CLAIRE NETLEY savoured a career-high double at the Saucony Hampshire Track & Field Championships.
And the City of Portsmouth ace has set her sights on making the breakthrough on the national stage as she makes big strides in her development.
Netley picked up victory in the 400m at the Mountbatten Centre on Saturday.
The 22-year-old clocked 60.40sec to deliver gold in the senior women’s category.
That was then followed up with another success the following day in the 400m hurdles. Netley clocked a season’s best 65.30 and her second-fastest time ever in the event to crown a memorable competition.
The Terry Price-trained athlete was bubbling with delight at the haul and particularly her hurdles performance. It ranks as a best achievement for the talent who has been at City for eight years.
Netley said: ‘It was a good event for me – certainly better than the last few!
‘My 400m was not my best. I was hoping for a PB but was nearly a second outside of it.
‘I went off too quick and paid for it over the last 50.
‘Considering how I fell apart, it wasn’t too bad. I was just happy to take gold!
‘I was much happier with my 400m hurdles, which is my main event.
‘It’s my first gold medals, so to have picked up two over the same weekend has made he happy.’
Netley has set herself some tough targets over the rest of the season as she aims to pick up invites to the higher-calibre races on the calendar.
She said: ‘The competition has increased a lot.
‘In 2012 I was fifth, but the girl who finished second on Sunday would have got first then. So I’m happy with my time and how I’m improving.
‘My hurdling is not consistent but, technically, I’m so much better.
‘My progression has been drastic. I’ve improved by 2.5sec over the last two seasons. I would love to break 63 seconds this year.
‘That would get me invites to the higher-level championships. It’s optimistic – but not silly. Hopefully I can keep surprising myself!’