Talented sportsman Jack Denton has been selected for the England under 17s team to race in Italy later this month.
Jack, who lives near Midgley, is in the junior men’s team for the WMRA International Mountain Running Youth Cup in Arco di Trento on Sunday, June 29.
The 15-year-old will be wearing an England vest for the second time, having previously taken part in the Junior Home International Mountain Running Championships in Aberfoyle, Scotland, last September when only 14.
Crossley Heath School pupil Jack, whose next ambition is to run for Great Britain, is one of six junior men and five junior women in the England squad for Italy. The junior women will race over 3.9k with 220 metres of climbing, and the junior men will compete over 4.8k with 280 metres of ascent.
England’s junior men won silver in Gap, France, last year when they didn’t field a junior women’s team.
Jack staked his claim for a place in the team with victory in the Inter-Counties race at Witton Park, Blackburn last month. However, he had an anxious wait for confirmation that he would be selected because there is an age guideline of 16 for overseas events.
Jack started his running career on the track at Halifax Harriers as an eight-year-old.
He took part in the local Alice’s Run at that age, running alongside his father, and has been a member at Calder Valley Fell Runners since 2006. His junior coach was Alistair Whitelaw and his coach for the last year has been Graeme Woodward.
His inspiration is Yorkshire’s Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Olympic triathlon medal winners who run for Bingley Harriers.
Jack has other sporting interests. He has played at lock for Crossley Heath’s Yorkshire Cup-winning rugby union side and is a midfielder for Todmorden Sports Centre JFC Under 15s, who have had a string of cup and title wins.
He is also trying to earn his Duke of Edinburgh silver award and so is helping coach young runners at Calder Valley FR on Tuesday evenings.