A busy weekend of athletics started with the Scottish 5 kilometre Road Race Championships on Silverknowes Esplanade in Edinburgh. A trio of Central runners dipped below 16 minutes in the race with Murray MacLarty and Fraser Logan finishing virtually together in 15 minutes 42 seconds while Under-17 Ben MacMillan came through with an impressive 15:58 timing.
There was another strong showing from Central Athletic Club Men’s Team competing at the first match of the Scottish Division One Track and Field Men’s League held in excellent conditions in Grangemouth. Another display of all round commitment saw Central finish in third place on the day.
With the normal league format, the first track event, the 400 metres hurdles, saw Michael Wright shrug off the effects of his previous weekend’s Scottish Marathon win to claim third ‘A’ placing in 64.54s. Not to be outdone David Lindsay showed good form over the hurdles to land third ‘B’ place with 66.12s. The 800 metres saw Dale Colley back on his local track clocking 2:11.75 in fifth, proving he had not conquered a mid-week illness while Fraser Logan, fresh from his previous night’s 5,000 metres race showed some impressive finishing speed to claim sixth ‘B’ spot with 2:07.56s. It was good to welcome back Andrew Sweeney to Men’s League action and here he finished fifth in a quality 100 metres with 11.98s, backed up by Cameron Smith who used all his experience to come through in second in the ‘B’ race, clocking 12.02s. Ruaridh Miller showed great resilience in the 3,000 metres steeplechase clocking 10:17.28 for fifth in spite of running two laps with only one shoe, while David Lindsay again underlined his worth to the team with fourth ‘B’ points in 10:53.46. Kai Ligertwood shouldered responsibility for the 110 metre hurdles taking a worthy fourth placing in a time of 19.91s. Andrew Sweeney was back on the track in the 400 metres, finishing fifth ’A’ in an excellent 52.30s clocking. The 1,500 metres saw Fraser Logan finish fifth ‘A’ runner with a near personal best time of 4:18.14 while Dale Colley provided more ‘B’ points in fourth place. The 200 metres series saw Cameron Smith back to the fore, taking sixth ‘A’ points with 24.32s, backed up by Under-20 Kieran Halliday in fourth ‘B’ placing with 24.26s. The 5,000 metres saw Michael Wright again prove his commitment to the team with second ‘A’ place in 15:34.54 as did Ruaridh Miller as he provided more points with fifth ‘B’ placing in 16:50.26.
In the field the throwing duties were covered by Graham Porterfield and Ron Todd. Graham recorded a discus personal best of 32.31 metres for third ‘A’; won the shot put with 11.38 metres; had a 32.78 metres javelin throw and completed a busy day with a hammer throw of 38.28 metres in third, picking up excellent points in all events. Ron weighed in with second ‘B’ points in the discus (27.46 metres); second ‘B’ javelin (29.39 metres) and fourth ‘B in the shot put with 8.07 metres. Conditions for the pole vault were, for once, favourable and here Under-20 athlete Matthew Chandler won the event with an outdoor personal best of 4.20 metres while Ron Todd again produced excellent second ‘B’ points with a best clearance of 3.10 metres. Matthew also contested the high jump and again proved his quality credentials with second ‘A’ placing as he cleared 1.85 metres. Under-17 athlete Erik Escala proved a more than useful addition to the team and here high jumped to 1.70 metres taking second ‘B’ points. Erik was also to the fore in the long jump with a best of 5.66 metres in seventh ‘A’ placing. Kai Ligertwood was pleased with his second ‘A’ place in the triple jump with a best of 10.72 metres.
The 4 x 100 metres quartet was supplemented by the versatile Fraser Logan on the final leg, finishing off from strong runs by Cameron Smith, Matthew Chandler and Kieran Halliday and the team finishing in fourth with 48.71s. The Guest 100 metres saw Kieran Halliday record 11.76s to win his race while Erik Escala (12.18s) and Ian McDonald (12.25s) should be pleased with these early season runs.
As always there was great back-up from the Club’s officials through John Dickson, Stuart MacFarlane, Tom McMenemy, Bill Gault, Richard and Ronnie O’Grady plus Gillian Marchant and Kenny Hislop.
Overall placings on the day saw Aberdeen again in first place followed by Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Central, Inverness, Shettleston, Pitreavie, Victoria Park Glasgow and Kilbarchan.
Decathlete Tom Chandler was competing at the British University Championships in Bedford over the weekend and his classy performances included personal bests in shot put – 12.37 metres, high jump – 1.86 metres and pole vault – 4.45 metres in qualifying with possibly more to come.
The Forth Valley team got off to a good early season start with a third place in the Scottish Women’s Athletic league on home turf at Grangemouth Stadium on Sunday.
In the senior ranks for the first time, Central’s Anna Cameron was third in long jump with 5.08 metres, and was timed to 13.26s and 27.68s for 6th places in 100 metres and 200 metres. Amy Gullen won the Senior high jump with 1.65 metres. Catriona Laing also transferred to senior ranks with a fine 2nd in Senior 400 metres in 59.19s. Rosie Eckersley 4th, though Under-17, also moved up to take on seniors with a fine 3,000 metres in new personal best of 10:54.05.
The Under-17 races saw fine competition, with Emma Mailer first off and put in a storming run to win the Under-17 300 metre hurdles in 45.35s. Lucy More achieved a personal best as she took 6th place in Under-17 100 metres. Elizabeth Thompson showed good early season form with 42.34 for 3rd in Under-17 300 metres. Katie Sharkey just lost out in a tight Under-17 hurdles with 11.98 for second place and was 6th in a quality 200 metres with 26.86s, with Emma Mailer taking ‘B’ 200 metres race win with 26.74s. Briagha Cook comfortably took a win in ‘B’ hurdles race with 12.19s
Sister Coirilidh Cook took the win in the Under-15 hurdles in 11.68s and Amy Cully made her debut for the team and took a big chunk off her personal best as she took second place in the ‘B’ Under-15 800 metres with 2:30.32.