Andrew Butchart’s period of altitude training was put to the test in the 3000 metres at the Diamond League in Doha on Friday evening. As is the norm with Diamond League races the field was full of top international athletes and the pace was torrid from the start. Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi kept the fast pace going to the finish recording a world-leading 7 minutes 28.53 seconds with Andrew in eighth on 7-45.36, just a fraction of a second from his personal best and gaining a Diamond League point. ‘The rust definitely got busted’ said Andrew ‘now it’s time to go back to Flagstaff, the season has begun.’
Central AC’s Cameron Milne was on Scottish international duty at the weekend taking a superb third place in the Lillebaelt Half Marathon in Denmark with a personal best of 66 minutes 39 seconds on his senior debut. Cameron kept with the leading group in the early stages which included some challenging climbs and with 2 kilometres to go over-hauled Olympic marathon runner Derek Hawkins to become the first Scot across the line. Both the men’s and women’s races were considerably more competitive than in previous years with Central’s Jennifer Wetton finishing ninth woman with 84:25.
‘The race started at a good pace and we went through 10km at just over 31 minutes which is close to my personal best,’ said Cameron. ‘I fell off the lead group at about seven miles and I didn’t expect to get back to Derek so it must have been a pretty strong finish. In myself I knew I could run 66 and that’s consistent with the progress I had hoped to make so I have to be pleased.’
The Scottish Athletics 5 kilometre Road Race Championships were once again held at Silverknowes, Edinburgh on the evening of Friday 5th May. Once again there was a high quality field assembled and with 480 finishers there was tough competition for the 16 Central Athletic Club runners who again won a number of individual and team championship medals.
Jamie Crowe was always to the fore in the race and his sprint finish was rewarded with a silver medal as he finished with 14 minutes 41 seconds. In a tightly fought race it was great to see Alastair Hay come through in fifth with a tasty 14-47 and Aidan Thompson, in twelfth (14-59) and second Under-20, ensuring the team gold medals were retained by Central. Cameron Harris finished as sixth Under-20 (15.24) and there were more strong runs from local athletes including Matthew Sutherland (15.48), Ruaridh Millar (15.57), Scott Brember (16.14) and Lewis Millar (16.31). Charles Graham-Marr improved from last year’s run to record 18.26 ahead of Phil Sweeney (18.35), Robin Mussett (19.03), Raymond Milne (20.39) and Mark Logie (22.14).
In the ladies race, Under-17 athlete Kate Gallagher again caught the eye as she finished as first Under-17 and sixth overall with 17 minutes 34 seconds. Patricia Milne showed progress from last year with 20.22 while Kirsten Samara McStay should be pleased with her 23.32 clocking.
Central Athletic Club Men’s Team started their Scottish Division One track and field season with a third placing behind last year’s champions Aberdeen AAC and a resurgent Inverness AC team. The match, held in sunny but windy conditions in Aberdeen on Saturday 6th May, saw a committed team effort from athletes across the Club, some excellent early season performances and two Under-17 athletes making their debut at this level.
The first track event, the 400 metres hurdles, finished with Michael Wright in fourth ‘A’ place (71.34 seconds) and David Lindsay win the ‘B’ event (68.33 seconds). The 800 metres saw Aidan Thompson and Jamie Crowe dusting themselves down from their previous night’s 5000 metre efforts taking second ‘A’ and first ‘B’ places respectively with times of 2-04.87 and 2-03.32. Michael Currie had a superb 11.15 seconds run in the ‘A’ 100 metres for third place and Jack Houghton provided the back-up, recording 11.69 seconds for fifth ‘B’ spot. Michael Wright was in a class of his own as he strode to victory in the 3000 metres steeplechase to record 9-48.77; while David Lindsay improved his personal best to 10-34.75 for second ‘B’ place. Kai Ligertwood, in his first ever 110 metre hurdles race, picked off third place with a tidy 19.56 seconds effort while fellow Under-20 athlete, Jack Houghton, continued his busy day to take fifth ‘A’ in the 400 metres with 57.17 seconds while Fraser MacPherson also produced a strong run for fourth ‘B’ spot with 55.37 seconds. Jamie Crowe continued his busy weekend with a win in the 1500 metres (4-05.81) and David Lindsay produced yet another personal best run to take third ‘B’ placing with 4-45.36. The 200 metres series saw Michael Currie again to the fore, taking fourth ‘A’ points with 22.68 seconds, backed up by an Under-17 debut run in the Men’s League for John Wilkie in sixth ‘B’ placing with 25.51 seconds. The 5000 metres saw Michael Wright push his body through the pain barrier in his third race of the day to take second ‘A’ spot with 16-02.38 while Matthew Sutherland, yet another competitor from the previous night’s 5000 metres coming home in second ‘B’ spot with a 16-14.16 effort.
In the field the throwing duties were covered by the ever reliable Ron Todd recording 8.58 metres shot put, 29.81 metres discus and 30.04 metres javelin. Ron also cleared an impressive 3.45 metres in the pole vault, backed-up by Colin Christie’s 2.70 metre effort. Under-20 athlete Cameron McCorgray (6.32 metres) and Under-17 debut athlete James Isgrove (5.36 metres) picked up more useful points in the long jump while James (11.39 metres), showed great form in the triple jump with Jack Houghton (10.37 metres) again proving his range of abilities. Cameron McCorgray came into his own in the high jump with his superb 1.95 metre clearance winning the event.
The 4 x 400 metre quartet of Michael Currie, Fraser MacPherson, James Isgrove and Jack Houghton came home third in a tight race, recording a tasty 3 minutes 40.57 seconds. The guest 100 metres saw Under-17’s James Isgrove and John Wilkie record good times of 12.22 seconds and 12.34 seconds respectively. Jack Houghton won a specially arranged 400 metres hurdles for Under-18s as he tried to achieve the Junior Commonwealth Games qualifying time. Jack’s brave effort of 57.77 seconds just fell short of the mark, the strong wind having a big effect in putting paid to his ambitions.
As always there was great back-up from the Club’s Officials through John Dickson, Stuart MacFarlane and Kenny Hislop.
Points on the day were Aberdeen 417; Inverness 310; Central 284; Victoria Park Glasgow 208; Pitreavie 161; Arbroath 142; Kilbarchan 97 and Lasswade 76.