North Devon Athletes compete on national stage at Gateshead

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Isabel Wakefield came third in the under 17 women’s long jump at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan SomervilleIsabel Wakefield came third in the under 17 women’s long jump at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan Somerville

Eight North Devon athletes shone at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships last weekend, with two setting club records.

Competing in Gateshead, Isabel Wakefield of North Devon Athletics Club (NDAC) came third in the under 17 women’s long jump with a club record distance of 5.80m.

In the same age group, Maia Dart battled tough conditions to place sixth in the javelin with an NDAC record of 40.31m.

More stand out performances landed in the sandpit as Caitlin Gallagher came 18th in the under 17 women’s triple jump with a distance of 10.45m, and Emily Tyrrell placed 11th in the under 15 girls’ long jump final with 4.98m.

Caitlin Gallagher competed in the under 17 women’s triple jump at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan SomervilleCaitlin Gallagher competed in the under 17 women’s triple jump at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan Somerville

Elsewhere on the field, Emma Sharpe, who is a first year in her age group, placed 14th in the under 17 women’s discuss with a distance of 30.80m.

On the track, the 1500m steeplechase saw under 17 Evee May Banbury finish 10th with a personal best time of 5 minutes 21 seconds, whilst Martika Gallagher of the under 20s finished 11th in 5 minutes 20 seconds.

Caitlin’s sister Megan also excelled, reaching the final of the 300m hurdles and crossing the line sixth in a time of 45.80 seconds.

Reflecting on her feat, she told the Gazette: “I’m happy that I got to the final, but upset I didn’t get podium position as my personal best time would have placed me second.”

Megan Gallagher reached the final of the 300m hurdles at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan SomervilleMegan Gallagher reached the final of the 300m hurdles at the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Gateshead. Picture: Ewan Somerville

Issy Wakefield, who will be relocating to London for heptathlon training this September, said: “It was a great surprise for me as the long jump isn’t my main event, so to pull out a PB of almost 20cm on competition day was the icing on the cake.

“I never become overwhelmed by the occasion of a big championship; if I take everything one step at a time and be consistent, I know I will have a good chance of reaping the rewards that I deserve.”

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