McLean turning her attentions onto English Schools' glory
HAYLEY McLean is targeting the English Schools' title after missing out on qualification for the World Junior Championships despite an outing at the Olympic trials in Birmingham last month.
ONTO THE NEXT ONE: Hayley McLean will compete at the English Schools' Track & Field Championships in Gateshead
The 17-year-old 400m hurdler looked to be on the verge of achieving her main goal for the season when she ran 58.57seconds in a guest race at the Olympic Stadium in May - just seven hundredths of a second outside the time needed to qualify for the world juniors in Barcelona.
But she was unable to crack the 58.50 barrier a time of 59.48 for seventh in the 400m hurdles final at the trials - won by Perri Shakes-Drayton from Eilidh Child and Meghan Beesley - means she must readjust her sights for the summer.
"I'm not going to the world juniors unfortunately because the qualification was 58.50 and I've only run 58.57 this year with the trials being my last chance to go quicker, so it's a bit disappointing," she said.
"Now I've got the English Schools', which was my backup if I didn't qualify. It was a good experience coming to Birmingham, even if it wasn't good conditions.
"It was a bit gusty at times but the wind is what I wanted. I do a lot of training in bad weather to prepare for things like that so it was alright."
McLean almost didn't compete in Birmingham after appearing to run the qualifying time for Barcelona in Bedford earlier in June at the England Under-20 Championships - running 58.28 only to be disqualified for not clearing the hurdles properly.
But the talented teenager is taking encouragement from her improvement through the rounds in Birmingham, taking a tenth of a second off the time she ran in the heat in the final.
McLean, who won the 300m hurdles English Schools' title in 2010, said she was now fully focused on her own performance and determined to make the most of the remainder of the summer's racing opportunities.
"I was faster in the final than I was in the heats which is good but that's how I run, I always need to warm up," she said. "And I don't tend to worry about whether or not the other girls are older or faster when I run.
"I just concentrate on working on a few things and technically I ran well at the trials, it was just a bit slow perhaps."
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