“Alex Nelson (City of Stoke AC), who will be seeking a 100m medal in Marrakech, is clearly not the only fleet-footed member of the family. 14-year-old Ashleigh Nelson (Staffs / City of Stoke) produced a stunning run in the Junior Girls’ 100m heats. Her time of 11.64 seconds eclipsed the Championships Best Performance of 11.8 seconds set in 1989 by Katharine Merry (Warwicks / Rugby AC/ later Birchfield Harriers), who went on to become an Olympic medallist at Sydney in 2000.”
How many people can do this at 14? She now has about 14 years to knock off 1.16s in order to break the WR!
The 11.64 was, unfortunately, wind-assisted (+2.1m/s !). But she ran 11.58 in the English Schools final and that was wind-legal (+1.3m/s) and in doing so established a New UK Under-15 & European 14yo Age Group Record. She is the future of British Women’s Sprinting
In 1976 Australia’s Montreal Olympic 4x100 relay - which reached the final - included Debbie Wells who was 14 when she won selection. She had a hand-timed legal best time of 11.3sec on a grass track (and wind-aided 11.1sec on grass). She also ran 22.9sec and lost a race to Montreal 200m finalist Denise Boyd by 0.1sec. She was 5ft 10in tall at 14 and ran with effortless power and rhythm. But Wells’ ultimate career best times electronic were 11.39sec and 200m in around 22.8sec. Point being that some people are limited by what they achieve early, either because they are satisfied psychologically or because they are early maturers physiologically - or both; in any case this latest wonderkid will need extra careful mentoring in the hope that she progresses.
The Senior Womens Final was run into a headwind. So in fairness she wouldn’t have placed 2nd in that final with the same conditions. But she will be one to watch for in the future if she is looked after correctly by UKA.