Smart overcomes fall to still finish in the top eight at English Schools’ Champs

MOUNT Kelly’s Oliver Smart overcame a heavy fall to still claim a top eight finish in the senior boys’ race at the English Schools’ Cross Country Championship in Liverpool on Saturday.

Smart (pictured top after his fall) had won the intermediate boys’ title last year but had moved up into the older age group this season.

His hopes of challenging for a medal were dashed when he fell in the mud at Sefton Park but he picked himself up and was only 150m behind the eventual winner Matthew Stonier from Kent.

Smart also helped Devon win a team silver medal. County team-mate Flynn Jennings finished just ahead of Smart in sixth, with Exeter’s Johnny Livingstone also in the top 30. The three of them all have at least another year left in the age group.

Plymouth College athlete Molly Shorey came agonisingly close to claiming a top eight place on her debut at the English Schools’ Championship.

Despite being a first year junior girl she produced a storming run at Liverpool to finish 11th in a mad sprint finish between seven athletes.

Shorey was just two seconds off sixth place. She did, though, finish as top Devon scoring, just a second ahead of Exeter’s Scarlett Livingstone, who represented England last year.

In the same race, Shorey’s City of Plymouth team-mate Holly Reid came 29th running for Cornwall in a race that saw 344 finishers. Molly Gilbey (Devonport High School), Charlotte Walker (Tavistock) and Verity Tank (Plymouth High School for Girls) also represented Devon in the junior girls’ race.

In the senior girls’ race, Plymouth College’s Chloe Olford came 25th. Devon did have a medallist in that event with Torbay’s Molly Canham taking silver. Talia Sullivan (Plymouth College), April Oakshott (Ivybridge CC) and Tilly McDowell (City College) were also in the senior girls’ Devon team.

Ivybridge Community College’s Thomas Jones did claim a top 50 finish in the junior boys’ race at Sefton Park, with Ewan Dix (Tavistock) Devon’s third scorer in 81st.

Tavistock College’s Will Russell and Joe Dix and Mount Kelly’s Amelia Riggott were also part of the Devon team in Liverpool.

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