North Devon athlete sets national record at Exeter

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A Torrington teenager has broken the national record for the Under 17 women’s 300m hurdles, placing her third in the UK.

Megan Gallagher soared ahead of the inter-girls field at the Devon Schools’ Athletics Championships in Exeter on Saturday to finish in a time of 44.32.

The performance was 2.28 seconds quicker than the English Schools’ Championships standard and 0.68 seconds ahead of the national standard.

The 16-year-old now ranks third in the UK for her age group.

She will now represent Devon for the third time on Saturday at the South West Schools’ Championships.

Her twin sister Caitlin will also be representing the county in the triple jump and is only 1cm away from reaching the English Schools’ standard of 10.90m.

Megan, who goes to Great Torrington School, began running the 300m hurdle discipline last season, but it already seems likely that she will be representing the South West for the third time at the English Schools’ Championships in Gateshead on July 8 and 9.

Megan said: “It feels fantastic that my hard work is starting to pay off.

“I have put in a lot of time and dedication and had a good mentality to be able to take the losses and come back stronger.”

Megan also praised her coach Garry Gahan, who trains the senior sprint group at North Devon Athletics Club.

She said: “I’m incredibly appreciative for everything that Garry does; he does it off his own back for free and is very dedicated to helping the group achieve success.”

However, Gahan was keen to leave the plaudits with Megan.

He said: “Yesterday’s run was a cracking one, and there’s much more to come out of her as well.

“She is setting herself up perfectly for the 400m hurdles next year.

“However it’s about the athlete not the coach as you can’t create a hurdler, a hurdler is born.”

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