Herts Phoenix sprinter Jodie wins national U17 gold
PUBLISHED: 20:22 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 26 October 2009
TEENAGE WGC sprinter Jodie Williams is now the fastest Under-15 British girl over 100m in history. The 14-year-old Herts Phoenix athlete, running in the U17 age group, won the England Athletics U17 Championships over 100m in an astonishing 11.56 seconds o
TEENAGE WGC sprinter Jodie Williams is now the fastest Under-15 British girl over 100m in history.
The 14-year-old Herts Phoenix athlete, running in the U17 age group, won the England Athletics U17 Championships over 100m in an astonishing 11.56 seconds on Saturday.
Jodie's proud dad, Richard, said: "I knew she could run fast with the right opposition and Jodie wanted to test herself against someone who we knew would provide a real challenge.
"To run this time is fantastic. We are so pleased for her."
Jodie's record time broke Ashlee Nelson's previous best of 11.58 seconds, which she set as an U15 athlete two years ago.
To put the Queenswood School pupil's achievement into perspective, Nelson is now at the Olympic Games in Beijing as part of GB's 4x100m squad.
Having won the U15 100m title at the Sainsbury's ESAA English Schools' Championships in Gateshead at a canter, it was decided Jodie would step up to challenge the U17s in the nationals at Birmingham.
In particular this was to take on the very fast and talented Shaunna Thompson of Sale Harriers.
With both girls having run similar personal bests of around 11.7 seconds this season, it promised to be a fantastic contest and so it turned out to be.
Both girls progressed through their heats and semi-finals with comfortable wins - Shaunna running in the 11.7 range each time and Jodie, conserving her energy, around the 12.0 second mark.
Former Heath Mount pupil Jodie started well in the final and led over the first 30 metres.
Shaunna responded strongly and came through to take the lead at about the 60 metre mark.
Both girls were, by now, well clear of the field and it was time to see if Jodie could retain her unbeaten winning streak over the distance.
Remaining relaxed, Jodie moved up a gear to come through back into the lead with just over 10 metres to go, with her Phoenix team-mates in the stand all cheering and willing her on.
It was a close finish but there was daylight between the two runners as Jodie won in a new UK best time for an U15 girl of 11.56 secs to Shaunna's 11.64 secs, also a personal best for her.
Jodie was over the moon with her performance.
Her face was a picture as she realised the fantastic time she had run - it was a real Kelly Holmes moment.
The following day Jodie returned to the U15 age group to retain her 200m title in 24.45 secs.
Elsewhere, excellent bronze medals were won by Herts Phoenix duo Claire Humphries and Eloise Meakins in their event.