Nerves were nowhere to be seen as Evie Grice stormed to victory over 800m at the Hampshire Schools’ Track & Field Championships.
Representing Gosport & Fareham at the prestigious event in Aldershot, the 13-year-old handled the pressure of a major final with ease.
She claimed an impressive win in a time of 2mins 26.6secs.
That was nearly five seconds faster than nearest rival Jess Houghton (Eastleigh & Winchester), who failed to keep up with the pace set by one of City of Portsmouth’s rising stars.
And while the Cams Hill, Fareham, pupil was some way off her personal best of 2:22:38 – set at the Hampshire Championships as she claimed third place – Grice was nevertheless pleased with how she handled the tension of a big race.
‘It was easier than I thought,’ she admitted.
‘I didn’t really know anyone I was racing against.
‘But knew I had a good chance of winning.
‘I wasn’t really worried about anyone as I’ve been feeling good this season.
‘I just worked really hard over the first 400m and then just tried to stay ahead.
‘It was much easier than I thought it would be.’
Grice was disappointed not to achieve the English Schools’ qualification on her latest outing.
However, the talented teenager admitted setting a new PB is her main driving force in the competitions to come.
‘The English Schools’ qualifying time is 2:19 and my best is 2:22,’ said Grice.
‘I have another chance next week when I’ll be representing Hampshire.
‘Hopefully I’ll get another PB.
‘That’s all I really want, to be honest.
‘I’m aiming to get around 2:20.’
Grice’s Gosport & Fareham team-mates Millie Cavanagh and Wiktor Bojanowski also claimed gold.
Cavanagh won the junior girls’ 75m hurdles (12.3s), while Bojanowski took victory in the junior boys’ triple jump (10.35m).
Portsmouth Schools also celebrated victory.
Emily Jenkinson won the intermediate girls’ 300m (41.5s), Jessamie Waldon-Day earned gold in the junior girls’ shot (9.39m), Travis Hunghok took first place in the junior boys’ 80m hurdles (13.0s), and Beth Garland claimed victory in the senior girls’ 800m (2:38:1).
Meanwhile, South East Hants’ Amy Bream won the senior girls’ 1,500m steeplechase in a time of 5:55:3.
Her team-mate Jordan Carter lifted the senior boys’ javelin title (41.86m).