School sprinter’s date with the elite

Brentwood school’™s Nicole McKechnie will compete in the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Indoor Championships against Britain’s top runners

Seventeen-year-old Nicole will be sharing the stage with London 2012 Olympians when she takes to the track at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield for the 400 metre competition.

The championships, part of the 2014 British Athletics Series, will be held on February 8-9 and will see Britain’s best go head-to-head for a place on the GB & NI team for the World Indoor Championships, which will be held in Poland in March.

Lower Sixth student Nicole is an exceptional all-rounder, balancing her academic and athletic commitments. In the summer, she achieved 11 straight A*s in her GCSEs and is now studying English, mathematics, history, French, Latin and physics through the International Baccalaureate diploma.

Nicole scooped gold in theEssex Schools’ Athletics Championships last June, smashing the Essex Inter Girls’ 300m record, and last week she came second in the South of England Indoor Under 20 400m race.

“I am honored to have been considered,” Nicole said. “I just want to embrace the experience and try and do as well as I can against such able competition and just enjoy myself and soak up the atmosphere.”

Last year Nicole stepped up an age group to the Under 20 category so she could compete in 400m competitions because Under 17s only compete up to 300m. Her personal best over 400m is 55.75 (outdoors).

Other athletes invited to the Sainsbury’s Championships include Olympic and World Champion Christine Ohuruogu and her fellow 4 x 400m relay team members Shana Cox and Eilidh Child.

Although her academic work was ‘”always at the front of her mind”, Nicole said she was keen to pursue her sporting ambitions. Her next goal is a place in this summer’s IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, USA.

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