Silver for Jess at the British Championships
LOCAL Olympic hopeful Jess Varley took the silver medal at the British Tetrathlon Championships at Solihull.
The 17 year-old Oundle School pupil, who has been fast-tracked as a future British Olympian in the modern pentathlon after being hand-picked to join the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative, improved the longer the event went on.
The event began with a 200m swim and a ‘one hit’ fencing competition with competitors then seeded based on points they picked up in those two disciplines.
They then went into the combined event of running and shooting.
Varley completed the swim in 2.22, the fifth quickest time, and then achieved 12 wins and 11 defeats in the fencing, again the fifth best.
These results saw her seeded sixth overall and she started the 3000m combined run/shoot 51 seconds behind first place and 40 seconds adrift of second.
Competitors started at their allocated time and ran into the shooting range where they shot five targets down. They then ran 1000m, shot again, ran 1000m, shot again and then ran the final 1000m.
Varley was fourth after the first run, third after the second but then moved up to second, having made up 40 seconds.
She said: “My fencing result was particularly pleasing as it was a great improvement on previous competitions where it has not been my strongest discipline and I have lost valuable points.
“Undoubtedly the coaching Chris Howser has been giving me is starting to pay dividends.
“It was a very exciting competition and has given me confidence for the forthcoming Great Britain team trials.”
Varley is a member of Peterborough Athletic Club, Burghley Pony Club, Oundle, Peterborough and Stamford Fencing Club (recently set up by Howser) and Oundle and District Swimming Club.
In March she finished sixth in the Public Schools Fencing Championships at Crystal Palace, a considerable improvement on her 19th position last year.