A US-bound Shropshire athlete is targeting the Olympics after paying tribute to her former school Wrekin College.
Dani Rowlinson is heading to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this August after being awarded the only International Athletics Full Scholarship.
The 19-year-old, who will compete for the Loyola Lions as a long distance runner, will combine a four-year Photography degree with another yet-to-be-decided academic course.
Her eventual aim is to represent Team GB at the 2024 Olympics.
She currently competes in the 3km on a track and 5km cross country.
Dani claims she owes her success to the nurturing and encouragement of staff at Wellington-based Wrekin College.
“Wrekin College has been amazing towards me achieving my goals so far,” said Dani, who also has two younger sisters attending the school.
“The whole sports department and set up is fantastic – the facilities are top class.
“Not only did the staff show encouragement and try to improve us, but they also showed support by ensuring they could fit us in at times to suit us.
“All of the staff were supportive but I particularly want to mention Head of House Maureen Crone, who was my house mistress, and also Jim Mostyn, who was head of sport and games while I was there.
“They really are very supportive and without a doubt I wouldn’t have got there without their help and assistance.
“If there’s something you want to do then they do all they can to support you. You can’t ask for much more than that really.”
Dani was approached by coaches from schools in Texas and New York during her A-Level year.
But it was a personal best of 10.09 in a 3km track session that prompted scouts from Loyola to approach her.
“I went over there and the whole set up looks fantastic,” she added.
“I cannot wait to move over there. It’s going to be hard work but the facilities look amazing.
“My target is to eventually make the Olympics. Tokyo (2020) will come too soon but hopefully 2024 will be the ideal time for me.
“I have a lot to thank Wrekin College for.”