In the ﬁrst major competition of the track and ﬁeld season Exeter Harriers claimed 15 new Championship Records across the various age groups from young U13s through to the veteran athletes, with the throwers setting the stage alight and dominating the results lists with some outstanding performances in what has probably been Exeter Harriers’ most successful Devon County AA Championships for many years. Notably young Harriers Katie Chapman and Josh Tyler blew away the opposition, coming away with 3 golds apiece, Chapman claiming 3 new Championship Records and Tyler 1 new Championship Record, both setting the bar high.
Chapman was not best prepared, travelling up from Cornwall on the morning of the competition she was caught up in the trafﬁc problems on the A38, coupled with a stressful timetable clash when U13 high jump and long jump commenced at the same time resulted in Chapman to-ing and fro-ing between the two events, and although high jump was a little below par at 1.50 (PB of 1.58) it was good enough to grasp the CBP, along with her 4.88 in long jump and a new PB of 9.94 in the shot putt. Chapman currently sits at the top of the national age group rankings for long jump and shot putt, and joint ﬁrst for high jump. Tyler showed superb form in the U15 hammer, pushing the record out further by an incredible 10m with his best throw of 39.22, and also winning the discus with 30.92 and shot putt with a new PB of 11.69
Also performing well was Rebecca Squires, taking the U13 sprint double with ease with 2 new lifetime bests of 13.40 for 100 and 27.90 for 200, but her silver in long jump gave her the biggest smile with her best leap of 4.34, a new best by some 50cm. Isobel Farrant-Worth stormed to victory in a faultless 70 hurdles with a new best time of (12.15) with Chloe Harris taking the runnerup spot (12.33) also a new PB, with another PB going to Jasmine Stone who ran a superb 1200 to take gold in a new best time(4:05.94). In the throws Abbie Freeman claimed 1st in the javelin (19.99) and 2nd in shot putt (7.60).
Sam Mills battled to the line with tremendous grit to take the gold in the U13 600 in 1:45.16, bettering his PB run this time last year by 4 secs, and Saul Jackson Clist claimed silver in long jump with a new PB of 4.12.
Another Championship Record fell to Molly Canham in the U15 300 in a superb 42.51, also easily taking the county title in the 800 (2:16.32), her favoured event, with Runa Manby taking silver in the 1500 (5:13.10). Amy-Beth Curtis claimed a further Championship Record in the javelin with consistently good form throughout to take gold in a new lifetime best of 35.07, exceeding the previous record by over 4m. Curtis also won the shot putt (10.15) and took 2nd in discus with another new lifetime best of 27.34. Isobel Pinsky claimed 2 golds and a silver despite also suffering a clash of events with her high jump and 200 ﬁnal, and although she left the high jump competition following a 1.40 clearance (PB is 1.60) it was enough to secure gold, and a shock win in the 200 in a class ﬁeld in which the top 3 all clocked within 0.2 of a second of each other gave her a new best time of 26.30, with silver in 75 hurdles in 11.64, fractionally outside her PB.
The success of the Harriers throwers continued with Thomas Putt back in action following a winter of rugby and football to smash the U15 javelin Championship Record by over a metre with 49.39, adding 2.5m to his PB from last season, and Fraser Moran taking 2nd with a new lifetime best of 28.85. Theodore Jackson Clist obliterated his previous best in the long jump by over 30cm to win gold with 5.71, also taking gold in the 100 in a new best of 12.44 and silver in the discus (28.40), and Matthew Williams took gold in the triple jump with a new lifetime best of 9.98. On the track Craig Moncur ran well in the 80 hurdles to secure silver in a PB of 13.62, Johnny Livingstone knocked almost 20secs off his 3000 best to claim gold in 9:45.65 with Lee Dart 2nd in 9:55.47, also securing gold in the 200 in 26.85, both events being new PBs.
England multi-eventer Olivia Dobson claimed a Championship Record in the U17 shot putt with 13.51 to take gold, just 2cm off her lifetime best and smashing the county record by over 2m.
Caitlin Apps claimed gold in the 1500 (4:58.90), and Josie Nightingale also won gold in high jump with 1.55.
Jack Turner claimed 2 golds in the U17 javelin with a ﬁne new lifetime best of 43.18 and high jump with 1.70, also securing silver and a new best of 54.15 in the 400, with Elliot Moran taking gold in the 800 in 2:03.91 and Fin McLear the gold in the 1500 in 4:12.62
Another thrower to claim a new Championship Record was Lily Mills with an excellent throw of 40.90 in the U20 javelin, surpassing the old record by over 5m, a remarkable result as Mills has just moved up an age group and is now throwing with a heavier implement. Mills also claimed gold in the shot putt with 9.72, again a heavier weight than she was used to last season, with Tegan Whittaker taking the silver (7.96). Kirsty Harman pushed her lifetime best out to 29.25 in the javelin to take the silver and Jessica Dobson claimed golds in the 200 and long jump with 26.19 and 5.24 respectively, with Katie Olding winning gold in the 800 (2:16.69) and silver in 1500 (4:47.51), and Madeleine Roche claiming silver in the 800 (2:21.31). In the Senior age group Clare Hodgson set a new PB in the 800 with 2:24.09 on her way to gold.
Dominic Allen secured gold in U20 shot putt (11.10) and silver in javelin (56.81), with Jack Moncur taking 2nd in shot putt (10.63) and a new PB in javelin for 3rd place with 51.21, and on the track Matt Dowell took silver in the 1500 in 4:33.10. In the Senior age group Danny Ellis claimed gold in javelin with 48.66, Howard Bailey won gold in the 5000 in 17:40.28 and Christian Pugsley also took gold in the long jump equalling his lifetime best of 6.43 set in 2014.
The Masters athletes performed outstandingly in their respective age groups, with Mario Lapka setting new Championship Records in both the M60 100 (14.65) and long jump (4.66), Claire Frank setting a new Championship Record in the W45 200 in 34.81, and Mark Turner also setting two new Championship Records in the M55 400 in 60.02 and shot putt with 8.69, and a further Championship Record going to Stephen Evans in the M45 shot putt with 11.31. Derek Mardles claimed gold in the M65 100 and 200 (15.52 and 33.39), Catherine Harman took the W40 800 title in 2:46.74, Richard Bruce claiming the M45 1500 title in 4:35.11 and Lynsey Fairbrother the M70 400 title in 71.14.