Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Junior Sportsperson of the Year

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Junior Sportsperson of the Year

Article excerpt

WINNER: HANNAH FEATHERSTONE FOURTEEN?YEAR?OLD swimmer Hannah Featherstone, right, who lives in Billingham, has shone on the national stage.

The Sedgefield Swimming Club ace is National Age Group Champion at 100metres freestyle, and finished sixth in the 200 metres freestyle final.

She was selected for team GB at the European Youth Olympics where she won medals, two silvers and a bronze in the relays.

So while still in her early teens she has tasted life at the top end of her sport, and has the ambition to make a big splash at senior level.

She said: "I have had a very good year. I swim most nights straight after school and I want to continue doing my best."

RUNNER UP: RACHEL HIGHFIELD IT'S been a great year for 17-year-old Thornaby sprinter Rachel, right.

The Our Lady and St Bede's sixth form student won a 100m and 200m sprint double in the Malta International wearing a North of England vest.

Then, at Bedford, she reached the final of the Under-20 National and European trials, breaking 12 seconds for the first time to finish sixth in the 100m and following up with fifth in the 200m in a new personal best time.

Rachel, who runs for Gateshead AC, captained the Cleveland team at the English Schools National Championships in Birmingham, winning 100m silver to boot. Other highlights include an England North call-up and finishing third in the 200m racing for the North East at the CAU Athletics Championships.

Her mother, Diane, said: "Despite only being 17, Rachel has competed with the best under-20 athletes in the country and has had the best athletics season of her career so far."

RUNNER-UP CHARLIE MYERS WHAT a difference a year makes.

For Marton pole vaulter Charlie, right, 2012 was a year to forget because he suffered a nasty injury when his pole snapped.

However, he's bounced back this year in style. …

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