Alix Still believes she can eventually claim the Scottish heptathlon record but admits she’s still got a lot of work to do.
The US-based Aberdeenshire athlete moved into seventh position on the Scottish all-time best performers list with an impressive victory in the Virginia Challenge meeting at Lannigan Field, Charlottesville.
The 21-year-old Kemnay woman, who is a student at the University of Virginia, scored a personal best of 5,371 points to win the two-day competition.
That leaves her a good bit short of the national record of 5,803 set by Jayne Barnetson (Inverness Harriers) at an international match in Kiev 32 years ago.
But Still is convinced she has a lot more to offer as she was far from satisfied with her Charlottesville performance.
She said: “It’s not the score I was looking for, but I have a lot of room for improvement. I didn’t feel on top of my game which was hard for me as I’ve been feeling great in training and my competitions have been going well too.
“The Scottish record is definitely in my sights but I know it will not be easy. I have a lot of work to do, but it is not impossible.”
Still, who enjoyed success in the pentathlon during the indoor season at the beginning of the year, has critically analysed her opening heptathlon performance.
She said: “This was my second competition on home turf and I think I was almost too comfortable.
“It was my first heptathlon in three years and, although I don’t want to make that an excuse, it definitely felt out of my comfort zone.
“However, I did come away with a hurdles PB of 13.93secs,a javelin PB of 32.02 metres and an 800m PB of 2:18.
“So, I was happy to have some positives. However, I felt as though I was in better shape to run a faster time in the hurdles so that was disappointing, but I was very happy with my 800m time.
“I felt confident in my training and I knew what splits I had to hit each 200m in order to run a good time, so I tried to stay confident and trust the process.
“That being said, I felt as though I had more lows than ups. My high jump and shot put were definitely the events I struggled with the most.
“For my high jump, I struggled to put my approach together which ultimately made me blow through the bar instead of getting any height. It’s very important in high jump to have a consistent approach and unfortunately, I was just not able to do that. For my shot put I was disappointed as it had been going great in training and I just couldn’t quite put everything together.
“Overall, my standout moment from the competition was definitely feeling great physically and finishing with a strong 800m.
“The 800m is a very mental event, especially for heptathletes, and I was not feeling very mentally confident. But I pulled it together.”
Still will return to action next month in the Atlantic Conference Championships at Raleigh, North Carolina.
North-east’s proud record in Scottish heptathlon standings
Alix Still is now one of three north-east athletes featuring in the Scottish top 20 all-time best performers list in the heptathlon.
Her score of 5,371 points at the Virginia Challenge meeting last weekend puts the Kemnay woman in seventh position.
Still is the first person to break into the top 10 for almost 18 years and with age on her side she can look forward to progressing further up the standings in the years ahead.
Ellon’s Wendy Davidson, who represented Scotland in the 400m hurdles at the 2000 Commonwealth Youth Games, scored 5,147 when competing in an under-23 international at Merignac, France in 2004.
That gives her 12th position in the rankings.
Aberdeen AAC’s Sarah Still, no relation to Alix, occupies 19th position with a score of 5,014, which she achieved at a combined events international at Waterford, Ireland in 2000.