ATHLETICS: CREWE and Nantwich Athletics Club's Michelle Robbins made an outstanding National Indoor Track and Field Championships debut in Birmingham at the weekend.
The 17-year-old was among the 14-strong field for the Under 20s triple jump at the National Indoor Arena and finished just four centimetres away from a medal.
An exceptional display saw Michelle break her personal best on six successive occasions before finally registering a leap of 11.41 metres after five previous jumps all over 11 metres.
Michelle's coach, Keith Hancock, said:
'It was a joy to watch. You would have never believed it was her first major competition the way she performed and to finish fourth was a marvellous achievement. Michelle has got so much talent, she is definitely one to watch for in the future!'
Fellow South Cheshire athlete Hayley Jones also finished fourth in the U17s 60 metres.
Hayley, from Nantwich, competes for Vale Royal AC and ended her 2004 indoor campaign with a fantastic performance, battling through three tough rounds and beating the Irish champion along the way.
The fact Hayley is a year younger than most of the competition makes the performance even more amazing. Running a personal best in the semi-final of 7.79 seconds - the fastest time ever in the age group by an athlete from the North of England - Hayley is set to win her first international vest in the home International fixture in Cardiff later this month.
Only two athletes per event from each country will be selected to run in the competition, but her coach at Vale Royal, John Lightfoot, has every confidence in Hayley's ability to compete at such a level in the future.
Hancock, her former coach at Crewe and Nantwich, said: 'Once again Hayley performed brilliantly on the indoor track. She has only been running for two years and it's great to see her doing so well and competing against the elite in her age group.
'Both Hayley and Michelle should make the English Schools finals at Gateshead this year and I'm looking forward to watching them both compete throughout the summer.'