Eight young Exeter Harriers athletes took part in the Devon Schools/Devon County Combined Events Championships, with four coming away with medals. Dominic Allen won the U17 Pentathlon with personal bests in the shot putt and long jump of 11.60 and 5.48 respectively, but with near perfect weather conditions Allen’s day did not start as planned with an unexpected difficult run over the 100m hurdles to record a slower than usual time of 16.58.
His other performances were 1.47 in the high jump and 2:43.03 in the 800.
Olivia Dobson claimed the silver medal in the U15 Pentathlon and, like Allen, her day did not get off to the start she hoped for when she did well to stay on her feet after clattering a hurdle badly mid-way through the race and recording a time of 13.71. Dobson was undeterred, registering new lifetime bests in the remaining four events with 9.89 in the shot putt, 1.51 in the high jump, a 42cm improvement in the long jump of 4.58 and dipping below the 3 min barrier for the first time in the 800 with 2:59.15.
Jack Turner took bronze in the U15 Pentathlon after a nailing-biting battle with Sebastian Ford of Newton Abbot which continued throughout the day and was settled only in the final event. Turner knew Ford could knock him out of a medal position and worked out he could allow Ford, who has the quicker PB, to beat him by no more than 8 secs in the 800. It was a tough race for Turner but his determined efforts to make up ground in the final stages was rewarded with a new lifetime best of 2:33.97 and just 3 secs behind Ford to secure the medal. Turner also recorded 14.34 in the hurdles, 7.94 in the shot putt, 4.40 in long jump and a superb new lifetime best of 1.56 in the high jump.
In the U13 Pentathlon Lynne Robertson and Katelyn Wells surpassed expectations, with Robertson recording new lifetime bests in all five of her events and Wells in four. Robertson just missed out on a medal to come fourth overall, with new best performances of 3.86 in long jump, 12.50 in hurdles, 6.02 in shot putt, 1.24 in high jump and 2.55.24 in the 800. Wells had best performances in the hurdles with 16.60, 4.97 in shot putt, 1.24 in high jump and 3:02.39 in the 800, and also 3.30 in long jump to finish in fifth place.
Craig Moncur had a superb day, taking gold in the U13 Pentathlon and securing the County title. Moncur was in second after the hurdles (15.46) and took the lead by just one point after a new best in the shot putt of 6.47. A further lifetime best of 4.00 in the long jump and an equal best of 1.30 in the high jump pushed Moncur further into the lead and a new best time in the 800 of 2:34.39 ensured he secured the win and the gold medal. Nathan Blatchford, in his first multi-events competition, did well to finish fifth with 16.42 in the hurdles and new best performances in the shot putt with 4.34, long jump with 3.38, high jump with 1.15 and 3:01.60 in the 800. Theodore Jackson Clist was unfortunate in having to retire from the competition after three events with a knee injury, having made a promising start, with 16.09 in the hurdles , 5.72 in the shot putt and a new lifetime best in the high jump of 1.36.