Erme Valley Harrier Harris breaks new ground
A PLEASING positive on the Plymouth sporting scene over recent years has been the strength in depth of local female athletes.
Following the path blazed by the likes of acclaimed runners Katherine Endacott, Joanne Harvey, Jess Burns and most recently Jade Simson comes Erme Valley Harriers' hot prospect Sammie Harris.
In many ways, it has been a case of anything you can do, I can do better for young Harris, who has been smashing records set by former Harrier Simson that Erme Valley thought would remain intact for a long time.
Harris holds 11 of the 21 Erme Valley club records, many of which had been held by Simson, who is now training with Steve Endacott at City of Plymouth AC.
The events are the 60m, 75m, 100m, 150m, 600m, 800m, 70m hurdles, shot putt, high jump, long and now the pentathlon in that age category.
Recently, the two athletes' careers overlapped at Exeter Arena when 15-year-old Plymstock School student Simson won the under-15 penathlon and Harris was crowned under-11 pentathlon champion.
Harris won four and came second in the remaining event in the five-discipline sport.
The promising youngster is trained by her grandfather Roger Harris at Erme Valley, but competing impressively at athletics is not her only claim to fame.
During the winter months, Harris plays for Plymstock Albion Oaks under-11s where her speed and fitness are a major boon to coach Adam Nicholas' talented squad of players.
She scored an eye-catching try in the final of the Premiership Rugby Tournament at Exeter Chiefs' Sandy Park.
Harris' side prevailed 15-10 over Taunton in a keenly-contested final and she and her team-mates were rewarded with a trip to Twickenham for the Premiership final on May 25.