Athletics

Smart finally breaks four-minute barrier, while Hutchings storms up UK rankings

TAVISTOCK Run Project’s Oliver Smart finally broke the magic four-minute barrier for the 1,500m on Saturday on his way to victory at the Par Get Back to Competition September Race Series in Cornwall.

There was also an impressive run in the same race by City of Plymouth’s under-15 athlete Jed Hutchings, who also smashed his personal best.

Smart, the 2019 intermediate boys’ English Schools’ Cross Country champion, had been edging closer to four minutes for the past two years.

Last season he clocked 4:02.89 and at the start of August he ran 4:02.5 in his first track meeting of 2020.

But on Saturday he got the race he wanted and smashed nearly four seconds off his PB to clock 3:58.7. That ranks him in the UK’s top 25 at under-20 level in his first year of that three-year age group.

His Tavistock Run Project team-mate Jordan Andrews took second at Par on Saturday in a PB time of 4:04.8.

Under-15 athlete Hutchings, who has been concentrating on the 800m, made his mark at the longer distance by finishing fourth overall in the same race with a time of 4:17.6.

That was more than 20 seconds faster than he had previously run for that distance and ranks him 11th in the UK at under-15 level. He is actually the fastest first year athlete in that age group by nearly seven seconds.

Plymouth Harriers’ over-45 veteran John Porter came fifth in the same race on Saturday in 4:34.1.

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