Louise hits early form for title

ROYSTON pole-vaulter Louise Shortland opened her 2008 season with an impressive win at the Herts and Middlesex Indoor Athletics Championships. The win also lifted the talented youngster to fourth in the UK under-23 rankings, having previously occupied fi

ROYSTON pole-vaulter Louise Shortland opened her 2008 season with an impressive win at the Herts and Middlesex Indoor Athletics Championships.

The win also lifted the talented youngster to fourth in the UK under-23 rankings, having previously occupied fifth spot for most of last year.

Representing Stevenage and North Herts Athletic Club, she shone from the off and left her rivals in her wake at the Lea Valley Athletics Centre on Sunday.

Shortland shattered the competition, and her winning vault of 3.50 metres was 30cm clear of second-placed Maxine Clarke.


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The height equalled her 2007 season best, falling 10cm short of her career personal best.

She said: "I just needed to see where I was after the tough weeks of winter training.

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I have started the new season as I mean to go on and I will go higher from here!"

Shortland looks set for another successful season, and she is certainly in good company, training alongside World Indoor triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, and 60m silver medallist Dwain Chambers.

* MEMBERS of Royston Runners took part in the warm-up race for the Flora London Marathon, lining up in the Silverstone Half-Marathon on Sunday.

More than 5,000 runners entered, and with just under a month until the main event, five of the Royston Runners took up the challenge.

Libby Watson was first home with a personal best of 1:36.32, followed by Phil Doyle, who recorded 1:53.04.

Jodie Lyne was next home for Royston in 1:57.12 ahead of Anna Ward and Val Davidson, who registered 2:01.29 and 2:13.25 respectively.

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