Maria wants to go the distance

GATESHEAD, ENGLAND - JULY 7:  Maria Hollingsworth of Linconshire poses with her medal after placing third in the Inter Girls 80m Hurdles during day two of the Aviva English Schools Track and Field Championships at the Gateshead International Stadium on July 7, 2012 in Gateshead, England. Search Aviva Athletics on Facebook to Back The Team. (Photo by Getty Images for Aviva)
GATESHEAD, ENGLAND - JULY 7: Maria Hollingsworth of Linconshire poses with her medal after placing third in the Inter Girls 80m Hurdles during day two of the Aviva English Schools Track and Field Championships at the Gateshead International Stadium on July 7, 2012 in Gateshead, England. Search Aviva Athletics on Facebook to Back The Team. (Photo by Getty Images for Aviva)

BOSTON sprint hurdler Maria Hollingsworth insists she is now ready to move on to the longer distance after claiming bronze at the Aviva English Schools’ Track and Field Championships in Gateshead.

The 16-year-old headed to the Gateshead International Stadium knowing that her inter-80m hurdles event would be her last before moving up to the 100m distance.

And Boston High School pupil Hollingsworth ensured she waved goodbye in style as she stormed to the podium thanks to a time of 11.79secs in Saturday’s final.

Hollingsworth also boasts a School Games 80m hurdles silver medal in her collection this year, and it is these successes that give the Boston and District AC starlet hope that she can repeat the trick over the longer distance next year.

She said: “I really wanted to get a medal and I knew I had it in me. I knew that if I did my best I had a great chance and I managed to achieve that.”

Hollingsworth follows in some illustrious footsteps by claiming a medal at the English Schools – London 2012-bound Jess Ennis, Jack Green and Andy Turner having all started their careers at Aviva Athletics Academy schemes.

“The race went alright and I wanted a PB but I am still happy with the result,” she added.

“My season has been good. I got silver in the UK School Games but I am glad I have done well this season in the last year of this distance so I am excited to move onto 100m hurdles and bang out a good time.

“I don’t plan to do much more 80m hurdles because I want go up and start having a go at 100m hurdles and get ready for next season.”

And despite already having a School Games silver medal in her collection, Hollingsworth admits her English Schools’ silverware will take pride of place.

“The English Schools’ is the biggest competition of the year and the one that everyone looks to so I am really pleased to have finished with a medal,” she added.

“It’s great fun to be part of a team and one day I hope to be part of the Aviva GB and NI Team as a professional athlete. I am so excited that I’ll be watching my heroes this summer and I hope it will make a huge difference for our athletes to know that we will all be backing the team.”

Aviva has been backing the British athletes and the GB and NI Team since 1999. Now they’re asking others to #BackTheTeam on Twitter or search for Aviva Athletics on Facebook.