Batten relishing her step up into senior competition in 2012
JENNIE Batten insists she relished mixing it with the big names of British athletics after bagging herself a Indoor UK Trials and Championships 200m final berth in Sheffield.
SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Jennie Batten is racing as a senior sprinter for the first time this season
Aged just 19 Batten is making her first foray into the senior ranks in Olympic year and showed no signs of being overawed at the challenge in the Steel City.
The Stroud AC sprinter qualified for the final by finishing third in her heat in a time of 24.77 seconds before clocking 25.17 to end sixth in the final.
And with the weekend in Sheffield just her second meet of the season Batten declared herself content with her early-season form - especially having shared the arena with the likes of Jessica Ennis and co.
"I did OK actually, it's only my second meet of the season where I have run 200m," said - Batten who benefits from the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes scheme.
"So I'm just trying to build up a lot of speed as I go through. The times weren't great. I felt I could have been quicker but I was really pleased to get into the final.
"I'm using races for training so it's mainly speed work, and trying to get my stamina. It's my time to do some speed work so I am doing some competitions to get some speed in my legs and get faster and faster.
"It's my first summer as a senior athlete so I'm just looking to get experience, obviously it would be really nice if I was to get a place on an international event somewhere.
"But I'm just looking forward to gaining some experience, racing with some of these girls who you see on television."
But, while it was all about rubbing shoulders with Ennis and co last weekend, Batten insists it is a trip back to the Steel City that tops her winter athletics agenda in 2012.
The English Institute of Sport hosts the British Universities Colleges Sport Championships on the weekend of the February 25-26 and Batten can't wait.
"The Indoor UK Trials isn't my main aim for the year I am going to do BUCS indoors, that's my main aim," she added. "My main event is 200m so I'm just looking to doing well at the BUCS."
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 344 emerging athletes all the way to London 2012 and beyond. Follow the future stars of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at: www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes
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