Baker bags bronze in Gateshead

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Grace Baker is confident her track season is set to take off after leaving the Aviva English Schools Track and Field Championships clutching bronze.

The 15-year-old highlighted her versatility as she took to the Gateshead International Stadium track for the intermediate girls’ 3,000m, fresh from finishing third at the English National Cross-Country Championships earlier in the year.

And she once again claimed the final podium step thanks to a time of 10:05.55, her best track finish at that distance so far this season.

But the Rye College pupil isn’t about to rest on her laurels, instead targeting her next podium finish. “It was really good to win a medal. I still have got one more year left in this age group so I am ahead of schedule and am really pleased,” she said.

“I never made the final in these conditions before so this gives me lots of confidence for the rest of the year. I have had a very good season in cross-country but this probably my best result on the track and to get on the podium in front of a big crowd was brilliant.”

In spite of her third place finish, Baker was not completely happy as the performance was some 19 seconds slower than her personal best and she just missed out on England selection for the forthcoming home international in Cardiff, although she may well be called upon as first reserve.

The full article will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.