ATHLETICS: Shorey, Bigham and Hennessey win Devon Schools’ titles

MOLLY SHOREY, Zoe Bigham and Thomas Hennessey all won Devon Schools’ Cross Country titles at the weekend.

In-form City of Plymouth and Plymouth College athlete Shorey triumphed in the intermediate girls’ race at Exeter.

She took victory by nearly a minute ahead of her club team-mate Molly Gilbey (DHSOB), who took second.

Fellow City of Plymouth runners Madeline Jones and Bella May, both from Ivybridge Community College, were fourth and fifth, with Phoebe Timson (City of Plymouth/Plymouth College) seventh and Freya Page (Tavistock AC/Plymouth College) ninth as West Devon athletes dominated the race.

Tavistock AC runner Bigham, representing Devonport High School for Girls, won the minor girls’ race at Exeter, with her school colleague Elsie Goodspeed (City of Plymouth) claiming the bronze medal.

Tavistock AC and Tavistock College athlete Hennessey triumphed in the minor boys’ race. There were also top 10 finishes in that event for Freddie Whybrow (5th, Mount Kelly/Tavistock AC), Jude Gregory (8th, DHSB) and Thomas Carter (9th, Ivybridge CC).

There was a strong junior boys’ field at Exeter, where Eggbuckland’s Isaac Lamerton came third, with his City of Plymouth AC club team-mate Barnaby Hutchings (Plymouth College) fourth and Erme Valley and Ivybridge CC’s Luke Hayes sixth.

There was also a third placed finish for Matthew Gilvear (Erme Valley/Ivybridge CC) in the senior boys’ event. Mount Kelly’s Lorenz Baumgarther was fifth in the same race, with Gilvear’s club and school team-mate Charlie Milward seventh.

In the intermediate boys’ race, Tavistock’s Fynn Baker was fifth, while there were top eight finishes for Tavistock’s Hannah Walker and Mount Kelly’s Sophie Luxton in the senior girls’ event.

The top seven athletes in each race secured automatic selection for the Devon Schools’ team to compete at the South West Schools’ Championships on February 4, with the next three runners also in contention for county honours.

On the road, Tamar Trotters’ Bex Ezra-Ham and Jacob Landers impressed at the Storm Force 10 race at Camborne on Sunday.

The event was the opening race in the Cornish Grand Prix Road Race Series.

Ezra-Ham enjoyed a great battle with Bristol & West’s Katherine Maltby. The pair crossed the finish line within a second of each other, with Maltby just pipping Ezra-Ham to the title. The Tamar Trotters’ athlete did clock a quick 59.31 minutes for the 10-mile race, which was nearly two minutes quicker than she won with 12 months ago and her second fastest time for the distance.

Landers took third in the men’s race behind Cornwall AC’s Sam Goodchild and Hayle’s Joshua Rowe. Landers finished in a time of 54.37 seconds.

On the track, City of Plymouth’s Great Britain international David King has got his 2023 indoor season underway in America.

He clocked 7.70 seconds to finish seventh in a strong 60m hurdles field at the American Track League – Hawkey Pro Classic in Iowa. That followed on from finishing second at the Friday Night Kick Axe Open in Flagstaff. Both races were won by his training team-mate Freddie Crittenden.

Also in America, City of Plymouth multi-eventer Emily Bee ran her first competitive 400m race at YSU Collegiate International. Competing for Youngstown University, she clocked 60.59 seconds.

Meanwhile, City of Plymouth’s France-based high jumper Ethan Glyde has been named in England’s team for the Hustopece International in the Czech Republic.

England team leader Denis Doyle said: “For our team of developing athletes this event is a perfect opportunity to gain important experience from foreign international competition.

“Some of the previous athletes who first competed as youngsters in Hustopece before jumping high enough to be invited to participate in the world class competitions include Tokyo Olympians Tom Gale (winner in 2020) Morgan Lake and Emily Borthwick.”

Glyde, who has just moved up from under-17 level to under-20, is currently fourth in the early UK overall high jump rankings having leaped a PB of 2.06m in France this month.

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