RUNNER Clara Evans wants to make the Great Britain squad for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Evans, who was Herefordshire Sport’s Sportswoman of the Year for 2016, is Welsh champion at 10km and believes she has a chance of realising her dream.

“I am looking to try and run the Team GB qualification time for 10 km and get into next year’s commonwealth team that are competing in Australia,” said Evans.

“Getting into next year’s squad will be difficult but it will be a great experience to compete in the qualification event and it’s worth a try.

“I am confident that I can make the commonwealth team for 2022 and maybe even break into Team GB for the Olympics in 2020 if I have a good couple of years.”

The 23 year-old admitted she didn’t know anything about the Herefordshire Sports Awards until she was told she won the Sportswoman of the Year trophy.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award so to win was a surprise, but it’s good to get recognised locally for my achievements last year,” said Evans.

The former Aylestone pupil got into running at an early age and competed regularly in the 800, 1500 and 3000m throughout her teenage years.

As Evans grew older she began to compete more regularly at five and 10km, as well as half-marathons.

“I first got into running when I went with a friend to Hereford & County Athletics club and I really enjoyed it,” explained Evans.

“I was nine at that time and I continued to run throughout my time at school where I won the local school and county championships most years.

"I always made English School finals but I can’t remember where I finished.”

Her efforts at Hereford Athletics club have helped move them up the regional club team ladder.

The long distance runner’s smaller targets for 2017 are to improve her personal best at 10km and to focus more on half-marathons.

“Apart from making Team GB I would also like to finish under 34 minutes in 10km, my personal best at the moment is 34:18 so if I continue to work hard I reckon by the end of the year I can run achieve that goal,” added Evans.

The current qualification time needed to be considered for the 10km British Commonwealth team is 34:30 and if Evans runs at her best, she is certainly in contention for a spot on the plane to Australia.

Evans recently finished runner-up in the Welsh Cross-country Championships and says she is inspired by British athlete Jo Pavey.

“I look up to all athletes because of the dedication and sacrifices they make to their sport, but if I was to choose specific ones it would be Jo Pavey because she just keeps going even at 43 years old,” said Evans.

“Mo Farah is another athlete I look up to just because of his success at the last two Olympics and the fact he did something that nobody has done before.”