JOHN Howorth’s decision to give the South West Schools’ Cross Country Championships a miss in preference for the indoor track paid off handsomely with a superb performance in Cardiff.

Competing in this first 1500m of the season the Hilperton 17-year-old broke four minutes for the first time slashing five seconds off his 2017 personal best with a sizzling time of 3mins 57.06secs.

That placed him fifth overall in a high quality race and first junior and was quick enough to put him top of the UK rankings in his age group.

“I’m really pleased with the result,” said Howorth.

“I wanted to get my indoor 1500m campaign off to a good start and I felt I did that. Hopefully I can continue to improve upon that time which should put me in a good position ahead of the English Schools’ Championships in July.”

Not to be out-done younger brother Rory, who has been in scintillating form this winter, lined up in the U20 men’s long jump and came away with gold and silver medals.

The silver was for finishing second overall with a clearance of 6.41m, just two centimetres outside his personal best while he took an additional gold in the South West Championships

Devizes School student Will Scammell was in the same competition and he cleared 5.71m to win the regional silver medal behind Howorth.

Rory also competed in the high jump open competition where he finished third with 1.75m.

Robyn Ellison had a fantastic day winning a gold and silver in the triple jump and long jump. Robyn finished fifth overall in the triple jump with 10.31m to lift the South West title and then claimed silver in the long jump with 4.92m.

Melksham Oak School student Will Stockley had a great run in his heat of the 800m, knocking six seconds of his season’s best with victory in a time of 1:57.53, just outside his lifetime best. It also earned him a silver in the South West Championships.

Marshfield-based Themis Bower finished fifth in the same heat with a season’s best of 2:04.95. Ellery Cole was runner-up in heat one of the 800m with a PB of 2:05.91.

In the 60m sprints, Delano Stewart set a seasons’ best of 7.61secs finishing third in his heat. U17 athlete Jonny Evans was fifth in the same heat and set a PB of 7.66secs.

In heat five of the 60m Scammell and Joseph Keane finished fifth and sixth respectively with the same time of 7.59secs.

Joseph Keane also competed in the 200m and set a new indoor PB of 25.09 seconds while Abi Davies was seventh in the senior women’s 60m (7.98secs).