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Derg girl ends season on a high

Sommer Lecky on top of the podium at Bedford

Sommer Lecky on top of the podium at Bedford


RISING athletics star Sommer Lecky has finished the outdoor season on a real high.
 
The weekend before last the gifted Castlederg high jumper struck gold at the U17 AAA international in Bedford by jumping 1.79metres.
 
That stunning success followed hot on the heels of an extraordinary performance at a senior Home Nations international in the Manchester Sports Arena.
 
Against a highly-experienced field, the Strabane Academy student matched her personal best by leaping an impressive 1.80m to secure silver on count-back from England’s Bethan Partridge, an athlete 10 years her senior.
 
Both successes brought the curtain down on yet another memorable season for the Derg teenager, who, after establishing a new personal best (1.80m) at a meeting in Glasgow at the start of the year, missed most of the indoor season because of injury.
 
But Sommer marked her return to the competitive stage by claiming gold in the intermediate girls’ high jump competition at the Ulster Schools in May.
 
The following month she again stood proudly on top of the podium at the Irish Schools’ Championships in Tullamore. There the Finn Valley AC athlete leaped 1.78, a full 18 centimetres higher than her nearest rival.
 
Next came the inter-provincial Glo Health Tailteann Games which were held in Dublin’s Morton Stadium.
 
Gold was again the colour for the talented north Tyrone athlete who in jumping 1.79m broke a long-standing record belonging to none other than Ursula Fay which had stood for 32 years.
 
A second appearance at the European Youth Olympics in Tiblisi followed for the 16-year-old who in qualifying for the final cleared 1.78m at the first attempt.
 
That jump suggested she would again be in contention for a medal however in the final Sommer failed to reach the same dizzy heights and in the end had to settle for eighth overall. Had she matched her qualifying jump the Castlederg lass would have been going home with yet another silver.
 
That disappointment – if you could even call it that – proved nothing more than a minor blip for Castlederg’s finest who bounced back in style this month with her medal-winning performances in Manchester and Bedford.

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