THE Three Towns have a new national champion athlete after a Stevenston teen emerged victorious from Scotland’s under 20s five kilometre road race.

Meredith Reid, 18, was competing in the age group for the first time in the Sri Chimnoy 5K event in Edinburgh, and much of her opposition had a further two years experience at that level.

Though that didn’t hold her back as her time of 17 minutes and 41 seconds saw her cruise to victory by 20 seconds, and Meredith can now call herself a national champion.

Speaking to the Herald, she said: “It’s really exciting and it’s good to know my hard work is paying off, because I do put a lot of effort and time into my running.

“It’s really nice to get a title, it’s there now, it’s in the history books, I’m an under 20 champion.”

She has spent numerous years dedicated to the sport, and for the last three years has taken part in a school of sport programme in Glasgow where she receives a lot of her coaching.

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Though her journey began right here in North Ayrshire.

Meredith explained: “I actually started off doing the North Ayrshire cross countries when I was in primary and I would win so that when I realised ‘oh I’m actually quite good at this’ and I really enjoyed it and that’s how I got into it.”

She now trains twice a week with her club in Inverclyde, spending the other five days of the week training herself here in the Three Towns.

All of this hard work and dedication has been balanced with typical teenage life - school, her part-time job, a social life and her upcoming university plans.

As well as her sporting talent, Meredith is also due to attend Strathclyde University from September, where she will be studying law.

She commented: “It is really manageable trying to balance a social life and running. Obviously the running comes first, sometimes you do have to not go out and see your friends one day but honestly I’m fine with that.”

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Looking to the future she has big plans ahead, saying: “I’d really like to go professional, I’d honestly love to, so I’m just going to try my best and see if I can make that possible.

“My coach is Norrie Hay, I started training with him when I was about 13, and he’s really brought me on and it’s been really good so far.

“I’m going to uni in September and I’m going to continue being coached by him and hopefully I can continue progressing with him.”

Meredith was also only 22 seconds away from qualifying for the Junior World Championships following a race earlier in the season in Loughborough.

With over two years still to compete at the under 20s age group - the future certainly looks bright! Congratulations from all at the Herald, Meredith.