Central AC athletes were in action at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh which was again the venue for the Scottish Inter District Cross Country Races with selected athletes representing their District or Scottish Students’ team following their performances in December’s District Championships. The top quality programme had televised international races from senior down to Under-17s where the international and domestic races were combined to provide competition and great development opportunities for the younger athletes.
In almost perfect conditions for cross country running, Central’s Alastair Hay, competing for Scotland East, was always in close contention for an individual medal in the Senior Men’s Inter District race as the places fluctuated and the pressure built. Alastair finished in fine style in fourth, missing out on bronze by one tantalising second, covering the 8 kilometre course in 26min 36secs but contributing towards an East team win. Aidan Thompson was wearing a Scottish Students’ vest as he followed up on a winning run in Antrim for Scotland Under-23s the previous week. Here, Aidan finished ninth with a time of 27.02 which ensured the Students finished second in the team event. It was also good to see Matthew Sutherland in the black vest of Scotland East as he pushed through in 27th placing with an excellent 27.58 timing.
The Senior Ladies Inter District race had three Central ladies making a big contribution to the Scotland East team win. Fanni Gyurko took club honours after working her way forward across the 6 kilometre course with a fine 12th place in 23.30, followed closely by Catriona Buchanan in 15th place in 23.39 and Kate Gallagher 16th in 23.48. Lauren McCulloch represented the Students’ team through her studies at Stirling University with 39th in 25.11.
The Under-17 Inter District races were supplemented by a number of up and coming international stars as GB took on USA and European teams in combined race, and it was good to see Tom Graham-Marr running strongly in this company and covering his 6 kilometre challenge in 22min 30secs for 18th in the Inter District race. In the Under-17 Girls’ race Rosie Eckersley represented Scotland East in a strong winning team with 14th (16.58) for the 4 kilometre distance.
Lewis Dow also produced a solid performance in the Under-15 Boys’ race held over 4 kilometres. Here he was 30th in the Inter District challenge in a time of 15min 10secs. In the Under-15 Girls’ race Carrie Banks was the Central AC representative in another winning Scotland East team with a fine 18th place in 16.25.
First year Under-13 runner Connor Bell was making his debut at this level and never looked out of place as he confidently covered the 3 kilometre course in 11min 56secs for 26th placing in his Inter District race. Melissa Turnbull made a strong start and finished in an accomplished 17th position in 12.45.