In the biggest race of the schools cross country season Tavistock Run Projects Oliver Smart produced arguably the performance of his young career so far by winning the New Balance English Schools under 17 cross country title in tough running conditions at Leeds last Saturday.
After the disappointment of his fall in the same race last year, he negotiated the scramble for early position and was soon at the front of the race setting the rhythm, before settling into a select lead group that contained all the pre race favourites.
Content to simply impose himself on the race he covered every move on the first of the two laps as the group slowly reduced before making a devastating attack on one of the numerous hills , distancing himself from what was left of the fragmented field and building a lead which he comfortably held to the finish.
This was his major goal for the cross country season in which he has remained undefeated and in winning this title he joins illustrious athletes such as Sir Mo Farah, Peter Elliot and Alistair Brownlee whose names are engraved on the trophy.
Ollie will now lead the England U 17 team in Dublin next weekend for the SIAB international race before concentrating on the London mini marathon at the end of April.
While Ollie deservedly took most of the plaudits there were a number of outstanding performances across the club.
Also representing Devon at the English Schools Edward Smart competed in the senior boys event coming home in 148th position and amongst the scorers for his county.
Closer to home a quartet of runners ran the Tavy 5 and in unfavourable conditions were rewarded with excellent performances : Charlie Gibbard, Matt Teague and Umberto Berganzini all ran big pbs while Rachael Malthouse continued her marathon preparations with a course pb.( unfortunately results are not yet published).
A few miles away at the Tamar Trails parkrun Chris Rimmer proved far too strong for the field coming away with a convincing victory.
Finally on Sunday, Jim Cole and Jordan Andrews made the trip to Reading for the prestigious half marathon. Jim came home in a strong 1:11:30 while Jordan ran to a superb new pb of 1:10:46.
TRP meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at ATS Tavistock at 5:45 and welcome anyone interested in joining the club.