Confidence soaring for emerging hurdling star Marrs
Despite her rapid rise through the youth ranks, the feeling of victory had largely escaped hurdling starlet Megan Marrs.
But the 20-year-old, so often second and third in major competitions during her youth career, achieved a landmark victory by crossing the 60m hurdles line first in a personal best time of 8.16 at the British Indoor Championships in February.
This triumph in Birmingham has seemingly laid the foundation for a terrific future for the promising Belfast youngster, who admitted the win was completely unexpected but rich reward for the hours and miles she has put in in training.
"That was just the most unexpected but brilliant surprise of the whole year," said Marrs. "I wasn't expecting it but I worked really hard and it was just the most overwhelming feeling to finally win.
"I've never won coming up through the age groups – I've been second, I've been third, I've never won so to finally get that medal spot was just the best feeling.
"It gives you a lot of confidence, especially to run well in the championships – that's what I used to struggle with.
"Now I know I can go and compete and not be fazed by the fastest girls in Britain, which is a nice feeling."
Marrs was at Loughborough University this week to mark the launch of the SPAR People's Podium, which is aimed at honouring those who tirelessly put in the hours at grass roots level without receiving the recognition they deserve.
People can nominate these local sporting heroes for the chance to win £10,000 towards a community sport project, with the successful nominees also gaining a place on the People's Podium alongside leading British Athletics stars at the Muller Anniversary Games in London in July.
City of Lisburn AC star Marrs is a perfect example of the type of success which can be achieved by young athletes due to the efforts of coaches and officials at youth level.
And Marrs is determined to kick on from what has already been a memorable 2018, having set her eyes on breaking a record which has stood for 46 years.
"The main target is the Northern Ireland 100m record, currently held by Mary Peters," said Marrs.
"That's 13.29 and I'm about two-tenths off it from last season, but I'd like to think this season I'll get pretty close."