Central AC senior men’s made it six championship wins on the trot in the National Cross Country Championships with Andrew Butchart anchoring the team with the individual trophy for the second year in succession. The event with 130 years of history saw the largest ever field of over 2500 entries racing over Callendar Park course at Falkirk.
Andrew Butchart was a firm favourite for the race, following on his success of 2015 and showing good form in recent weeks, but he still had a tough 12km course to take on with contenders who fancied their chances. After a steady first lap he broke away from his rivals to hold a comfortable lead to the finish with a time of 40.02 for the 3 lap overall course of 12km. Alex Hendry was next in for Central, with a fine fifth place (41.13) pushing for bronze medal place for most of the race. The Central team effort was now very much about packing the top six team positions and battling team-mates for bragging rights. With Central top 6 finishers all coming in the top 17 place, the team title was comfortably in the bag through Ross Houston (12th, 41.57), Conan McCaughey (14th, 42.18) Michael Wright (16th, 42.29) and Cameron Milne (17th, 42.32). Central had commendable backup with 25 other senior men runners in a huge field of 650.
For the Central ladies, Fanni Gyurko posted another great performance to finish 5th with 31.57 for the 8 kilometre race. Fiona Thompson was 15h in 32.46, Patricia Milne 108th with 38.11 and Alison Curry 239th with 47.38 in the largest field assembled for the event. Stirling-based Fanni is fighting for a place in the Hungarian Olympic marathon team having already obtained a qualifying time, but is preparing for London to secure a place.
The Central under13 girls put in a great show just failing as a team to get on the podium in 4th place with Kyra Gibb leading in the team with 7th place with 13.45 supported by Carrie Banks (19th, 14.20), Amy Kirkpatrick (44th,15.05), Jessica Turnbull (54th, 15.22), Grace Tindall (93rd, 16.06) and Naomi Howlieson (127th, 17.03). Central’s under 13 boys team of Daniel Bruce, (57th, 14.04), Thomas Woods (84th, 14.35), James Brown (103rd, 15.06) and Cameron Fraser (114th, 15.14) made a strong account of themselves.
The Under 15 boys team were another highspot for Central taking silver team medals through some hard fought racing. From the outset, Central’s Keir Howlieson was close to ending up on the deck, with all aspects of gentlemanly conduct lost by the competitive young men in a scramble to get away to a good start. Keir quickly recovered and was up near the lead pack after the first kilometre. Keir’s 9th place (14.42) was followed up with Ben MacMillan (13th, 14.53), Tom Graham-Marr (14th 14.54) and Sandy Holl (25th 15.21). Cerys Gilbride (44th, 18.40), Heather Scott (69th, 19.36) were well-placed as Central’s competitors in the Under 15 race.
In the under 17 Women’s race, a good showing by Central team were always in with a shout. Kate Gallagher fought hard at the front of the field but had to settle for fifth place (18.53) with Lauryn Turnbull (22nd, 21.23), Fiona Davies ( 26th, 21.33), Madeline Woods (36th, 22.21), Eleanor Hanson (39th,22.36) and Jodie Currie (48th, 23.18). Jamie Wastling (67th , 27.32) was the sole Central runner in the Men’s Under 17 race.
The under 20 race had a strong Central contingent, with Aidan Thompson had a fine race to take 3rd in 27.43 with good support from his Central team-mates as he took the silver team medals together with Bradley Scott (18th,29.44), Cameron Harris (24th, 30.46), Euan Brownlie (28th, 31.05), Jack Kerr (36th, 31.56).
Other men’s results
Jamie Crowe, 26th, 43.13; Dale Colley, 31st, 43.39; Lewis Millar, 42nd, 44.11; Colin Logan, 77th, 46.08; Scott Brember, 118th, 47.50; Will Hensman,156th, 48.55; David Eckersley, 220th, 50.36; Ross McNaught, 242th, 51.15; Phil Williams, 243rd,51.19; Simon Barlow 352nd, 54.09; Iain Dunsmore 362nd, 54.23; Fraser Purves, 378th, 54.54; Robin Mussett, 390th, 55.21; Robert Hutchison 408th, 55.54; Jens Subke, 418th, 56.12; Hugh Kerr, 490th, 58.44; Kenny Hislop, 539th, 61.03; Alan Gall, 584th, 64.10; Cameron Campbell 605th, 66.31.