Athletics

Tank impresses at top event in America, while Holland and Haines win at Haldon

CITY of Plymouth’s Poppy Tank made her mark at one of America’s top cross country events at the weekend.

Tank finished as first Brit and inside the top 25 at the prestigious Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Verona.

Competing at the same major meeting was her City of Plymouth team-mate Victoria Weir and Erme Valley Harriers’ Will Battershill.

Tank, who represented Great Britain at last season’s European Cross Country Championships, produced an impressive run for Utah University to finish 23rd in the women’s A race. She was her team’s top scorer, finishing just one place ahead of colleague and fellow Brit Bella Williams.

Utah’s head coach Kyle Kepler said: “Our top two, Poppy and Bella, really stepped up finishing 23rd and 24th, which is very impressive to see in this race against this field.”

Victoria Weir (front right) with her new Portland team-mates

The standard of the event was highlight by the fact that just two minutes separated 200 athletes. Fellow Great Britain international Weir, who has just moved to America to study for a masters degree at Portland University, was only one minute and 50 seconds behind Tank but had to settle for 209th spot. Weir’s cousin Sarah Chapman was also competing in the event having moved to Missouri after also graduating from the University of Birmingham.

Erme Valley Harriers’ Battershill, another Great Britain international who reached this year’s NCAA Division One T&F Championships in the steeplechase, was 166th for Harvard University in a equally high-quality men’s A 8k race, where less than a minute separated him from a top 30 spot.

Closer to home, Tavistock’s Adam Holland took victory in the Haldon Night 10k. He clocked 41.22 minutes for the off-road run that requires athletes to run with a head torch. Second place went to Storm Plymouth’s Pete Waumsley, who clocked 44.06 minutes.

Plymstock Road Runners’ Carla Haines was first women in 47.04 minutes, while Plymouth Musketeers’ Christian Hubble came second in the 5k race.

Home club athlete James Armstrong won the Tavy 5k on Saturday morning. He clocked 18.12 minutes to finish just three seconds ahead of under-15 club colleague Ewan Dix. Tamar Trails’ Tim Dodwell was third in 18.21 minutes.

Tavistock AC’s Jodi Fisk was fourth overall and first women in 18.37 minutes. Second place went to Plymouth Harriers’ Natalie Thomas, with Jane Allison third.

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