Silver is such a surprise for Yasmin as she clocks a new personal best
YASMIN Miller shaved almost another tenth of a second off her personal best to take her first senior national medal – a silver – at the UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield.
The fast-rising 17-year-old Derby AC hurdler clocked a remarkable 8.25 seconds over the 60 metres in the final after winning her heat comfortably in 8.34 seconds.
The result left St Benedict School student Miller "shocked and happy," she said.
"My main goal was just to make the final in the seniors but, obviously, it went differently.
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"I think it was to do with the level of competition that I was able to up my game."
Miller actually finished third in the final but the winner was Irish guest Derval O'Rourke, a former world indoor champion.
Second – and winning the UK gold medal – was Sarah Claxton, who was a finalist in the event at the Beijing Olympics.
Miller's time was only three-hundredths of a second outside the UK junior (under-20) record, which has stood for more than 25 years.
With another year still to come in the junior ranks, the odds should be firmly in favour of her setting a new mark.
Miller's year is off to a blistering start and coach Jared Deacon was thrilled with her performance against a field full of senior athletes in Sheffield.
"Yasmin was drawn in lane four for the final, between Sarah Claxton and Serita Solomon, who are both senior internationals over 60m and 100m hurdles," said Deacon.
"Claxton got a great start and it took some effort for O'Rourke to get her back to win the race.
"It is testament to the quality of Yasmin's performance that it took a former world indoor champion in O'Rourke and a Beijing Olympic finalist in Claxton to beat her."
Miller believes the influence of Deacon, who ran the 400 metres for Great Britain at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is an important factor in her improvement.
"Jared has been in the Olympics and, yes, he does inspire me," she said.
"He makes me want to try my best. Training is more intense and more organised now but I still really enjoy it.
"I just can't wait to see what happens next!"
Miller now moves on to the UK Under-20 indoor Championships in Birmingham on February 24 and it is hard to see past a victory there.
Derby middle distance runner Ellie Stevens, running for Birchfield Harriers, ran a season's best 9.35.12 to come eighth in the women's 3000m at the Sheffield event, which doubled as the European Indoor Championship trials for the GB athletes.
Derby AC's Rich Weir was ninth in the men's 3000m, running 8.16.85.
Belper decathlete David Feeney, from Amber Valley & Erewash AC, came fifth in his heat in the men's 60m hurdles.