Magical Millie’s five-star show

Millie Cavanagh, who took five golds at the Hampshire Track & Field Championships
Millie Cavanagh, who took five golds at the Hampshire Track & Field Championships
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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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Millie Cavanagh was the stand-out performer at the Hampshire AA Track & Field Championships at the weekend.

The 11-year-old City of Portsmouth ace lived up to her reputation as one of the country’s most promising rising stars with an impressive five-medal haul at the two-day Mountbatten Centre event.

Cavanagh scooped golds in the under-13 girls’ high jump (1m 35cm), 70m hurdles (11.66sec), javelin (24.56) and long jump (4.43), while a silver in the 100m (13.53) rounded off a tremendous weekend for the talented multi-eventer.

A new personal best was also picked up in the 100m as Cavanagh crossed the line two hundredths of a second behind eventual winner Grace Jacobs from Aldershot, Fareham & District.

And a new club record in the 70m hurdles was also achieved as the talented Cams Hill School pupil wrote her name in the City of Portsmouth record books.

Cavanagh’s success came hot in the heels of her success at the Hampshire County Combined Events Championships, where she retained her spot at the top of the under-13 pentathlon rankings.

It also provides her with a vital confidence booster as she prepares to take centre stage at the forthcoming National Young Athletes league meeting in Guildford.

Conditions were hardly ideal for Cavanagh and the hundreds of other athletes who graced the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth over the weekend.

A strong cross wind made competition difficult at times, but it wasn’t too strong as the county’s best set new records and laid down markers for the rest of the season.

Like Cavanagh, javelin thrower Richard Shuttleworth continued to impress the national selectors as he recorded a championship-best throw of 69.25m to take the men’s under-20 title.

Shuttleworth had City team-mate Steve Davey for company as he ripped up the record books – and he, too, can be proud of his efforts after an exhausting two days of competition.

As well as finishing second in the senior men’s javelin with a distance of 44.42, Davey lived up to his reputation as a skilled all-rounder with a new PB height of 3.60 to finish second in the pole vault, behind City compatriot John Price (3.80).

Davey was also third in the long jump (5.23).

The long-jump pit provided success for City powerhouse Sam Vaile, who added to her bronze in the senior women’s 100m with a gold in the jumps event (5.02).

Vaile was pipped on the line in the 100m by Southampton duo Emily Newton (12.35) and Becca Carozzi (12.55).

However, Deanna Giddings had better luck as she equalled her PB to take the under-20 women’s crown in a time of 13.18.

Joining her on the top of the winners’ podium was another City of Portsmouth talent, Jess Chen, who stormed to an impressive victory in the under-20 women’s 3,000m in a time of 10.21.43.

Meanwhile, a successful county championships for local athletes was rounded off with new Hampshire crowns for Lauren Thompson (Portsmouth University) in the under-20 women’s 100m hurdles, Devon Brimcome (Havant) in the under-15 girls’ 75m hurdles, Leslie Parkes (Havant) in the under-15 boys’ discus, Tom Farres (City of Portsmouth) in the under-15 boys’ pole vault and Emily Jenkinson in the under-17 women’s 800m.