Central Athletic Club Ladies were able to make it five years in a row as they continued their winning ways in the East District Cross Country Relay Championships. Their race featured a close battle for the lead with the Central trio steadily moving forward in each of the three 4000 metre legs to take the lead on the final leg. First off was Jennifer Wetton, just a week after her win in the Loch Ness Marathon, and she hung onto the early pace, posting a third place with just a 21 second deficit to the leading Lothian team and Edinburgh University in second. Jennifer’s time of 14min 12secs was fourth fastest of the day. Fiona Thompson took on the pace taking Central up into second place with the university students moving into the lead and their lead now just nine seconds ahead of Central. Fiona’s time of 14.45 was good enough for ninth fastest on the day. Morag MacLarty had a tough fight to wrestle the lead from the university runner, but by half way was ahead and creating a 19 second winning margin through her 13.57 time.
The Men’s four leg relay saw a reversal of the above result with Edinburgh University taking the honours as they pulled away from Central on each of the legs. Aidan Thompson set off Central’s effort to record the fourth fastest time of the day (12.13), there were further strong runs from Michael Wright (12.29), Cameron Milne (12.35) and Ross Houston (12.31) as Central picked up the Silver medals.
Central Men’s ‘B’ team came home in fifth through Tom Watson (12.39), Ruaridh Miller (12.57), Chris Smithard (12.37) and Scott Green (13.25) with the runners proving their fitness at the start of the Cross Country Season. The team of Fraser Logan (14.03), David Lindsay (14.57), Euan Brownlie (13.36) and Will Hensman (14.26) were competitive throughout and came home 19th overall. Central’s Veteran team of Hugh Buchanan (16.07), Charles Graham-Marr (15.27), Stuart Watson (17.22) and Scott Brember (13.59) finished seventh in the Veterans race. Two incomplete teams comprising Fraser MacPherson (15.14), Jamie Wastling (14.57) and Kenny Hislop (18.03) then Allan Gall (18.30), Mark Logie (19.07) and Cameron Campbell (18.59) completed Central’s efforts on the day.
Central’s young female ‘A’ team took a creditable eighth place with a steady improvement in placing through the three 2500 metre legs as the relay went from Under 13, to Under 15 to Under 17 runners. With this relay race very much a trial for the National relays in two weeks’ time, runners in each of Central’s four teams were also vying with each other. The first Under 13 leg saw the Central teams coming in with Jessica Turnbull (12th, 10.39), Carys Gibb (15th, 10.42), Mia Glenn (18th, 10.50) and newcomer Eilidh Fleming (32nd, 12.54). The Under 15 leg also had close contests between the Central girls with Kyra Gibb (10th, 9.39), Rosie Eckersley (11th, 9.37), Elizabeth Thompson (15th, 10.28) and Naomi Howlieson (28th, 11.34). The closing leg of Under 17 runners saw Lauren McCullough (8th, 9.56), Lauryn Turnbull (12th, 9.55), Heather Scott (17th, 11.01) and Madeleine Woods (24th, 10.15).
It was a similar scenario with Central’s young male athletes with Under 13s Cameron Kerr (7th, 9.27), Euan Campbell (19th, 10.01) and Cameron MacMillan (31st, 10.39). The Under 15 runners acquitted themselves well through Ben MacMillan (8th, 8.33) and fourth fastest Under 15 leg of the day, Daniel Bruce (10th, 9.26) and Ben Hughes (36th, 10.58). It was Under 17 Keir Howlieson who finished off the ‘A’ team effort with the third fastest Under 17 leg (6th, 8.21) and Cameron Fraser, running up an age group (19th, 10.26).
Full results are available from the Scottish Athletics website.