TEENAGE Accrington runner Leigh Lennon has stormed into the England under-20 squad - and a double Olympic champion could soon be helping her kick on with her career.
Fresh from winning the 400m and 800m titles at the junior north of England indoor championships, Leigh, 16, learned she will wear the national colours for the first time next month.
Leigh’s unique double included a championship best performance over two laps which she won at a canter in 2:10:65, three seconds under her personal best.
And following her consistently excellent form during the last year, the Ribble Valley Athletics Club talent is in line for selection for an exclusive training camp run by Dame Kelly Holmes.
Leigh is among athletes handpicked by Dame Kelly to attend her exclusive mentoring initiative for talented young female middle distance athletes ‘On Camp with Kelly’, supported by Norwich Union.
She will attend a selection day at the UK Athletics High Performance Centre in Birmingham this weekend.
This will include every aspect of becoming a professional athlete, including tests, exercises, interviews and even media training.
Leigh will represent England in a meet against the other home nations at Cardiff on 3 February, where she will run the 400m, at which she clocked an impressive 57.88 in winning the regional championship final in a close finish.
A delighted Leigh said the call-up to the national squad had come out of the blue.
"My dad just told me in the car. It's the first time I've got to wear the England vest," she said.
Dame Kelly explained: "All the girls invited to the selection day are very talented young athletes as their performances in 2007 show.
"At the selection I will be looking for evidence that they have a real desire to achieve and the determination to become a world class international athlete. If the athletes demonstrate those qualities they will be invited to become part of ‘On Camp with Kelly’."
Leigh's fellow Ribble Valley runner Robbie Schofield, 17, also performed superbly at the northern championships, finishing second in the 800m.