Galpin ‘an amazing example for young girls in the sport’
SUCH is the apparent potential of 18-year-old Abi Galpin that coach Tom Druce feels she could become Guernsey’s greatest-ever female sprinter.
Development officer Druce also praised the determined Galpin as an ‘amazing example for any young girls in the sport’ prior to her transfer to university.
Despite some ongoing injury issues, the track developments at Footes Lane and some wretched luck with headwinds in key races, Galpin has recently run an U20 island record in the 200m and then closed her season with a near-miss over 100m.
The latter came in Cardiff and she managed to clock an outstanding 12.30sec. – placing her third in Guernsey’s all-time rankings – with a favourable breeze.
But she could have gone even quicker and maybe beaten Kylie Robilliard’s 100m record, Druce argues, if she had managed an honest race in the peak of the season.
‘I don’t think it was her best race, either technically or just in terms of her physical shape right now compared to late June and July,’ said Druce after her recent run in Cardiff.
‘But whenever she raced 100 during that period, there were difficult headwinds.
‘I actually think if she’d had [last] Wednesday’s tailwind at the “Nationals”, then she’d have run 12.1-something, as she looked so sharp that weekend and ran 12.56 on a day when sub-12sec. athletes were 0.3 to 0.5sec. off their season’s bests.
‘I had a couple of coaches coming up to me paying her compliments for how she was looking technically that weekend, which is always really nice when it’s unprompted.
‘Me and her have a bit of a running joke this year that the wind gauges seem to hate her for head-winded 100s, as they consistently keep coming up lower than it seems they should.’
Druce will soon have to hand on his star student as she heads off shortly – results pending – to the University of Bath.
This means she will be next in line to both Chalmers brothers, the endurance-running likes of her brother Dan, and the all-time Guernsey Athletics triumvirate – Druce, Dale Garland and Lee Merrien – to have at some point enrolled at Bath.
‘Obviously, I’m delighted for her to finish on a PB and to have achieved all that she has this year despite a hugely interrupted winter with injury issues,’ added the GAC development officer.
‘Having coached her for five seasons, I can’t speak highly enough of her as an athlete.
‘It hasn’t always been easy, but she is fiercely determined and very strong mentally – which I have learned is massively important for young women in sport and cannot be faked or taught.
‘I think she’s an amazing example for any young girls in the sport and am pretty sure she’ll go to Bath and establish herself as our best-ever sprinter in the next couple of years or so.’