Cooke in the running for county vest

Athlete Heather Cooke (w130604-2a)
Athlete Heather Cooke (w130604-2a)
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A Gainsborough teenager is in the running for county athletics selection, after achieving a national qualifying time.

Heather Cooke was in action at the Wakefield Spring Open Meeting on 5th April when she won the 300m hurdles in a time of 45.99 seconds.

Delighted dad Gary explained to the Standard what her finishing time meant for the Queen Elizabeth High School student: “This was excellent news as it means that, in her first outdoor event of the season, she achieved a time that is inside the qualifying standard to run in the English School Games at Birmingham in July – subject to being selected for her county.”

Cooke followed that success with another excellent performance in a league meeting for Scunthorpe Athletics Club.

The youngster won her race comfortably in the Division One North East Division on 27th April, recording a season’s best of 45.20 seconds – although the time given on the day was 44.6, and if confirmed would rank her second in England and second in the UK rankings.

Gary added: “Heather is very pleased with her current results.”

“At this point last year her season’s best was 47.85 and so she has appeared to have improved markedly in the last 12 months.”

Such success so early in the season has come as somewhat of a surprise, due to her current set of circumstances.

Gary said: “Her personal best is 43.76 seconds.”

“With the pressure of this being an exam year and the limited facilities available at her club due to building work for stadium improvements, it was not envisaged that this would be bettered.”

“This this may well prove to be the case but her start to the outdoor season is most encouraging.”

Cooke is in competition again this weekend in the North of England Track and Field League fixture at Grimsby.