RISING track star Millie McClelland-Brooks jetted off to the Caribbean to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games and performed with great credit to finish sixth.

The Inverclyde Athletic Club runner dramatically ran the standard in the women’s 1,500 metres just five days before the qualification window closed, giving the 16-year-old a chance to book her ticket on the flight to Trinidad & Tobago.

After a nervous wait, Millie was given the news by selectors during her school prom, with her new personal best of 4min 26.92sec good enough to make the team.

Trained by local coach Norrie Hay, Millie became the first Inverclyde AC athlete to qualify for the Commonwealth Youth Games, doing so after years of family sacrifice.

Millie was first brought under Norrie’s wing at Glasgow School of Sport, where she studied from the age of 12, meaning a move from Aberdeen.

She spent the first 12 months lodging miles away from her father Richard, mother Kirsten and brother Tor, so she could attend the prestigious institution.

Millie said: “I lodged for a year so my dad every Friday would get the train down, take me home on the train, and do it again on the Sunday.

“He would still come down if I had races and drive down, watch me, and take me back home.”

However, the pandemic interrupted her living situation, meaning digs were no longer available to her.

Instead, Richard decided to move to Glasgow with his daughter, leaving his wife and son behind up north.

Richard said: “We had to find somewhere for her to stay down there while she was at school.

“She was down at school during the week and back home on the weekends.”

They were later reunited permanently in Ayrshire, where the family now live.

The teenager needed to shave more than five seconds off her personal best to stand a chance of qualifying.

Her best opportunity looked to have been and gone when she crossed the line in 4:28.10 in Manchester – just a tenth of a second slower than the qualification standard.

It took a turbulent trip with dad Richard and coach Norrie to Birmingham on the final week to break the barrier, achieving the time by more than a second.

Richard said: “It was a relief for Millie because of the amount she put in and the constant travel she had to do to find the right races.”

The following Monday, Millie received a call from selectors, confirming her place on the team, but was unable to tell anyone at her prom until the squad was officially announced.

Coach Norrie believes Millie’s achievement will inspire other athletes at Inverclyde AC to become stars too.

He said: “It’s the first athlete I’ve taken to a global Games.

“It gives me and the athletes I’m coaching and Millie the belief that you can get to that level.

“You can get a GB vest, you can get a national vest, you can go to the Commonwealth Games.

“It is great for the club.”