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Holly wins two South of England Titles for 2nd Successive Year

Andover AC’s talented U17 athlete Holly Mills was in record breaking form at last weekend’s South of England Indoor Championships held at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Going into the Championships Holly was one of the favourites to win a title having completed the Long Jump and 60m Hurdles double last year.

On Day One Holly was in action in her main event, the Long Jump and went into the competition ranked No1 in the UK in the U17 age group. Holly had also recently received the accolade of being the youngest person to be listed in the 2015 end of season Athletics Weekly Merit Rankings, where she was ranked 7th female overall, one place behind Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Despite having had limited jumps training over the winter Holly stamped her authority on the event from round one with an opening leap of 6.07m. Three further jumps over 6m secured Holly the title for the 2nd year running ahead of the 2nd placed athlete who jumped 5.19m. Holly’s best leap of 6.12m also broke the Championship Record of 5.97m that had stood since 1995.

Holly was back in action on Day Two in the 60m hurdles and having comfortably cruised through her heat in a time of 8.77secs she was in confident mood going into the semi-final. She was targeting the Championship Record of 8.58 that had stood since 2004 and was not to be disappointed as she stopped the clock at 8.52secs to take her place in the final. In the final another fast time of 8.59secs saw Holly crowned Champion for the 2nd successive year. Her semi final time is also the 4th fastest of all time for U17W just 0.03sec off the quickest ever.

Also in action at the Championships were 2 other U17W athletes from Coach James Coney’s sprints group. Darcie Henderson was firstly action in the 60m where she progressed to the semi finals with a time of 8.11secs in finishing 2nd in her heat. Despite equalling her PB of 8.04secs in finishing 3rd in her semi final this was not enough to take her through to the final. Jasmine McClutchie joined Darcie in competing in the 200m with both girls producing indoor PB’s in their heats, Darcie clocking 26.36secs and Jasmine 26.44secs. However, neither was able to improve on these times in the semi finals to miss out on a place in the final.

The performances of all three athletes are encouraging at an early stage of what will hopefully be a successful 2016 season.