This weekend saw Jamie Crowe travel to the Antrim International Cross Country to represent Scotland in the senior men’s race. Crowe continued his quality racing to finish seventh (25mins 58secs) in a field containing Olympic Steeplechase Champion Consesus Kipruto and Olympian Andy Vernon. Conan McCaughey, winning his first Northern Irish vest, also showed strong character to finish 14th overall (27.07) in the same 9 kilometre challenge. Morag MacLarty, fresh from last week’s dominant performance in Holyrood Park, faced a similar high quality field and here led the Scottish Team home in tenth, completing the 5.6 kilometre run in 20min 25secs.
The Final Match of the East District Cross Country League was held in testing and frozen conditions at Broxburn on 14h January, the course featuring the infamous Lungbuster Hill. Central’s teams had slight leads in both the Senior Mens and Veteran Mens competitions but top performances would be required from both teams on the day. Central were also well positioned to take the overall Female title.
The day commenced with the Under 11 races with both the girls and boys being spared the hill in their 1.4 kilometre test of frozen paths. Central’s Under 11 girls had another great set of performances to clinch second overall in the league. Melissa Turnbull led the team home with fifth (5.54) with Mary Kealey (16th; 6.25), Brogan McMillan (20th; 6.25), Leah Stenhouse (34th; 6.46) and, Izzy McGuire (73rd; 8.29). Central’s Under 11 boys were headed home by a spirited second place run from Connor Bell (5.19), with Joshua Kennedy also showing top form in fifth (5.29), Owen Eckersley (48th; 6.26) and Kieran Mooney (82nd; 7.12) ensured the boys finished in a useful fourth place on the day and also an excellent third across the whole Season.
The Under 13 girls and boys again had their endurance tested over a one lap 2.7 kilometre course featuring the aforementioned Lungbuster Hill. The Central Under 13 girls came out in strength with Elise Graham-Marr having a great run in eighth place in 11.32, Jessica Turnbull finished in twelfth (11.49) and with Summer McLean (23rd;12.23), Anna McKinnon (34th;12.52), Amy Cully (37th;12.56), Fionnlaith Stokoe (58th;14.000, Ellen Montgomery (59th ;14.00) and Ellie Ross (69th;14.49) it was a great overall effort from the girls. In the boys race Finlay Muir was Central’s top scorer in fifth (10.15) with, Ryan McGuire (37th; 11.29), Angus Henderson (60th; 11.39), Ross Lawrie (62nd; 12.55) and Benjamin Kennedy (73rd; 14.32) ensuring the yellow and blue vests were again well to the fore.
In the combined Under 15 girls and Under 17 women’s race over 4.1 kilometres Rosie Eckersley finished ninth overall and fourth under 15 with a 16.28 timing. Carrie Banks was 14th overall in 16.46, with Fiona Davies (25th; 17.50) and Millie Stokoe (40th, 20.15) completing Central’s challenge. There was more excellent running in the Under 15 Boys race over the same 4.1 kilometre course with Thomas Woods finishing 23rd (16.12) followed closely by Kyle Howie (24th; 16.20) while Cameron Fraser (38th; 18.37) and Ben Hughes (40th; 18.46) saw the team finish sixth on the day. Under 17 Tom Graham-Marr did the Club proud in the Under 17 Mens race over 5.4 kilometres finishing in a fine eleventh place in 20min 21sec.
Central Senior Ladies were second team on the day, led in by Jennifer Wetton with an excellent second place run (20.53) over the 5.4 kilometre course. Lyndsay Morrison made a welcome return to racing with eighth in 21.42, with Kim Timmins (22nd; 23.28), Claire Houston (28th; 24.00), Hazel Dean (35th; 24.54), Eleanor Hanson (37th; 25.08) and Alison Currie (88th; 33.00).
With determined running throughout the Senior Mens Team made it five League wins in a row and here it was another mature performance from Cameron Milne (sixth; 27.37) which led home Central’s charge ahead of
impressive runs from the remaining Team counters Michael Wright (seventh; 27.44), Dale Colley (ninth; 27.58), Scott Green (22nd; 29.05), Scott Bremner (56th; 31.07) and Will Hensman (66th; 31.44). David Lindsay (97th; 33.11) provided the essential back-up while David Eckersley and Andy Turnbull, along with Scott Bremner, ensured the Veterans Trophy was picked by Central for the first time. Back-up here came from Robin Musset and Charles Graham-Marr while there more gutsy performances from Ross McNaught, Fraser Purves, Iain Dunsmore, Jens Subke, Kenny Hislop, Alan Gall and Cameron Campbell, all completing the 8.1 kilometre challenge in fine style.
At the final count up of the overall points it transpired that Central had won the overall female trophy by some 41 points across the Season from local rivals Falkirk Victoria Harriers.