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National Relay Champions

At the weekend Andover AC’s U17W relay team were crowned England Athletics National Relay Champions at the National Championships held at Bedford International Stadium.

This was an excellent achievement for the quartet of Holly Mills, Jasmine McClutchie, Darcie Henderson and Elizabeth Butler-Clack as they faced stiff opposition from the top club sides in the country. Going into the Championships the girls were optimistic of their chances as based on their sole relay race earlier in the season they were ranked in the top 10 clubs in the country. However, the girls knew they would have to be on top of their game to figure in the medals.

Having worked hard in training with their changeovers the girls went into their first race in confident mood and on the track they showed what they were capable of by taking the race in a time of 48.45secs, in doing so the girls smashed their previous best time of 49.50secs. The girls felt there was more to come in the final and with clubs that had run faster this season in opposition they went to the track in determined mood.

First leg runner Darcie Henderson got the team off to a great start as she led the field with a great run to handover the baton to Holly Mills. A blistering back straight leg by Mills extended the lead as she handed over to Jasmine

This was a great result for the close knit quartet of girls who have worked hard in training under the guidance of Coach, James Coney and shows the potential these girls have to take honours at a National Level and put Andover AC on the Athletics map. McClutchie. She maintained the lead around the third bend to pass the baton to final leg runner Elizabeth Butler-Clack. With the opposition trailing Butler-Clack brought the baton home with the clock stopping at a new PB time of 47.91secs, over 1 second ahead of Sutton & District in 2nd and Cambridge Harriers in 3rd. With only two other club sides having posted faster times this season the Andover girls now rank 3rd in the UK.