ERIN WALLACE is one of those people who, it seems, can turn her hand to anything. A few years ago, the Glasgow athlete won 1500m gold for Scotland at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games but in a something of a surprise move, the teenager then veered into elite–level triathlon. Her talent was highlighted as she won silver at the World Junior Triathlon Championships last year.

Selecting which path to do down when you’re a major championships medallist in both sports is no easy task but Wallace has made her decision.

A year ago, Wallace joined Andy Young’s revered training group, which also includes Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie, and the teenager is focusing all her attentions on athletics, for now at least.

“I made the choice of specialising on track rather than triathlon really just based on what one I was enjoying more,” the 19-year-old said.

“I felt like I wanted to give track a shot now and see how far I can go. I can go back to triathlon if things don’t work out on the track whereas I feel like trying to switch to the track when you’re older would be a lot more difficult. I’d always regret it if I didn’t give it my best shot so I want to try.”

Wallace is currently in the midst of her winter training and this weekend, she makes her assault on the British Athletics Cross Challenge in Liverpool, where she will compete in the under-21 category, and which also doubles at the trials for Euro Cross. Wallace has been awarded a Scottish vest for the event and while she admits cross-country isn’t her favoured event, she is aware of the benefits it has for her in the long run.

“I’m definitely improving with my fitness so that makes me feel a lot more confident going forward,” the Giffnock North athlete said.

“I’m doing cross-country because it will help me on the track. It’s really useful doing it through the winter and I’ve always found it’s helped me as I go into the track season – it’s so much harder than racing on the track so it’s really good for my strength.

“It helps me mentally too. When I go into a 1500m race after doing things like 4k cross-country races, it feels pretty short in comparison and the track is a lot easier underfoot too.”

Wallace, who has just begun a degree at Glasgow University in physiology and sports science, has slotted in well in Young’s training group. The highly-respected coach has become something of a guru for women’s 1500m running having developed both Muir and Reekie into world-class athletes. And for Wallace, it is invaluable to have the opportunity to train alongside someone of the class of Muir day in, day out.

“It’s really good being part of the group - it’s a lot different to what my training was like before but I’m definitely starting to see improvements,” she said.

“It’s fantastic training with everyone there and seeing Laura in training is great, she’s incredible to watch. It’s good to see the standard you have to hit to perform at the very top like she does.”

While the standard of the training group is sky-high, Wallace admits it is hugely encouraging to see athletes reach the top having trained in the way she is going to in the coming months and years. And this gives her the confidence that if things go well, there is no reason why she can’t follow in their footsteps.

“Laura’s right up there so it’s really helpful to see that’s what I need to do if I want to get to the top level too,” she said.

“It’s really good to see what she does and that it’s so much down to hard work.

She’s so close to home and she’s come through the same training pathway that I’m on and am going to go through so it’s nice to see that works and she’s the final product of it.

“There’s Jemma (Reekie) too but there’s also other’s in the group who are amazing athletes so it’s good to know that we’re doing the right things. It’s a really exciting time.

“Obviously I’d love to get to the big events but the next Commonwealth Games and the 2024 Olympics still feel so far away to me. I’m just going to take every season as it comes and see where I can get to.”

Running in Scotland vests in the senior event in Liverpool are Jamie Crowe, Jonny Glen, Ryan Thomson, Lachlan Oates, Mhairi Maclennan, Steph Pennycook and Jenny Selman, while Scottish short-course XC champion, Andy Butchart is also expected to run.