Mari Smith claims British Universities 1500m title

Mari Smith (left) at last year's BUCS Championships with Steph Pennycock (right) who took bronze for the second year running EMN-170517-143514002
Mari Smith (left) at last year's BUCS Championships with Steph Pennycock (right) who took bronze for the second year running EMN-170517-143514002
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Middle-distance runner Mari Smith secured one of the best victories of her career to claim a prestigious British title.

The University of Birmingham student headed a high-class field to win the women’s 1500m at the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Track and Field Championships.

The 20-year-old claimed silver at the distance last year behind senior international Jess Judd, but stormed to victory this time around at the Bedford International Stadium.

She came through the heats safely in a comfortable second place with a time of 4min 52.56secs, and then eased through in the semi-finals behind winner Anna Tait and runner-up Steph Pennycook, clocking 4.35.76.

But the Frisby athlete ran a superb final, edging team-mate Megan Davies into second with Pennycook third.

Her winning time of 4.29.38 was almost four seconds slower than the time she ran 12 months earlier in taking silver, and 10 seconds off her personal best, set last July.

Smith is now busy revising for her second year exams, but still has high hopes of making further strides on the track with British team places up for grabs for this summer’s World University Games.