East District Championships, Livingston
Central Athletic Club faced rock hard ground conditions at the East District Cross Country Championships in Livingston as their teams won the Senior Men’s and Under-20 Women’s team titles and Bronze medals for Under-13 and Under-17 Men’s teams. Jamie Crowe enhanced his reputation winning the Senior Men’s title and also coming home with Gold medals were Kate Gallagher in the Under-20 Women’s event and Scott Brember in the Masters Men’s category.
In the Senior Men’s race, Jamie Crowe was involved in a head-to-head tussle with Welsh International runner Kristian Jones, representing Dundee Hawkhill Harriers. Jamie sat on Kristian’s shoulder for much of the latter half of the 9.6 kilometre race, unleashing an impressive sprint finish to win in 29min 58secs. Superb running by Alastair Hay (sixth, 30.41) and Cameron Milne (seventh, 30.57), backed up by more top performances from Aidan Thompson (13th, 31.53), Matthew Sutherland (16th, 32.24) and Scott Brember (19th, 32.43) as medal counters, ensured Central continued their four year team winning streak in this event. There was more strong running throughout this race from Murray MacLarty (32nd, 32.59), Lewis Millar (29th, 33.11), Will Hensman (130th, 38.17), Donald Shaw (158th, 39.30), David Eckersley (174th, 40.09), Charles Graham-Marr (180th, 40.27), Fraser Purves (201st, 41.23), Ben Noad (210th, 41.58), Gordon Appelbe (215th, 42.06), Raymond Milne (263rd, 46.46), Allan Gall (273rd, 48.14) and Cameron Campbell (277th, 49.36).
Central’s Senior Women took fourth place with a strong team taking on a 6,400 metre course. Morag MacLarty led the team home, with a fifth place (23.30), with Fanni Gyurko just behind in 6th (23.40). Next counters for the team awards were Claire Houston (26th, 25.15) and Kim Timmins (45th, 26.54) with Patricia Milne (55th, 27.54), Hazel Dean (60th, 28:28), Becky Hay (81st, 29.35), Amy Hendry (85th, 29.46), Kirsten McStay (87th, 29.55), Lee Houghton (112th, 34.04) and Alison Curry (115th, 35.31).
Kate Gallagher took top spot and led her Under-20 team to team gold with Kate putting in an impressive 17.46 for her 5,000 metres course. Lauren McCulloch worked hard to move up through the field to fifth place with 18.43 and the winning trio was completed by a great run by Eleanor Hanson with 22.05 in 19th place.
The Under-17 Men saw Ben MacMillan lead his Central team home in eighth, covering the 6.4 kilometre course in 22 minutes 32 seconds. Tom Graham-Marr finished just a few strides behind in ninth (22.35) while new recruit Telfer Gray ensured the Bronze team medals in 16th spot with 23.10. This time there was back-up from Sandy Holl (31st, 24.59) and Gregor McArthur (35th, 25.19) with both youngsters producing strong performances. For the Under-17 Women, Rosie Eckersley (8th, 19.40) and Heather Scott (25th, 23.40) put in very good performances.
The Under-15 Boys’ team was led home through a strong run from Lewis Dow (eighth, 13.57) with further dogged performances from Finlay Muir (24th, 14.57), Thomas Woods (29th, 15.21) while Kyle Howie and Angus Henderson finishing together in 42nd and 43rd positions with 16.08 and Ben Angus Hughes came through in 53rd in 16.57, with the boys finishing as fifth team. Carrie Banks ran a strong 7th place with 15.21 along with Kyra Gibb (20th, 16.41) in the Under-15 Girls race.
The Under-13 Boys faced a 3.2 kilometre challenge with Connor Bell well to the fore to finish in seventh in 11min 50secs. The Bronze team medals were ensured by further top performances by Cameron Kerr (15th, 12.14) and Cameron MacMillan (29th, 12.52). Euan Campbell (34th, 13.13) again showed his promise as did Euan Docherty (35th, 13.19), Ruairidh Burns (52nd, 14.04) and Finlay Marchant (64th, 15.33). For Central’s Under-13 Girls there was another strong turnout with Anna MacKinnon (24th, 13:54), Summer Maclean (25th, 13:54), Amy Cully (33rd, 14:21), Mirren Henry (38th, 14:35) and Mary Kealey (46th, 15:07).
Acting as a trial race, the top ten finishers in each event won places in the East of Scotland team for the inter-district match at Holyrood in the New Year.
More photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/centralac/albums/72157667313796539
European Cross Country Championships
Central AC members were critical to Great Britain topping the medal table at the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia. Andrew Butchart landed a fine bronze medal as he once again proved his class at international level. A year after finishing fourth when Scotland’s Callum Hawkins took third in Italy last December, this time the Central Athletic Club athlete led the GB and NI men to team bronze medals in the Senior Men’s race. Butchart led the race in stages but ultimately had to defer to race winner Kigen Ozbilen of Turkey and silver medallist Adel Mechaal of Spain.
‘It was very different to last year,’ said Andy. ‘With the weather being so cold this year, training had to be different but out on the racecourse it went perfectly. It went exactly how I wanted it to go and I was confident from the start knowing I was in reasonable shape. The last lap was frustrating, once they were gone they were gone and on this sort of course there is no way of catching them. I wish I could have stayed with them but I lost a bit of concentration and that’s all it takes. I’m happy with the bronze medal and hopefully there will be many more to come. It is great to win the team bronze as well with the rest of the team running well so it is a nice result.’
Central AC’s Cameron Boyek helped the Great Britain and NI team to victory in the first ever 4 x 1,500 metre Mixed Relay event at the Euro Cross. Cameron was on the second leg and took the Brits into a lead that they held on the final two legs to see off the Czech Republic by one second.
‘It’s an unbelievable feeling and a great honour to be here,’ said the Scottish 4K cross country champion, who lifted the team from third to first after the opening leg by Melissa Courtney. ‘We came for the gold and we achieved it. I knew I was in good shape and wanted to get out hard and make sure that I caught them. Once I caught them I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste too much energy going past them too early so I sat on them for a bit and got myself in a good position.’
Sarah McDonald took it on for GB and then Tom Marshall, who had come in for Charlie Grice from the original selection, brought it home.