Baker clinches national silver

Grace Baker, left, on the podium in the Under-17 AAA National Track & Field Championships at Bedford

Grace Baker, left, on the podium in the Under-17 AAA National Track & Field Championships at Bedford

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Two of the area’s top young athletes carried on where the Olympics left off.

Grace Baker and Katie Garland excelled in the Under-17 AAA National Track & Field Championships at Bedford.

Baker produced her best track performance at national level by winning silver in the 3,000m in a time of 10.13, some 27 seconds short of her best.

Conditions were very challenging with temperatures in the 90s, high humidity and a strong wind, but Alex Clay set off at a blistering pace and only Baker managed to stay with her.

After four laps, however, even Baker could not live with her Kent rival and the local girl was content to settle for silver.

Garland tied for fourth place in the high jump after clearing 1.65m, three centimetres short of her personal best.

The Bexhill High School pupil has another year in the same age group and should expect to be in with a shout of a medal at next year’s championships.

Attention turns to Birmingham this weekend with Baker joining double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah on the bill for the Aviva Grand Prix meeting. She has been selected to compete in the under-20 women’s 3,000m.