High and mighty family double!

PUBLISHED: 13:09 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

A FATHER and daughter both claimed titles at the Herts County Athletics Championships at Woodside Stadium on Saturday. Louise Shortland, 19, who recently qualified as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist, works part-time at the Royston Leisure

A FATHER and daughter both claimed titles at the Herts County Athletics Championships at Woodside Stadium on Saturday.

Louise Shortland, 19, who recently qualified as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist, works part-time at the Royston Leisure Centre, and took the title in the championships under-20 pole vault.

It was Louise's third successive victory in the competition and she is now ranked sixth in the national under-20 rankings.

She said: "Ideally I would like to move up the current under-20 rankings and get in the top three for my age group.

"My season doesn't finish until September, so I've got plenty of time to move up.

"In the long term I would love to get to an Olympic or Commonwealth Games, but we'll have to see how things go.

"If I continue to train hard and put the commitment in then who knows?"

Her hard winter's training seemed to pay dividends on Saturday when she entered the event 30cm higher than second-placed Maxine Clarke, who vaulted 2m 80cm.

Louise cleared her opening height of 3m 10cm at the first attempt, improving the championship best by 10cm.

She then went on to clear 3m 30cm, after which she narrowly missed the 3m 40cm mark.

Louise is currently training six days a week, and travels to Chelmsford once a week to work with her coach Matt Buck, who was previously ranked number three in England.

While Louise was busy with the pole vault, father Mick, 57, was also a winner, claiming the title in the veterans' hammer contest.

Mick, who is currently training to be a hammer coach, was making his return to the sport after a 30-year break.

In no time he was rolling back the years with a winning throw of 27m 34cm, which put him ahead of Stevenage and North Herts team-mate Tim Saunders-Mullins.

Louise will be representing Herts in the senior inter-counties meeting at Bedford at the weekend.

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