STAVERTON athlete Jenna Blundell is this week celebrating her first Great Britain vest.

The 17-year-old was given her first international call-up after finishing third in the U20 women’s pentathlon at the England Athletics Combined Events Indoor Championships at the weekend.

“It is a dream come true and I am ecstatic,” said Blundell, who is a former student at St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon.

“That bronze medal last weekend meant so much to me and to now get my first GB vest off the back of that is brilliant and shows that my perseverance has paid off.

“I am feeling very emotional about it.”

After missing almost the entire 2017 season through injury, Blundell eased her way back into top-class competition last summer, so her joy at getting 2019 off to such a flying start is understandable.

“Last year, I was getting back into the sport but it was frustrating and I was lacking in confidence,” said Blundell.

“I want to make 2019 the year I fall back in love with athletics and this is a great start. I was never among the medals as an U15s athlete and then I got injured, so this shows that with patience and resilience, it is worth it to keep going.”

Blundell is certainly a determined competitor and she showed that again in Sheffield last weekend.

After the first four events – 60m hurdles (8.71secs), high jump (1.67m), shot (10.17m) and long jump (5.64m) – she was lying in fourth, so needed a big finale in the 800m.

“I knew I had to beat the other girl by five seconds to get the bronze medal and that was my focus in the race,” explained Blundell.

“The race went well and when I crossed the line, I started crying and then looked over to my coach (Julie Alexander) and shouted: ‘Did I do it?’ It was a very emotional moment.”

With news of the GB call-up coming later, it proved to be a memorable weekend for Blundell, and – all being well – could be the first of any this year as she renews her love affair with the sport.

In the U20 men’s heptathlon, Hilperton’s Rory Howorth finished sixth with a score of 4,824 points.

It was Howorth’s first attempt at the event and as one of the youngest competitors in the field, he should take encouragement from his performance, especially as it included PBs in the high jump (1.89m), pole vault (3.60m) and long jump (6.63m).