HANNAH TAPLEY has made a spring-heeled leap to the head of the national U17s high jump rankings after a superb personal best at the recent Serveline Midland League athletics meeting in Worcester, writes Danny Hall.

Tapley, a 15-year-old from Lechlade, added a massive 9cm to her best previous jump when clearing 1.74cm at the first time of asking.

It shot her from 10th place in her age-group ranking to the top of the pile.

A jump of 1.64cm had been good enough to win the recent England Athletics Indoor U17s Championship in Sheffield for Hannah.

The former Hatherop Castle pupil, who won a sports scholarship to Malvern St James School where she is now a boarder, continues to thrive under the coaching of Deirdre Elmhirst of Worcester AC.

On Thursday, Hannah bids for the Independent Schools Association (ISA) U17s title at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, having won the U15s title last year – setting a national record in the process.

She then faces one of her biggest challenges of the year when lining up for the English Schools Championships, again at the Alexander Stadium, on July 11.