LEIGH Harriers’ international cross country star Lauren Howarth will take on the world next weekend.

The 18-year-old medical student has been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the under 20s event at the world championships in Jordan on March 28 - and is the first woman to represent the club at this high level.

Her selection tops a superb year in which she has lifted bronze and team gold in the European championships in Brussels.

Lauren is one of six GB athletes selected for the run in Amman and she will face the toughest test any distance runner could possibly meet.

Club chairman Joe Galvin said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to compete against the very best distance athletes in the world and a stepping stone for future championship races.”

Lauren won her first GB vest on the track in Poland where she competed in the 3,00m. Her form continued over the winter, winning the Universities’ cross county championships in Aberdeen and finishing second in the National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hills, London.

A magnificent seven Harriers represented Greater Manchester in the Inter-Counties Championships.

Laura Riches, competing in the under 17s, was the first GM athlete across the line, finishing in 22nd in 19mins 44secs place.

Leanne Sheehy, in the women’s under 20s race, was also the first across the line for her county, finishing 40th in 25mins 28secs.

Richard Powell led the Greater Manchester team in with 63rd place in the boys’ under 15s race in 16mins 20secs.

Leigh had two girls in the under 15s event. Shannon Johnson was 98th in 16mins 51secs and Bethany Jones 149th in 16mins 51secs.

Rebecca Howarth, running in her first inter-counties senior women’s race, was 105th in 32mins 37secs and Robert Powell, in the under 13s boys’ race, was 117th in 13mins 45secs.