girls pupil set personal bests in the 200m, javelin and 800m during the competition.

She made a good start to the championships by recording 11.50 seconds for the 80m hurdles, despite running into a slight head wind.

Bee followed that up with a 1.59m high jump and a 9.74m shot putt effort.

In the 200m she clocked 25.87 seconds, then recorded a 5.28m long jump before an inspired javelin performance of 29.61m.

Bee capped a memorable weekend by clocking 2:26.06, which was more than three seconds faster than she had run before and nine seconds better than her best this season.

Bee is one of just two athletes in the country this year to have achieved the UKA national standard of 4,600 points.

At the same competition, her City of Plymouth rival Sammie Harris also set a new PB, collecting 4,234 points on her way to finishing sixth.

Harris sits top of the UK 80m hurdles rankings but is also in the top 10 for the heptathlon.

She ran 11.62 seconds for the hurdles in Yeovil, leaped 1.47m in the high jump, threw 9.80m in the shot and ran 26.85 seconds for the 200m. Harris did produce an impressive long jump performance of 5.41m before throwing 21.49m in the javelin.  She was battling for third place going into the final event, but lost ground on the 800m, clocking 2:40.89.

In the junior girls’ competition, Erme Valley Harriers’ Olivia Travers finished 15th in the pentathlon with 2.251 points.

Meanwhile, City of Plymouth’s Simon Anderson and Tavistock’s Allan Herdman both claimed medals at the British Masters’ Championships in Birmingham, while Plymouth Harriers’ John Porter could not have been closer to joining them on the podium.

Anderson took silver medals in the over-50 800m and 1,500m.

Anderson, who is now in his fourth year at that age group, clocked 2:13.29 in the 800m to finish behind age group newcomer Simon Blackman.

In the 1,500m, Anderson clocked a season’s best 4:27.44, which was quicker than he had run to claim the World Masters’ Indoor title, but he had to settle for silver in Birmingham after getting out-sprinted on the line by Newquay’s Tony Wright.

Anderson had a busy weekend as he also ran the 5,000m, but he was outside the medals with 17.10.85.

Tavistock’s Herdman claimed two bronze medals in the over-60 800m and 1,500m. He ran 2:30.04 in the 800m and 5:04.69 in the 1,500m.

Plymouth Harriers’ Porter was disappointed with his 1,500m run on the Saturday, finishing sixth in the over-45 race in 4:23.45.

But he was much happier with his 800m display, despite missing out on a medal by one place and less than one second.

Porter finished fourth in the two lap event, clocking a season’s best 2:06.93. Scotland’s Gordon Barrie took bronze in 2:06.26.

Also at the weekend, Tamar Trotters’ Mike Wilsmore set a season’s best for the 1,500m at the Watford BMC Grand Prix.

Wilsmore clocked 3:50.87 to win his heat on Saturday night before heading straight back to Devon to do the Torbay Half Marathon.

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