By Owen Morgan
Jenny Nesbitt produced a devastating front-running performance to blow away a strong domestic field at the British Milers Club Grand Prix at Trafford on Saturday night.
The Welsh Commonwealth Games hopeful led from gun to tape to win the 5,000m A race by a huge margin in a time of 15:40.10.
From the start, Nesbitt sat on the shoulder of the pace maker, building up a healthy lead over the field in cold and wet conditions at the Longford Park Stadium.
Still chasing that damn time, but I had a lot of fun tonight 🔥
Back to work and what coach has described as a ‘big week’ 🤩🙌🏻👊🏼
— Jenny Nesbitt (@jennynesbitt) May 8, 2021
When the pacemaker dropped out, Nesbitt surged even further ahead in the second half of the race, powering away from the field on her own.
The Cardiff athlete, and regular Dai Sport contributor, built a huge lead over the rest of the field and started to lap back markers in the closing stages of the race, continuing to stretch her winning margin as she crossed the line.
Fellow Welsh athlete Beth Kidger, of Brighton Phoenix, was second in a new 5,000m personal best of 15:53.50.
Nesbitt’s winning time is was just over 10 seconds outside the qualifying time for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which would be her second time at the “Friendly Games” having competed in the 10,000m in Australia three years ago.
.@jennynesbitt finishing very strongly in the women's 5000m A race, to win in 15.40.12 💥
There is still time for you to watch the end of the men's race!
— Vinco (@VincoSport) May 8, 2021
The 2019 Welsh Cross Country Champion has enjoyed a superb start to the outdoor season having won the Comeback 5000 in London at the end of March and the Speedway 10K in Chepstow last weekend.
There were a number of other fine performances by Welsh athletes during what was a bumper night of competition on the Manchester track.
Swansea Harrier Kris Jones, also chasing a Commonwealth Games qualifying time, finished third in the men’s 5,000m A race in a time of 13:53.25.
The race was dominated by Loughborough student Tom Mortimer, who broke away from the field as he stayed with Cardiff pace maker Tom Marshall’s early tempo.
Jones looked set to claim second place, but he was pipped on the line by Reading’s Jonathan Davies.
Earlier in the evening, there was a quartet of big personal bests for young Cardiff Athletics runners.
James Heneghan enjoyed a fine second place in the 1500m A race. The Cardiff athlete took almost three-and-a-half seconds off his PB as he clocked 3:43.10.
The 1500m B race saw Ben Reynolds take a similar chunk out of his PB as he clocked 3:48.82 finishing second. Brother Jacob almost dipped under four minutes for the first time as he also claimed a big new PB of 4:00.35 as he finished seventh in the 1500m E race.
And David Locke also ran a huge PB in winning the 800m D race. His time of 1:49.98 slashed more than four seconds off his previous best. The time is the third fastest by an Under-20 athlete in the UK so far this year.
Another young Welsh athlete, Carmarthen’s Dafydd Jones made a promising debut over 5,000m as he clocked 14:51.43 – the fourth fastest time by an under-20 athlete in the UK this year – finishing 10th in the men’s 5,000m C race.