Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter Alisha Rees is targeting a medal at this summer’s European under-23 track and field championships in Sweden.
The 19-year-old north-east athlete, who is in her second year studying sociology at Loughborough University, is in the middle of a good spell of winter training and aims to emerge in peak condition.
She said: “So far it has gone so well and I’ve stayed free from injury.
“It’s a real improvement on last year when there were so many interruptions for one reason or another.
“Hopefully I can come out in the summer and run some really fast times.”
Rees did remarkably well last year despite missing so much training at different spells.
She was part of the Great Britain side that won bronze in the 4x100m relay at the world U20 championships in Finland.
But she was disappointed to be knocked out of the individual 200m at the semi-final stage, losing out by a mere 0.03sec.
There was success at domestic level as well as she won the Scottish senior women’s 200m for the fourth year in a row, a remarkable achievement for a junior athlete.
She also set a Scottish U20 100m record of 11.59 at a UK women’s league match.
Not a bad haul from a campaign Rees described as “slightly disappointing.”
She said: “I guess I still did reasonably well despite having missed so much training. I feel if I can train without interruption this winter I should be so much better.
“So the European U23 championships are my main focus and I’d really like to get an individual medal in the 200m.
“I think that’s possible if my training continues the way it has.
“Britain’s Finette Agyapong got gold at the 2017 European U23 championships when she ran 22.86. I feel I can definitely go under 23secs this year, so a medal is a real possibility.”
Rees is planning to hone her speed over 60m during this winter’s indoor season by tackling a couple of meets.
She said: “I had hoped to run in the Scottish championships at the end of January, but I have an exam the day before and it would be difficult for me to get up to Glasgow for the Saturday.
“So I am going to compete at the London Games at Lee Valley stadium on the Sunday of that weekend.
“The only other 60m races I’ve got planned at the moment will be the British universities and colleges championships at Sheffield in February.
“In the lead-up to the Europeans in the summer I’ll be competing for Edinburgh in some UK women’s league matches, mainly over 200m but I’ll also do a few hundreds.
“I’d also like to get to a few European meetings. I’ve never done that before but there are a few possibilities and I’m keen to do that.
“Later on in the summer I’d like to come back for the Scottish championships and go for a fifth 200m title. That would be good.
“It’s also a chance for me to wear my Banchory Stonehaven AC vest.
“I enjoy doing that because it’s good to promote our club.
“We aren’t a big club but we’ve got a lot of athletes who have done very well.”