A vintage year for teenage star Emma

Emma Pringle with the Olympic torch in Alnwick Market Place.
Emma Pringle with the Olympic torch in Alnwick Market Place.

AN impressive UK ranking, setting a new personal best, and becoming a record holder – as triple-jumper Emma Pringle admits, 2011 was a good year.

But after seeing a successful athletics campaign come to an end, the 19-year-old Alnwick athlete is now setting her sights on next season and is determined to improve in 2012.

And who would bet against the former Duchess’s Community High School pupil?

Because the 2011 season saw her make great leaps in the discipline.

In what was a campaign of progress, Emma, who is currently living in Tyneside while she is studying at Newcastle University, finished the season ranked third overall in the UK at U20 women’s level, after a leap of 12.55m, which was also a personal best.

She set the distance in Manchester during a National Junior League match, while she was representing Gateshead Harriers.

And in doing so, she became both the junior and senior female Gateshead Harrier club record holder.

Emma, who is coached by her mum Jacqui, said: “It was a much better season than last year.

“It was more consistent, with the majority of my jumps ending over 12 metres.

“I was very happy at the end of the season, with the main highlight being my personal best.

“Both myself and my coach agreed it was a good season.

“I have been able to produce everything I have done in training in the competitions themselves and it has all come together.”

Other achievements this year include a victory in the Celtic Cup while she was representing England U20s.

She also notched first-place finishes in both the indoor and outdoor North Eastern Championships, with her indoor jump of 11.94m a championship record for U20 women.

And in her last competition of the season, which was the National Junior League Finals, she won the triple jump with a distance of 12.22m and was also given the 2011 female field athlete of the match.

Meanwhile, her younger sister Hannah came third overall.

But despite a positive season, Emma is aiming to go even better next year.

She said: “Over the winter, I will up my weight training and do a lot more technical stuff and hopefully I will be able to increase my distances and get nearer 13 metres.

“I feel that I am more than capable of doing that.”

Emma will be competing in the senior age bracket next year.

She said: “I have had three years at U20 level but I have also competed in senior competitions so I have bridged the gap between junior and senior level, so it shouldn’t be too bad.”