SOMMER Lecky was handed an Irish tracksuit and singlet last month and classed it as her career highlight, but a bronze medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival tops it all.
The 15-year-old from Castlederg, who competes out of Finn Valley AC, set a new personal best of 1.80 metres to claim bronze in the high jump in Tbilisi.
The Strabane Grammar School student (picture above courtesy of Kieran Carlin) exceeded her expectations with her leap – which was the same as the winner, Ekatrina Prikhodkova from Russia, and the silver medalist, Maja Helena Nilsson from Sweden.
When it went to a countback, Lecky was confirmed as the bronze medalist.
“It’s a very proud feeling,” she told Donegal Sport Hub. “I came in in good form, but I still didn’t expect a medal. All I wanted was to get to the final, but I couldn’t believe it, winning the medal and jumping the p.b. I was chuffed and I’m still not down earth.”
Last May, Lecky broke a 26-year-old Finn Valley club record when she cleared 1.70m at the Ulster Schools Athletics Championships.
The previous record stood since Sinead McLoughlin jumped 1.68m at the Ble Relays in Belfast way back in 1988.
Lecky subsequently made 1.75m at the English Championships in Sheffield.
Last month, she cleared 1.72m to win a gold medal at the Schools Track and Field in Scotland before setting new heights in Georgia.
Lecky, who has six weeks off before returning to winter training, said: “I just want to keep on the rise and stay on form.”
She is now just four centimetres off the Irish Youth record (1.84m) set by Bridget Corrigan in 1994. The Donegal high jump record of 1.88, set by Sharon Foley in Rotterdam in 1993, will be a target in the coming years.
Listen to the full interview below …