Hawick’s Louise has a high time

Louise Mercer: Distance runner Louise Mercer (left) competes at a recent event.
Louise Mercer: Distance runner Louise Mercer (left) competes at a recent event.

DISTANCE proved no object to Hawick athlete Louise Mercer when competing in the International Youth Mountain Running Challenge 2011 held in Gorenjavas in Slovenia, her first European competition.

A record 13 countries competed, 39 boys and 36 girls, on a very runable mainly grass course which the athletes enjoyed.

Running in the three-member Scotland team coached by Mike Pierson, Louise took 14th place, helping her team to sixth place overall in a very competitive field.

Louise, 15, left in picture, told TheSouthern: “It was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The furthest I have travelled to run so far is Ireland for the Inter-Counties Championships earlier this year so I found it quite hot.”

Poland topped the medal table with two gold medals and one bronze, Russia was second (one gold and three silver) and host country Slovenia, third (one gold, one silver and one bronze). Italy and Turkey won a bronze each.

Coached locally by Gala Harrier Neil Renton, Louise is looking forward to the British Schools Track and Field Championships in Cardiff later this month when she will compete in the 1500 metres.