Kemnay athlete Alix Still has earned another opportunity to crack the Scottish women’s indoor pentathlon record before the end of the winter season.
The 20-year-old, who is based at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, moved from 11th to second position on the national all-time best performers list when scoring 3,974 points in the Atlantic Conference championships at Clemson, South Carolina.
Only Anglo-Scot Aileen Wilson stands above her with a score of 4,096 dating back to 2002.
Still’s performance secured the Atlantic Conference bronze medal and gave her one of the 16 places available in the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships at Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 11-13.
She achieved personal best performances in the 60m hurdles (8.70sec), shot put (10.97m) and 800m (2min 19.4sec) – and was just 1cm outside her best in the high jump (1.70m) while her long jump (5.59m) was a little short of the 5.73 she cleared earlier in the season.
Still said: “This was definitely a huge accomplishment for me as this is the best, and also the highest, level I have ever competed at.
“It was a very special moment as I feel as though I am now beginning to prove myself and there is so much more to come.
“However, my long jump really let me down.
“I tried to play it safe on my first jump, just so that I’d get a mark down for points. However, my next couple of jumps did not go as planned as I fouled. This set me back slightly as I was on the road to scoring 4,000 points.
“But to come third at the ACC conference is a huge achievement as it is one of the most competitive of all 32 conferences in the US.
“When one of my coaches told me I was second best all-time in Scotland for the indoor pentathlon I was very happy. It makes me even more eager to get an even better score.”
Still revealed she had to overcome the psychological blow of having performed poorly in the individual high jump competition prior to tackling the pentathlon.
She said: “My run-up was off and I just couldn’t seem to clear any of the bars. I ended up jumping only 1.60m which I was not happy about.
“I knew that I needed to recoup myself for the next day and I watched back my videos and knew what I needed to change.
“It was hard going into the pentathlon high jump confident after the day before, but I was able to forget about it and focus on one jump at a time.
“This was a huge thing for me throughout the pentathlon.
“My main goal was to just focus on each jump, throw, run, one at a time and not think too much about the points I was scoring.”
Still’s indoor season will come to a close after the NCAA championships but she is already looking forward to the summer and competing outdoors.
She said: “I haven’t competed outdoors in almost three years so I am very excited to transition to the heptathlon.
“My goals moving forward are to stay consistent with my training but the long-term goal is to place again at the Atlantic Conference Championship and hopefully move on to NCAAs.
“I haven’t put much thought into competing at home if travel restrictions are lifted, but I would definitely love to compete on Scottish soil again.”