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English Schools Multi-Events

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Exeter Harriers’ 14 year old Sam Talbot rounded the season off by returning from the English Schools Combined Events Championships in Birmingham with silver in the Junior Boys’ Pentathlon following an outstanding weekend of top class competition across all age groups. The Olympic Legacy appears to be fulfilling its potential with high standards achieved, particularly the Junior Girls and Junior Boys age groups.

Talbot, competing for Devon Schools, Max Price from Hertfordshire and Adam Jones of Hampshire were the main contenders in the Junior Boys’ Pentathlon. Talbot initially took the lead after the first event with Price then going ahead and maintaining his lead throughout with a final points score of 3139 to Talbot’s 3047 and Jones’ 2880. Talbot, current English Schools’ individual hurdles champion, was eager not to lose to Price in the first event, the 80m hurdles, with Price having taken the silver in July. Talbot copes well under pressure in his specialist event and did not disappoint, clocking a new lifetime best of 11.19 to Price’s 11.24 in an superb crowd-enthralling battle for the line.

Shot putt of 11.51 was fractionally down on Talbot’s best and with Price producing a new outdoor pb of 14.56 the two athletes were well matched after the second event. Talbot moved closer to Price’s score with a leap of 6.32 equalling his lifetime best in the long jump to Price’s 5.98, but Price was able to widen the gap following a 1.84 high jump to Talbot’s below par 1.60. Going into the final event some 300 points short of Price was always going to be a tough margin for Talbot but he gave it his all. He led Price all the way through the 2 laps and with 140m to go kicked strongly for an impressive sprint finish resulting in Talbot finishing overall just 92 points short. Talbot will join Price, Jones and fourth placed Alan Bennetts from Middlesex to compete at the SIAB (Schools’ International Athletics Board) Home Countries International in Glasgow in December.

Devon Junior Boys’ team members Tommy D’Cruz and Seb Ford, both of Newton Abbot AC, came 35th and 37th with scores of 1789 and 1024 respectively.

Dominic Allen and Nicholas Smith (both Exeter Harriers) achieved 31st and 34th places with respective scores of 3733 and 3712 in the Inter Boys’ Octathlon. Allen achieved new lifetime bests in the 100m hurdles, 400m, 1500m, and a superb javelin throw of 54.90, the longest throw of the competition. Smith also did well with lifetime bests in the long jump, discus and javelin.

Anya Turner (Exeter Harriers), competing for Somerset Schools, achieved an excellent new lifetime best points score of 2856 in the Junior Girls’ Pentathlon for ninth overall. With multi eventing currently strong nationally and particularly in this age group a measure of Turner’s high points score is that this would have earned her a top three finish in some past years. It is rare to see a points score in excess of 3000 and this year saw the top six score 2998+. Turner was fifth after the hurdles and climbed to the top spot after a good shot putt of 9.44. A welcome return to form in the high jump of 1.57 saw Turner drop just one place and she was in third overall going into the final event, the 800m, a fast race which included the current English Schools individual gold and silver medallists. Turner was the top Somerset scorer and her score contributed to her county winning silver in the team competition.


JB S.Talbot (Devon) 2nd 3047. 80H 11.19, shot 11.51, LJ 6.32, HJ 1.60, 800m 2:13.12.

T. D’Cruz (Devon) 35th 1789. 80H 13.10, Shot 8.73, LJ 4.89, HJ 1.45, 800m 2:57.34.

S. Ford (Devon) 37th 1024. 80H 23.96, Shot 5.26, LJ 4.23, HJ 1.45, 800m 2:39.10.

IB D Allen (Devon) 31st 3733. LJ 5.08, Disc 27.38, Jav 54.90, 400 61.67, 100H 14.67, HJ 1.55, Shot 10.16, 1500 6:01.98.

N Smith (Devon) 34th 3712. LJ 5.61, Disc 20.09, Jav 25.05, 400 56.81, 100H 15.65, HJ 1.76, Shot 8.57, 1500 5:00.04.

JG A. Turner (Somerset) 9th 2856. 75H 11.91, Shot 9.44, HJ 1.57, LJ 4.72, 800 2:47.32.