England county selection for talented St Albans athlete as results continue to wow

PUBLISHED: 14:08 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 April 2018

Raissa Vickery with her silver medal after the 2018 British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships.

Raissa Vickery with her silver medal after the 2018 British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships.

Archant

The multi-talented Raissa Vickery has just completed a huge number of regional and national events – with selection to a Swim England County Development side the cherry on top of the cake.

Raissa Vickery was crowned national champion at the Pony Club NFU National Triathlon Finals.Raissa Vickery was crowned national champion at the Pony Club NFU National Triathlon Finals.

The 11-year-old, who goes to St Albans High School for Girls is already the current European champion for her age group at triathle, a version of modern pentathlon, which combines swimming, running and shooting.

And it was the swimming part where Vickery shone brightest during the early part of the year.

She was crowned overall county swimming champion for U11 Girls at the event at Borehamwood, a combination event where points totals define the winner.

Her individual places were nothing to be sniffed at though as she landed four golds, four silvers and two bronze medals.

Raissa Vickery (middle) was crowned national champion at the Pony Club NFU National Triathlon Finals.Raissa Vickery (middle) was crowned national champion at the Pony Club NFU National Triathlon Finals.

The competition took place over three weekends with full days for each but the performances of the City of St Albans Swim Club member were good enough to catch the eye of the Swim England county selectors.

The county development squad is part of Swim England’s County Pathway Programme to help develop national talent.

Selection to a national squad though is nothing new for Vickery who is also on the British Shooting Olympic Talent Pathway for Pistol.

She is the youngest member of the squad having earned her selection at a specially organised weekend.

Raissa Vickery has been selected to join the British Shooting Olympic Talent Pathway for Pistol.Raissa Vickery has been selected to join the British Shooting Olympic Talent Pathway for Pistol.

And she has now been on two weekends of coaching in a pathway designed to feed athletes directly into the Olympic squads.

Shooting is something Vickery clearly enjoys and despite her age and size, the coaches have been delighted with her ability to listen and take on-board new ideas.

She said: “I was excited and proud to be selected, and thought it has all been an excellent experience.”

She trains weekly at Harpenden Air Weapons Club and the Flamstead Branch of the Pony Club and has also just taken part in the 2018 British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships at Crystal Palace.

Times in both the run and swim are converted into points and at the end she finished in second place overall.

The run had taken place during snowy conditions and she had clocked two minutes 45.66 seconds for the 800m event.

A 10th-place finish followed in the relative warmth of the swimming pool.

She described it as “the most tiring and cold event of my life” and “a unique experience in the weather”.

The Pony Club NFU National Triathlon Finals finished off a hectic first few months of 2018 and it brought another gold medal.

Combining a separate run, shoot and swim, she was fourth after the run but moved up to second with a perfect round in the shoot.

And an impressive run helped her close the 39-point gap, clinching the national title by just nine points.

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