A FORMER Colwyn Bay Athletics Club runner is flying the flag for Wales in America.
Former Blessed Edward Jones and Rhyl Sixth pupil Nathan Jones, 22, is on a three year scholarship at McNeese University in Louisiana.
The university competes in the Southland Conference league, made up of schools from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
At a recent indoor championship, Jones scooped three gold medals in the 5000m, 3000m and the distance medley relay. He also completed a 10K in 29.33 in San Francisco.
His success has lead to him being named Southland Conference indoor track and field athlete of the year, a first for any student of the university.
His parents Caroline and Alan Jones have been monitoring and encouraging his running which has taken him from winning junior titles for Colwyn Bay Athletics Club to running almost 100 miles a week in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
Mrs Jones said: “As parents we are extremely proud of everything Nathan has achieved.
“He is a modest lad but has always set his goals high, he has achieved so much through hard work and determination.”
Nathan’s achievements have inspired his mum to take up running and she is now a member of Prestatyn running club.
“A few years back Nathan took me out for a run. It was more stop start than what he was used to, one minute running then one minute walking.
“I used to take Nathan to races when he was younger and when he left for America I thought joining the running club would be a good way to keep in contact with the parents I used to speak to there.
“I’ve ended up doing a few half marathons in Conwy, Chester and Aberystwyth and one day I’d love to do the London Marathon.” Mrs Jones said.
With Nathan’s scholarship due to end in May 2018, Mrs Jones is unsure what direction her son will go in next.
She said: “He’s had some amazing life experiences, running in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and up and down the Grand Canyon.
“Who knows what he could achieve next. If he keeps improving he might even get to the Commonwealth Games.”