Scotland head for the Loughborough International later this month with a young team handed the chance to gain important experience.
It will be an exciting weekend for Scottish athletes over May 21/22 with seven teams contesting the event on the Sunday.
With Scots available for selection for four of those teams – Scotland, GB and NI Juniors, Loughborough Uni, British Unis – and an Invitational Relay taking place, there should be a strong presence at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium.
Equally, with races at Watford, the Highgate Night of 10ks, a quality European meeting at Hengelo and the Diamond League in Morocco, Scottish endurance athletes will be in action at various locations that particular weekend.
Nine athletes who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are named in the Scotland team for Loughborough – Grant Plenderleith, David Smith, Chris Bennett, Angus McInroy, Sarah Warnock, Rachel Hunter, Kirsty Law, Emily Dudgeon and Greg Louden.
But there is very definitely a feel about looking to the future with a number of others involved for the first time like Mhairi Patience, Ben Stevenson, Jenna Wrisberg, America-based Stacie Taylor and Maddie Murray and the team featuring exciting youngsters Ben Greenwood, Cameron Tindle, Jack Lawrie and Anna Gordon.
The event has seven teams this year with Ireland added for 2016. Scotland also take on the hosts Loughborough Uni, England, Wales, GB and NI Juniors, and British Universities.
‘We’ve a number of Team Scotland athletes from the Commonwealth Games included for this year and that is pleasing but we accept that in an Olympic year there’s the option for others at the highest level to be competing elsewhere or preparing for forthcoming events,’ said Director of Coaching, Rodger Harkins.
‘As always with the timing of the Loughborough International, it is an early-season event. But it is still an opportunity and a good level of competition.
‘We’re now less than a year away to the opening of the qualifying period for the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast – so athletes and coaches with that ambition have to be planning ahead and hopefully that applies to those selected for Scotland.
‘But I would stress that we’re looking beyond the team itself that weekend. We know there are big events in Watford, London, Holland and Morocco in terms of some our best endurance athletes and we wish them well for that.
‘At Loughborough, Scottish athletes will wear vests for different teams and we accept that’s how the event works and it is all about how individuals perform when it counts.’
Adam Thomas 100m; Cameron Tindle 200m; Grant Plenderleith 400m; Ben Greenwood 800m; Cameron Boyek 1500m; Ben Stevenson 3000m; Jack Lawrie 400m H; David Smith high jump; James McLachlan long jump; Chuxx Onyia triple jump; Angus McInroy discus; Chris Bennett hammer; Greg Millar javelin; Sinclair Patience shot put.
Adam Thomas, Stephen Dunlop, James McLachlan, TBC 4 x 100m
Grant Plenderleith, Greg Louden, Jack Lawrie, Ben Greenwood 4 x 400m
Jenna Wrisberg 100m; Beth Dobbin 200m; Kelsey Stewart 400m; Katy Brown 800m; Maddie Murray 1500m; Heather Paton 100m H; Mhairi Patience 400m H; Stacie Taylor 3000m S/C; Nikki Manson high jump; Sarah Warnock long jump; Zara Asante triple jump; Anna Gordon pole vault; Kirsty Law discus; Rachel Hunter hammer; Aileen Rennie javelin.
Jenna Wrisberg, Beth Dobbin, Chloe Lambert, Jill Cherry 4 x 100m
Emily Dudgeon, Katy Brown, Mhairi Hendry, Mhairi Patience 4 x 400m
*With guests athletes also taking part, there may yet be one or two additions/changes to the selected team