CITY of Plymouth’s Poppy Tank has booked her place in the 10,000m final at the NCAA Championship in America.
The Great Britain under-23 international secured her spot for the showpiece event in Eugene next month by finishing fourth in a tactical race at the NCAA West Premlinaries in Texas on Thursday evening.
Tank, competing for Utah University, knew she just had to finish in the top 12 to qualify for the national final and she comfortably did that in soaring heat and humidity. She finished in a time of 33:39.22 minutes.
Utah’s head coach Kyle Kepler said: “Poppy ran a textbook qualifying race to earn a spot in the finals in two weeks. It was 82 degrees with 80 per cent humidity and she conserved energy early in the race. As it developed, she continually moved up and made all the right moves.”
Tank has run 32:52.65 this season, which ranks her in the UK’s top seven. She is also eighth in the 5,000m with a 15:45.07 best.
Two years ago, the former Plymouth College student just missed out on making the 10,000m final NCAA Championships by finishing 13th in West Regionals.
She becomes the first Utah athlete to qualify for the 10,000m final at the NCAA Championships since 1982 and the first in any event since 2018.
Meanwhile, at the BMC Meeting at Exeter in mid-week, up-and-coming City of Plymouth female middle distance star Molly Shorey ran a season’s best 1,500m time of 4:49.07. That ranks her 16th in the UK under-15 rankings.
In the same event, Tavistock under-17 newcomer Annika Neiderau also ran under five minutes with a 4:56.21 run, while team-mate Amelia Riggott clocked 5:17.00.
In the men’s 1,500m, Plymouth’s Matthew Bradley ran 4:08.38.
Erme Valley Harriers’ Nathan Brown clocked 1:59.68 to finish fourth in a quick 800m A race, with City of Plymouth’s veteran Stephen Burns finishing in 2:22.08 in his heat and Tavistock’s under-15 athlete Fynn Baker setting a PB of 2:22.35.
In the women’s 800m, City of Plymouth youngster Holly Reid clocked 2:28.44 and Tavistock’s Matilda Riggott 2:34.67.
I’M GOING TO NATIONALS!! https://t.co/bhXznSx5YE
— Poppy Tank (@PoppyTank) May 28, 2021