With some five individual medals and five sets of team medals the trails of Deans Country Park in Livingston proved to be a great day out for Central Athletic Club athletes at the East District Cross Country Championships on Saturday 12th December.
The Under 13 Girls race started proceedings with Central’s girls showing close order throughout. When it came to count back it proved to be the closest team competition of the day with Central winning team bronze. Kyra Gibb led Central’s effort with a fine fifth place (12min 50secs) over the 3200metre course. Carrie Banks (twelfth; 13.17), Amy Kirkpatrick (14th; 13.22), Ciorstaidh Ainsworth (16th; 13.35), Jessica Turnbull (36th; 14.25) and Naomi Howlieson (60th; 16.07) proved the Club’s strength in depth in this age group. A team of four Central Under 13 Boys faced up to the same 3200metre challenge with Daniel Bruce leading the way to finish 18th overall (12min 47secs) followed in by further fine efforts from Thomas Woods (25th; 13.19), Cameron Dinwoodie (38th; 14.07) and James Brown (43rd; 14.25) as the team finished sixth overall.
The Under 15 Girls competed over a 3900metre course and here it was Rosie Eckersley who caught the eye with a fine effort in sixth place (15.43) followed by Heather Scott who stuck well to her task to finish 32nd (17.41). The Under 15 Boys also had some 3900metres to cover and here it was Keir Howlieson who challenged throughout for first place but had to settle for a silver medal by the narrowest of margins, finishing in 13min 21secs. Tom Graham-Marr underlined his recent progress in fourth (13.36) and with further strong runs from Ben MacMillan (tenth; 13.57) and Sandy Holl (24th; 14.42) Central comfortably lifted the gold team medals.
The Under 17 Ladies race featured another fine performance from Kate Gallagher to win gold taking just 18min 23secs to cover the 5100metre course. With back up from Fiona Davies (tenth; 20.34), Jodie Currie (15th; 21.19), Madelaine Woods (18th; 22.02) and Eleanor Hanson 21st; 22.47) the Central team were awarded silver team medals.
The Under 20 Mens 8 kilometre race saw Central’s Aidan Thompson running strongly throughout to lift a well-deserved silver medal (27.00). With further excellent runs from Iain Davies (seventh; 28.19), Euan Brownlie (twelfth; 28.57) and Cameron Harris (15th; 29.18) the team were rewarded with team bronze medals.
Central ladies team produced a fourth team place in a high quality senior ladies race over 6400metres. Fanni Gyorko had a fine race, battling for an individual medal till the end when a disputed finishing line rush saw her given fourth place in a time of 24.00. Jennifer Wetton stuck in well to take 13th place in 24.44 with Catriona Buchanan (18th; 25.11), Natalie Milne (28th; 26.00), Patricia Milne (55th; 27.58) and Alison Curry (102nd; 36.02) rounding off Central’s effort.
The Senior Mens race over a three lap course of 9600metres saw Central’s largest turnout of the day with some 18 finishers and excellent running throughout. Andrew Butchart set out with intent from the start proving his undoubted class to win in 30min 37secs. Alex Hendry was locked in a battle for silver with Lothian Running Club’s Max McNeill and it was only on the final lap that Alex established a slight lead to win his third silver medal at this event with a 31.19 effort. Ross Houston used all his experience to move through the field for fifth (31.36) ahead of Cameron Milne (ninth; 32.17), Scott Green (eleventh; 32.24) and Conan McCaughey (17th; 32.46) as Central lifted their eleventh set of team gold medals from the last twelve years. Colin Logan came through well in 36th (36.38) and with Will Hensman (70th; 36.32), Scott Bremner (88th; 37.12), David Eckersley (97th; 37.41), Ross McNaught (109th; 38.32), Hugh Buchanan (158th; 40.44), Simon Barlow (175th; 41.39), Robin Mussett (188th; 42.26), Kenny Hislop (211th; 44.07) and Jan Thompson (228th; 46.49) it was obvious the harrier tradition is still strong among Central’s runners. Perhaps the most intriguing contest of the day was being played out at the back of the field with Allan Gall and Cameron Campbell vying for position throughout. Allan made his move on the final lap to finish 243rd (48.10) one place and 10seconds ahead of Cameron.