KIRSTEN McASLAN faces a tough test this weekend if she is to follow in her mother's footsteps.

The 19-year-old is one of five Scots selected by Great Britain for the European Team Championships at Gateshead next weekend. She is among six women named in the 4x400 metres relay squad, and with Olympians Christine Ohuruogu, Eilidh Child, and Shana Cox all likely starters, she is vying with Meghan Beesley and Victoria Ohuruogu, both of whom have run faster this year.

However, she races the Olympic silver medallist's sister, Victoria, at the UK Under-23 championships this weekend, and is intent on staking a strong claim. Further incentive is that the event is also the trial for next month's European Under-23 Championships in Finland.

Gateshead is Kirsten's senior Great Britain debut selection. It's the track where her mother (the former Fiona Hargreaves) made her first and only UK appearance, also in the relay. It was sandwiched between shifts as a junior house doctor at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. "I hope this is not going to be a first and last senior appearance," said Kirsten.

Her mother's job was postponed to allow her to compete in the 1986 Commonwealth Games. When she received the GB call the following week, she needed time off. Having worked the evening before, she drove down on race day, and was back at work the next.

The team finished second, with fellow Scot Dawn Kitchen on the anchor, mum having run a commendable 52.4. That split was exactly matched by McAslan on the anchor leg for Britain at the European Under-20 Championships in 2011, when her sprawling lunge secured gold.

"I was full of lactate and just collapsed," she recalled yesterday. "That's been the highlight for me so far. I started in third, went back to fifth, but ended up first, with this girl chasing me. I did not know I'd won when I crossed the line.

"I was bitterly disappointed not to have reached the individual final, and wanted to prove myself. My relay split was the fastest of the whole final."

Her mother succeeded Linsey Macdonald as British Universities' 400m champion in 1986, and both ran in the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. Hargreaves had been hampered by an Achilles injury, but clocked her lifetime best of 53.34 that season. It still ranks 15th in Scotland, but her daughter is now five places higher, on 53.02. Relay splits, from rolling starts, are not included.

The European Under-23 qualifying time is 53.00, and is a target this weekend. The 2014 Commonwealth qualifying is 52.40.

Her breakthrough has come as a surprise. "I'd a stress fracture – the navicular bone in my foot which put me on crutches for a month. Then I'd a cast – a boot – for another two. But the strength and rehab work seems to have made me stronger. It's made a difference this year.

"The Commonwealths are the big goal for me next year. I definitely want to be in the relay team, but I think the individual time is achieveable.

"I'd love to compete for GB seniors at 400m, but I think eventually I will be an 800m runner. I haven't thought much about Rio, but it's something I'd like to achieve."

Two-lap thoughts are endorsed by her coach, Trevor Painter, who believes she can break the Scottish record. One is compelled to listen, given that he coached his wife, Jenny Meadows, to two world championship 800m bronze medals, and European indoor gold.

"Kirsten is following a very similar path to Jennifer, who was doing 800s and fell into the 400m through injury," says Trevor. "Everyone thought she was a 400m runner, but that speed stood her in good stead. Kirsten has a very similar energy system. She won high level cross-country [Northern Counties Under-13 champion] and our squad's winter work has a lot of endurance.

"Kirsten is very naturally talented. Down the line, she'll run a very good 800m, but I think it's important to see how fast you go. Her 200m pb [24.58] will ultimately limit her at world level over 400m but that 400m speed will be a massive advantage at 800m. I can see her breaking the Scottish 800m record in future, if she sticks at it.

"If we can get her close to 51 seconds at 400m, that will probably be as far as she will get – which isn't too shabby. We hope for an individual 400m place for the Commonwealths next year. If Lee [McConnell] gets her spikes back on [after pregnancy] and with Eilidh and Gemma Nicoll, you have a fantastic quartet.

"Kirsten has been in the middle of exams, which is hard mentally and physically. It will be interesting now that's out of the way and she can focus on athletics."

Brought up in north Manchester, McAslan has just completed her first year of biology at Bath University, but dismissed the transition to student away from home. "I just got on with it," she said. "I do a bit of cooking at home, so it wasn't alien to me. I'm quite good at going out and being the sober one. I did have quite a good time at the beginning – I'm not going to lie, but my priority is athletics."

Mum is now a GP, and she and Kirsten's father Ewan, who was twice British Universities triple jump champion, were at the British student championhips to see their daughter win the 400m title in Bedford last month.

It was a title her mother had won 27 years earlier. "It is nice to keep the family tradition going," says Kirsten. "My parents are very supportive, because they've been through it before."