COMPETITIVE athletics returned to Brickfields on Sunday for the first time since 2019.
The Plymouth track underwent a £700,000 upgrade last year, which included completely relaying the surface, repairing the throwing and jumping areas and installing a new security fence.
And it helped produce a host of personal best and a few UK-leading performances on Sunday as it played host to the opening 2021 Devon Open Series meeting.
Home athlete Nicolas Maczugowski increased his lead at the top of the under-15 boys’ 80m hurdles rankings with a winning PB time 11.78 seconds. His club colleague Adam Dingley, who is third in the UK rankings, was second in 12.34 seconds.
Maczugowski also set a new PB to win the U15 shot with a throw of 11.42m, which ranks him eighth in the UK. He also won the discus with 31.85m – an event where he is ranked third in the country.
Another Plymouth UK leader, Nubia Evans-Shields, continued her dominance in the under-15 girls’ discus event with a throw of 37.20m on Sunday.
North Devon’s Eden Robinson stormed to the top of the UK under-15 girls’ 100m and 200m events with 12.50 and 25.37 second runs and she helped push City of Plymouth’s multi-eventer Poppy Northcott to new sprint PBs.
Northcott, who at under-13 level was in the UK’s top six for 800m and 1,200m, clocked 12.94 seconds for the 100m and 26.35 seconds for the 200m, finishing second behind Robinson.
Northcott did win the under-15 girls’ 75m hurdles in 12.40 seconds, although the wind was just over the legal limit.
Tavistock’s Evie Palmer took victory in the under-13 girls’ 70m hurdles in a wind-assisted 13.69.
Plymouth’s Henry Curtis also had frustrated with the wind in the under-20 110m hurdles. He stormed to victory in 14.81 seconds, which was the first time he had been under 15 seconds, but the wind was above the legal limit.
There was a tremendous under-17 girls’ 300m hurdles race, where just 0.01 of a second separated Dorchester’s Molly White and Plymouth’s Kate Gray. Both clocked PBs with 48.34 and 48.35 second runs respectively, with White just edging victory.
There similar tight finishes in the men’s middle distance events.
Just 0.03 of a second separated Exeter University’s Alex Ford (2:02.19) and Plymouth’s Dan Newman (2:02.22) in the 800m, while there was a sprint finish in the 3,000m where Severn’s Alex Rawlings (9:07.83) just pipped Plymouth’s Matthew Bradley (9:07.99) in the 3,000m.
Plymouth’s Thomas Jones was first under-17 boy in the 3,000m with a PB time of 9:45.72, while Tavistock’s Charlotte Walker set a new best of 11:05.57 to finish as first under-17 girl. Walker had a good afternoon as she also won the under-17 girls’ discus with a PB of 27.79m, which puts her in the UK top 10.
Her team-mate Amelia Riggott was first under-17 800m in 2:31.19, while Plymouth’s Verity Tank won the under-15 girls’ race in 2:32.53.
Jacob Lamball (City of Plymouth) took the honours in the under-20 400m in 51.67 seconds, while Tavistock’s Joe Wheeler (52.35) edged out Plymouth’s Thomas Elliott (52.52) in the under-17 one lap event. Both are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Joe Wheeler also ran 11.54 seconds for the 100m which was just 0.04 seconds quicker than his twin brother, James, who ran in a different heat.
That under-17 boys’ 100m was particularly strong and Plymouth athletes Mackenzie Pike (11.73), Connell McCarthy (11.77) and Jake Weir (11.88) all went under 12 seconds and claimed new PBs.
There was a new PB for Tavistock’s Rory Summers in the under-15 100m. He clocked 12.01 seconds.
But the wind denied Tavistock’s Bart Grainger and Plymouth’s Adam Dingley legal PBs in the same age group, but in a different heat. Grainger took victory in that heat in 12.30 seconds, with Dingley second in 12.76.
However, Grainger did get a PB in the 200m, clocking 25.30 seconds to finish behind team-mate Summers, who also ran a new best mark with an impressive time of 24.20 seconds, which ranks him fifth in the UK.
Plymouth’s Brook Adnitt won the senior 100m in 11.31 and clocked 22.96 in the 200m.
Home athletes Lili Fern (12.49) and Kinga Kudzia (12.61) took first and second in the under-17 girls’ 100m. Fern also won the 200m in 26.29.
Plymouth’s Leonie Dyer (21.79) and Omar Hammoudeh (21.44) won the respective under-13 150m races. Dyer also triumphed in the under-13 shot and came joint first in the long jump.
Tavistock’s Louisa Hess moved up to fourth in the UK under-15 hammer rankings by throwing a PB of 37.84m to win on Sunday. Club colleague Phoebe Milburn, who is ranked second in the country, finished second at Brickfields with 36.65m. Milburn did win the shot with 9.54m.
Hannah Gellatly took victory in the under-20 hammer with 44.93m. The day before at Par she had thrown a season’s best of 46.37m, while Tavistock’s Hannah Walker claimed a PB of 34.95m to win the under-17 hammer at Brickfields.
Plymouth’s Evie Bee took victory in the under-15 javelin with 22.69m, while team-mate Matthew Gilbert won the men’s high jump with 1.74m.
Tavistock’s Josh Cavey was first under-17 male in the high jump with a PB of 1.71m, while Plymouth’s Ella Isaias won the under-17 girls’ event with 1.60m.
Tavistock’s Rory Summers won a highly-competitive under-15 boys’ long jump, where North Devon’s Sandy Carrick, Tavistock’s Bart Grainger and Plymouth’s Adam Dingley also leaped over five metres.
CITY of Plymouth’s Jed Hutchings moved to second in the UK under-15 boys’ 1,500m rankings by clocking a PB time of 4:12.4 at the Par Mini Series in Cornwall at the weekend.
Barnaby Hutchings is also in the UK top 10 under-13 boys’ 1,500m rankings after running 5:04.3 at the Duchy event.
Tavistock’s England international thrower Edward Fileman is ranked second in the UK under-20 men’s discus rankings after throwing a big PB of 50.00m at the Loughborough & England Athletics Throws Pathway Invitational at the weekend.
Josh Tyler was fourth in the under-20 men’s shot with 14.42m, while Louis Fileman threw 47.70m in the under-23 hammer.
Meanwhile in America, Emily Bee enjoyed probably her best result since moving the states by finishing second in the heptathlon event at the Horizon League Championships.
Bee, representing Youngstown University, secured an impressive 4,742 points, but some of the events were wind assisted. She leaped 1.67m in the high jump, ran 14.50 in the 100m hurdles, threw 9.73m in the shot, ran 26.46 second in the 200m, leaped 5.47m in the long jump, managed 29.86m in the javelin and finished with a 2:39.26 800m. Bee also came sixth in the individual high jump.
Also in America, City of Plymouth’s Victoria Weir set a new 5,000m PB with a 17:12.11 run to take eighth in the Portland Twilight meeting.
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