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Young Holly in National finals at NIA
12:46pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Andover
Five of Andover Athletic Club’s brightest talents take part in the annual National Indoor Championships, held at the NIA in Birmingham. These championships are the pinnacle of the indoor track and field season and can only be entered once a strict entry standard has been achieved. Having five athletes from a wide range of ages and events including 60m, 400m and long jump highlights the progress Andover AC has made in recent years. First to compete were Sam Sears (U15 boys) and Josh Chattee (U17 men), both taking part in their first ever nationals and they performed very professionally to secure personal bests in the 60m. Despite being one of the youngest in the competition Josh narrowly missed out on a semi-final place by just over a tenth of a second. The overall experience will serve both well in the future. Next on track was reigning South of England U17 men’s 400m champion Matt Chant in the 400m. Matt ran a controlled race (50.13) to secure victory in his heat and progress into the final. The final took place three hours later and was a three-way challenge between the reigning Scottish champion, Matt and Jake Ness from Salisbury AC. After going through the bell (200m point) in 23.2 Matt made his move to win the race and was narrowly held off by the Scottish athlete. This disturbed Matt’s stride pattern and following a slight clip of his heels the AAC athlete fell through the line alongside Ness of Salisbury. Following a review of the photo finish Matt was given third by three one hundredths of a second. Although slightly disappointed not to win the event Matt did record an indoor best of 49.31 and his second fastest ever 400m time to rank him third in the UK. The last athlete to compete on the first day was Lauren Marlow in the U20 women’s long jump. Lauren has recently taken up a place at the prestigious Millfield School in Somerset and put together a solid series of jumps. The second day saw rising star Holly Mills compete in the U15 girls’ 60m hurdles and despite being bottom of the age group both athlete and coach were confident about achieving a semi-final place.
The heat saw Holly run one of her fastest times ever with 9.80 to secure a place in the semi-final. This was followed 70 minutes later by another outstanding run in the semi-final to stop the clock at 9.79 and progress to the final as a fastest loser. Holly was the only bottom age athlete in the final and ran a great race to secure seventh place. Overall the weekend was a great success and all who competed did their club very proud.
More athletics in Friday's Advertiser