DUNFERMLINE distance runner Aidan Thompson is bidding to make Team Scotland selection for the Commonwealth Games.

Former Queen Anne High School pupil Aidan, 25, who also raced for Pitreavie AAC before joining his current club, Central AC, completed his final cross-country run for Belmont University – where he is set to complete a degree in strategic communication and leadership this year – in November.

After some time off, and a niggling groin injury picked up on a trip back to Scotland, his season began in earnest in March before, a month later, he ran the 19th-quickest 3,000 metres steeplechase time of any Scot.

That came at the Virginia Challenge meet, in which Thompson crossed the line in eight minutes and 47.32 seconds, 15 seconds outside the qualifying standard required by Team Scotland for Birmingham.

Since then, he has returned home for the summer and, at the BMC Regional Races/GAA (Glasgow Athletics Association) Miler meet earlier this month, posted a time of 8:17.33 in the 3,000m.

Speaking to Press Sport while still in Nashville before making the trip home for the summer, and ahead of the deadline to make the qualifying standard, Thompson explained: "It was a bit of a slow start to the year.

"I started my season in March in Atlanta, Georgia. I won a low-key college race but the time wasn't anything special, and a couple of weeks later, I went down to Mississippi, and just had a bit of an off-day really.

"I ran 9:04 for my steeplechase, which is 15 seconds off my PB, and I finished fourth in the race. It wasn't to be that night.

"I went away, trained hard for a couple of weeks and then came back in Virginia in another college race and, yeah, the stars aligned. The weather was perfect, the race was set up perfectly, and I ran 8:47 which I knew at the time was pretty quick in a Scottish context, but I found out a few hours afterwards that the statistician guys at Scottish Athletics looked at it, and said it's the 19th fastest ever by a Scot.

"That was huge and for me, I talked with Derek afterwards, and he said, 'Hey, you've not been back running at a high level for a super-long period of time'. Really, it was only my second bigger race of the season.

"It was a small PB, 2.5 seconds; we'll take those wins. It's great recognition to be in that top-20 of all-time but the thing for me is the job's not done.

"Nineteenth in Scotland sounds great, but how good would 15th in Scotland sound? That's the thing I love about this sport, it's so measurable and you can see where you're going.

"If I can drop five seconds off that PB, we can keep moving up that all-time list.

"It just reaffirms that everything I'm doing in training is working and getting to a level that is where we want to be."

The Commonwealth Games is somewhere that Thompson would love to be, and he continued: "Scotland's got the highest standard of all the home nations for the steeplechase, which is typical!

"Distance running right now is just so strong; you've got your Laura Muirs, your Josh Kerrs, Andy Butchart, all these guys and girls as well, with Jemma Reekie, that you're looking up to and they're setting the bar high.

"I wouldn't want to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and be part of a sub-par Scotland team. It's now very difficult to make the team but I see that as a challenge.

"If we get there, great, it's at the back of my mind that it's something we want to aim for, but we're taking it one race at time.

"I want to keep working towards it and see where we get. Hopefully this year, if everything falls into place, we can really go for it.

"I think Derek definitely believes I've got the potential to do it, and that gives me confidence as well.

"I want to just keep focusing on the races, and keep focusing on me, and if the time comes down and we get close enough to have a real go at it, then great. If not, I don't want to get too upset. I don't want to make it seem like that's the be-all and end-all.

"There's plenty of other targets to aim for as well.

"I'm 25 right now so I'll be 29 when the next one comes around. Distance runners don't really peak until their late-20s, early-30s, because it takes so long to really adapt your aerobic system.

"Twenty-five is a good age but I've still got plenty of running left in me. As long as I can find a set-up longer-term after my graduation from university, that works for me, I don't see myself hanging up the spikes any time soon.

"If it's not this year, it's not to be. There's an opportunity in four years' time, and that's something we keep working towards."