ANSTON athlete Jade Allen did herself, her family and her region proud in Belgium last week.
The 21-year-old runner finished in the top 20 at the 6,500m Hulshout International, running for the North of England team.
Braving the minus four temperature, and with her family and boyfriend there to offer support, Allen picked up some valuable experience in her first international event – which was won by England’s Hatti Dean.
The youngest member of the North of England team said: “The course was very unlike British courses because it was flat and fast, with a lot of turns.”
“It was a really good learning experience, seeing how the England team prepare for major races.”
Coach Nigel Brookes was delighted with the youngster’s performance.
He said: “She had a good race, it’s the closest she’s been to North of England team-mate Emma Clayton in all the races she’s had this season.”
“The team managers were pleased with how she performed and she’s hoping to get selected again on the back of it.”
Next up for Allen is a five-mile race in Wombwell, in prepration for the English National Cross Country Championships on 25th February.
Already this year she has finished sixth, and ahead of some established internationals, in the North of England Championships – a race in which she came 28th last season.
Brookes added: “She’s really excited about the upcoming track season, and hoping to get into the Olympic trials for the 1,500m.”