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Central AC teams valiantly set out to defend three titles at National Road Relay Championships and had to be happy with a single silver as they raced over the alternating short (3.1miles) and long laps ( 5.8miles) of Livingston’s pedestrian walkways and footpaths.
In the senior men’s six leg race, Kilbarchan took their first ever honours from Central in what quickly became a two horse race, with other clubs looking for bronze medal place as their best hope. Dale Colley took Central into the lead at end of leg one with 15.44, but then Kilbarchan’s challenge became evident as Scott McDonald had to give way despite a strong second leg time of 29.24. Aidan Thompson making his senior debut held the team in contention with a 15.56 timing. Alex Hendry took on next long leg and turned in a 29.32 to close the gap helping Cameron Milne move the squad back into the lead with his 15.45. Ross Houston put in third fastest long leg of the day with 29.14 but could not hold off Commonwealth Games team-mate Callum Hawkins, who with his brother Derek made the telling difference as they set the two fastest long leg times. Central set a time of 2 hours, 15.34, just 36 seconds adrift. Whilst the club were still celebrating Andrew Butchart’s performance for the GB squad in the World Cross Country Championships in China the day before, his contribution was much missed.
In the senior women, the Central team of Natalie Milne (9th, 19.11), Fanni Gyurko (3rd, 35.05), Claire Houston (7th, 20.38) and Lyndsay Morrison (4th, 34.06) had to be pleased with 4th place in an overall time of 1:49.00 behind medallists, Lothian, Fife, and Inverness. In the women’s masters, the trio of Jane Waterhouse (3rd, 23.18), Hazel Dean (2nd, 40.51) and Tricia Milne (2nd, 21.24) had to give way to winners and local rivals, Falkirk, as they took second place.
Central’s strength in depth showed with 8th place in the men’s races for a B team Tom Watson (3rd, 15.57) Jamie, Crowe (8th,31.02), David MacKinlay (10th, 17.44), Scott Green (7th, 31.29), Ewan Gault (7th, 17.47) and Lewis Millar (8th, 32.19). Kenny Hislop acting as reserve ran a solo leg in 20.56.
Central’s plus 40 masters team was 8th with Simon Barlow, 20:16, Robert Steel 35:09 Neil Cameron 18:47 Donald Shaw 36:15 Stuart Watson 19:38 and Ewan Jack 34:55 and the plus 50 A team with only 4 legs took third place through Robert Hutchison ( 20:13) Gordon Crawford (35:15) Robin Mussett (19:47) and David Eckersley (35:42). A further 50 plus team took 10th place in this competition through John Millar (25:02); Allan Gall ( 43:11); Cameron Campbell (24:13); and Raymond Milne ( 45:56).