Region’s athletes enjoy success at the English Schools’ Track & Field Championships

ATHLETES from the region enjoyed tremendous success at the English Schools’ Track & Field Championships in Manchester at the weekend.

Armada athletes returned home with five medals and 11 top eight places from the prestigious event.

As expected, City of Plymouth’s Nubia Evans-Shield (Plymouth College) won the junior girls’ discus competition.

Evans-Shields has been a class apart at under-15 level for the past two years and she continued her dominance of the event by winning by more than nine metres with a throw of 38.96m.

Under-15 club and school colleague Jed Hutchings returned with a silver medal from the junior boys’ 1,500m.

Hutchings got his tactics spot on to push UK number one Alden Collier all the way. Collier took the win in 4:12.89, with Hutchings just behind in 4:13.63.

There were bronze medals for Tavistock throwers Edward Fileman (Ivybridge Community College) and Phoebe Milburn (Tavistock College) and for City of Plymouth pole vaulter Noah Jones (Ivybridge Community College).

Jones had won a bronze medal at the last English Schools’ Championships two years ago and he repeated that feat by leaping a massive new PB of 3.95m. That was 15cm higher than he had jumped before in competition. He has improved his best this season by 40cm and is now struggling for poles to match his improvement.

Fileman had also won a medal at the last championships in 2019 and he was again on the podium in a competitive senior boys’ discus final with a throw of 47.57m. The top three places went with the UK rankings, with Dorset’s Rhys Allen winning and Northumberland’s James Wordsworth second. Fileman was awarded the Mike Gill Trophy from Devon Schools AA for his performances for the county.

Milburn was making her English Schools’ debut in the junior girls’ hammer and she set a new PB of 44.45m to win bronze. Her club colleague Louisa Hess also set a new PB of 40.11m to finish sixth in the same event.

City of Plymouth’s Ella Isaias (Devonport High) just missed out on a medal in the intermediate girls’ high jump. She equalled her PB of 1.62m to finish fourth.

Club and school colleague Hannah Gellatly came fifth in the senior girls’ hammer competition with a throw of 44.98m.

Tavistock’s Joe Wheeler, representing Cornwall, and City of Plymouth’s Thomas Elliott, competing for Devon, continued their big rivalry in the intermediate boys’ 400m. Both reached the final with former junior boys’ 300m champion Wheeler taking fifth in 51.69 seconds, with Elliott seventh in 51.86. In the heats just 0.01 of a second separated the pair with Elliott clocking 50.87 and Wheeler 50.88, which were PBs for both of them.

There was also fifth placed finishes for Tavistock’s Rory Summers (Mount Kelly) and Nicolas Maczugowski (Tavistock College).

Summers’ came in the junior boys’ 200m event, where he clocked a new legal PB of 23.76 seconds in the final, having run 23.93 in the heats.

Maczugowski had the qualifying standard to compete in four events but at the English Schools’ athletes can only take part in one and so he competed in the discus where he is ranked second at under-15 level.  However, in a close final he just missed out on a medal in the junior boys’ event with a throw of 35.25m.

Maczugowski had won the Devon under-15 80m hurdles title but in his absence in that event his club colleague Adam Dingley (Ivybridge) and Torbay’s Josh Taylor represented Devon and both set new PBs to reach the final. Dingley ran 11.75 seconds to finish sixth, having run 11.87 in the heats, while Taylor went under 12 seconds for the first time in the heats before finishing eighth in the final.

Fellow Plymouth hurdler Henry Curtis, representing Cornwall, reached the final of the senior boys’ 110m hurdles where he came sixth. He ran a legal PB of 14.48 seconds in the heats before running 14.67 in the final. Club colleague Toby Clayden, representing Devon, clocked 15.72 seconds in his heat.

Tavistock Run Project’s Oliver Smart (Mount Kelly/Devon) and City of Plymouth’s Poppy Northcott (Torpoint/Cornwall) both claimed seventh place finishes.

Former English Schools’ cross country champion Smart’s came in the senior boys’ 3,000m in 8:30.67, where his Devon team-mate Flynn Jennings took third in a highly-competitive tactical final.

Northcott came seventh in the junior girls’ 100m A final. Making her debut at the national competition, she clocked a wind-assisted PB of 12.51 seconds in the heats before running 12.77 in the final.

City of Plymouth’s Kate Gray (Mount Kelly) finished fourth in her heat of the intermediate girls’ 300m hurdles in a time of 46.84 seconds, which ranked her eighth overall.

Plymouth team-mate Connell McCarthy (Saltash/Cornwall) ran a legal PB of 11.28 seconds to win the B final of the intermediate boys’ 100m, having run 11.49 in the heats.

Elsewhere, Tavistock’s Ben Callard (Mount Kelly) came 11th in the senior boys’ long jump (6.34m), Molly Shorey (Plymouth College) finished 12th in a competitive junior girls’ 1,500m (4:50.59), Charlotte Walker (Tavistock) came 12th in the intermediate girls’ discus (25.98m) and her sister, Hannah, came 16th in the intermediate girls’ hammer (36.93m) and Erme Valley’s Angus Harris (Plymouth College) was 14th in the junior boys’ javelin (35.94m).

Devon did enjoy an impressive championships, picking up eight individual medals, with Georgina Scoot (senior girls’ triple jump) and Eden Robinson (junior girls’ 200m) also making the podium.

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