Marnie Ponton and Jackson Sharp to compete in World Cross Country Championships

Two Blue Mountains residents will represent Australia in Denmark following strong performances at the World Cross Country Selection Trials in Canberra.

Marnie Ponton earned a spot on the Australian women’s senior team, and Jackson Sharp will wear the green and gold in the men’s junior team, competing at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark on March 30.

Ponton, who finished sixth in her 10km race at Canberra on January 27, initially thought she’d missed out on a spot, so was excited when she heard she’s made the team.

“I’m super pleased,” the Glenbrook runner said.

The undulating grassy course was “better than the grass on Glenbrook oval”, Ponton said.

“It’s easy to run particularly quick on,” she said.

Ponton had heard the course in Denmark could be more challenging than the Canberra selection trials.

“There’ll be more hills probably. That would be good for me,” the 34-year-old said.

Ponton is trained by Canberra-based coach Dick Telford. She also represented Australia at the Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in Wales in October, where she ran 6th and secured a PB of 72 minutes.

After the world championships she’ll be focused on training for a marathon on the Gold Coast in July, where she’s hoping to run a sub 2 hours 35 minutes race.

Meanwhile, Jackson Sharp, aged 18, won his 8km world selection trials race in 25 minutes 19 seconds.

In 2017 the Wentworth Falls teen represented Australia at the Commonwealth Youth Games and also broke a NSW under 18s 10-year-old mile record by four seconds.