HILPERTON athlete Rory Howorth has received a surprise early Christmas present, WRITES KEVIN FAHEY.

The 15-year-old St Augustine’s Catholic College student got an email telling him that had set a new UK Age 14 record for the octathlon – last June.

“That came as a real surprise as I had no idea I had broken the record,” said Howorth. “It was at a meeting in Yeovil (scoring 5,013 points at the South West Schools’ Championships) and it was the first time anyone had broken 5,000 points.

“I had no clue I had broken the record and I don’t know who held it previously.”

The news clearly put an extra spring in Howorth’s step and he won two silvers and recorded two personal bests at the South West England & Wales Indoor Championships in Cardiff last weekend.

In his first 200m since last winter Howorth clocked a PB of 24.20secs for second in the U17 men’s race and then another silver with 12.12m in the shot.

“I was really pleased with my shot as that added over a metre to my previous best,” added Howorth.

“I knew that was one of my weaknesses at multi events in the summer before so I have been working hard on improving my technique in the shot and physically I am also stronger now.”

In the same events, teammate Jonny Evans clocked a PB of 24.73 in the 200m for third then claimed a bronze in the shot with 11.55m.

Charlotte Longden, who is a boarder at Marlborough School, also secured a double bronze in the U17 women’s shot (8.97m) and high jump with a PB of 1.45m, beating team-mate Sophie Martin on countback. Martin also ran the 200m in 29.59secs.

Notable achievements also came from Joel Mattacks, with a PB in U17 men’s 200m with a time of 26.25secs, while Eleni Frances jumped 4.36m in the long jump, and then posted 29.48secs in the U15s 200m. Tsevti Melton clocked 31.65secs in the U15 girls’ 200m.

The second part of the South West Championships for U17/15 athletes will be in the new year, with the U20s equivalent this weekend.