Athletics

Smart takes second at Milton Keynes leg of British Athletics Cross Challenge

TAVISTOCK Run Project’s Oliver Smart took runners-up spot in his age category at the second leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge at Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes, on Saturday.

English Schools’ champion Smart had also come second in the under-17 age at the first leg in Cardiff last month.

In Wales he was just beaten by his Devon team-mate Flynn Jennings, but this time around he edged out Jennings only for Windsor’s Will Barnicoat to take the victory. Just 10 seconds separated the three of them in wet and muddy conditions.

Meanwhile, at the second Westward Cross Country League meeting which was held at Newquay on Sunday, City of Plymouth continued to dominate the under-13 girls’ category.

The club had five runners in the top eight, including the top two – Molly Shorey and Holly Reid.

Shorey won in 11.16 minutes, while Reid took second in 11.24. Team-mate Molly Gilbey was fifth, with Madeleine Jones sixth and Verity Tank eight. Erme Valley’s Bella May was ninth.

There was a second place finish for the City of Plymouth’s Thomas Jones in the under-15 boys’ race. He was also second in the first series meeting at Central Park. Again the only person to beat him was Cornwall’s Zak Clemens, who won by just two seconds in Newquay. In the same race, Tavistock’s Abe Reid and Ewan Dix came fifth and eighth, respectively, while Erme Valley’s Samuel Oakshott was 10th.

In the under-11 boys’ race, City of Plymouth’s Barnaby Hutchings was second overall and first in the Cornwall County Championship. Erme Valley’s Callum Williams was sixth, while his team-mates Luke Hayes and Freddie Newman both clocked the same time finishing 10th and 11th.

In the senior women’s race, City of Plymouth’s Hannah Blair was fifth overall, while Erme Valley’s Cleo Perry was seventh and first over-45 athlete, finishing one place ahead of Cornwall’s Emma Stepto. Tavistock’s Jo Meek was 10th overall and first in the over-40 category.

Tavistock’s Tilly McDowell was third in the under-17 girls’ race that was run with the senior women. Team-mate Elyse Kedzior-MacDonough was sixth under-17.

In the senior men’s race, Plymouth Harriers’ Johnny Gilby was fifth in a strong field that saw Exmouth’s Tom Merson edge out Bideford’s Ronnie Richmond by just one second to win. Tavistock Run Project pair Ben Neale and Jordan Andrews were eighth and 10th, respectively.

Tavistock AC’s Martin Exley-Deane was first over-55, team-mate Richard Drage was first over-60 and Erme Valley’s Ken Summer took over-65 honours.

There was also a top 10 place for Tavistock’s Claudia Jones in the under-11 girls’ event.

The third race in the series will take place at Exeter on December 1 and will include the Devon County Championships.

Elsewhere, at the ESAA English Schools’ Cup South West final at Taunton on Saturday there were top five finishes for Matilda Riggott, Madeleine Jones and Bella May.

The trio were competing in the junior girls’ event and Mount Kelly pupil Riggott took third place overall as her school came seventh.

Jones and May were part of the Ivybridge Community College team that came sixth. Jones took fourth spot, just a second ahead of her team-mate May.

Just days earlier Jones had taken victory in the minor girls’ race at the Plymouth & West Devon Schools’ Cross Country Championships. She was followed home by Tavistock College’s Lara Dix and Mount Kelly’s Matilda Purnell.

Tavistock’s Flynn Baker won the minor boys’ Plymouth & West Devon title ahead of Ivybridge’s Azad Robertson and DHSB’s Sam Pearson.

Plymouth College’s Molly Shorey was a dominant winner in a strong junior girls’ race. She won by 37 seconds ahead of Tavistock College’s Charlotte Walker and Mount Kelly’s Matilda Riggott.

Ivybridge’s Thomas Jones took victory in the junior boys’ race, with Tavistock College duo Ewan Dix and William White second and third.

The intermediate girls’ winner was Mount Kelly’s Amelia Riggott, with Ivybridge’s Kristyna Cade second and DHSG Emily Cornish third.

William Russell, of Tavistock College, won the intermediate boys’ race ahead of Ivybridge’s Oliver Woodmason and Tavistock team-mate Joe Dix.

Plymouth College’s Chloe Olford, who recently came fifth for Great Britain in the under-19 event at the World Biathlon Championships in Flordia, won the senior girls’ race ahead of team-mate Talia Sullivan and City College’s Tilly McDowell.

Eggbuckland’s Dan Newman won the senior boys’ race, with Hele’s Jamie Frost second and Mount Kelly’s Ben Grainger third.

The Devon Schools’ Cross Country Championships will take place on January 18 at Stover School.

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