ST HELENS runner Chelsea Jarvis believes she will soon be challenging with the nation’s best after picking up a season’s best at the British Athletics Championships.

The 18-year-old took to the track at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Saturday looking to advance out of her 800m heat and return 24 hours later for the final.

But while she failed to do so the journey was far from a wasted one as she crossed the line in a time of 2:06.67 minutes, 0.78 seconds off her personal best.

And Jarvis refused to be downcast about her failure to progress, stating that the experience would stand her in good stead in the future.

“It was amazing to race in such a top field,” said Jarvis. “I knew from the start list that it was going to be a tough race but, for me, it was a race without any pressure so I just went out and enjoyed it.

“I’ve just been speaking to Jess [Judd] and she said to give it another couple of years and then I’ll be up there challenging as well and I think that’s true. I’m only 18 so I’m going to keep pushing and see where I get to.

“If you look back at my progress, my times have been gradually improving which for me is the most important thing to reach the senior level.”

Jarvis will make a big step in her career when she moves to Florida in August to attend Florida State University and, having seen the athletics programme on offer, she is excited about what the future holds.

“The facilities out there are unbelievable compared to where I train now,” she added.

“I think it’s inevitable that I’m going to improve when I go out there so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’m a bit nervous about moving abroad because I’m a home bird but I think it’s something that I would have to do eventually and I think it’s the best thing to do for me right now. It will be tough but we’ve got Skype and things like that these days so I’ll be OK.

“I’m not too sure about competitions between now and August. I’m just going to see what happens, talk to my coach but maybe start bringing down the season in a few weeks and start getting ready for the cross season because that will start pretty early.”

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