Another big new personal best and her first selection to represent Great Britain made the recent European U20 Athletics Championships experience one to remember for Jessica Turner.
The 17 year old 400m hurdler from Denby, who races for Amber Valley and Erewash Athletics Club, travelled to Rieti in Italy with the GB squad for the bi-annual championships.
She raced superbly in her heat, shaving two-tenths of a second off her ever-improving personal best, clocking 59.28 seconds to qualify for the semi-finals, which had been her pre-race goal.
The semi-final the next day didn’t go so well. She went out hard and was in contention until an error in her stride pattern at the 200m mark killed her momentum and saw her overtaken, with too much to try to make up in the closing stages.
A week later, and with the elation and disappointment still fresh, she continued her stellar season with another big personal best, this time while she was representing England Under 20s in the Welsh International in Cardiff.
She finished third in her race against senior athletes, yet went under 59 seconds for the first time, taking a further half a second off her personal best set in Italy.
Her time of 58.74 currently ranks her 13th in Europe and she has moved up to 14th place in the UK all-time rankings as a result of her efforts on the track.
Her coach Julie Feeney said: “Jess has achieved everything we set out to do this season. “
She continued: “Going sub-59 and getting a GB vest were the goals, and the home international representing England, where she bounced back from the Rieti semi-final disappointment with a technically superb run tops an excellent season”.