HILPERTON runner John Howorth celebrated his first senior international England vest this week.

The 21-year-old received a late call-up for the England squad to run the 1500m at the Manchester International against Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the National Athletics League and Great Britain & Northern Ireland U20s.

“Winning my first international vest really tops off my season,” said Howorth, formerly of St Augustine’s Catholic College.

“I only found out last Friday when I got an email after the original runner (George Mills) dropped out. I was over the moon. I ran into to tell my parents and told them I now have another race this season – they were pleasantly surprised!”

Howorth was scheduled to race on Wednesday night in what was an unexpected grand finale to an already super season.

Howorth’s form this summer, under coach James Thie in Cardiff where he is studying, is the reason why he has been called up into the England team.

He has made amazing progress over 1500m improving his personal best three times as he finally broke the landmark 3mins 40secs barrier with 3:39.85 at the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Watford in June.

He followed that with a first sub four-minutes mile clocking 3:59.59 last month while also placing sixth in the England Under 23 Championships and securing an invite to the British Senior Championships incorporating the Olympic trials.

It then seemed his summer was over until Howorth popped up in Watford last week with another breakthrough performance, dipping inside 1mins 50secs over 800m for the first time with 1:49.67 to carve 2.23secs off his 2020 best.

If the selectors had any doubt that Howorth was worth of that first England vest then that performance allayed their fears.

“That run came out of nowhere,” added Howorth. “I’d just had five days off because I was struggling with motivation after such a long season.

“I got to the point where I was just tired of running and needed a rest but I really want to break 1:50 so entered Watford to give me that goal.

“The break was what I needed as I felt really good and was very happy afterwards – it is great to have a 1:40 something time to your name as well as a 3:30 something in the 1500m.

“I had thought that next year it would be my target to win an international vest so to get it now feels brilliant and has rounded off a great season perfectly. It is another goal ticked off.”