Central AC athletes were on great form for Scotland as they helped the Scottish team to a convincing victory over Ireland and Wales in the Celtic Games international. Five Central athletes won a total of 5 medals as Scotland won the annual match against the top young athletes from the Celtic nations. This year it was a home match for Scotland and Central AC’s athletes found themselves competing in familiar surroundings at our local track at Grangemouth stadium.
The star Central performer of the day was Coirilidh Cook who was making her international debut in the Under-16 Girls 80 Metre Hurdles. The Balfron athlete is more used to competing at the shorter 75m hurdle distance where she has already won the Scottish schools title this season. The longer distance meant she had the challenge of adjusting her stride pattern. When the gun went, her task was made even harder when she slipped out of the blocks. However, she quickly recovered and overhauled her Welsh and Irish rivals to take the lead. There was a late charge by the Irish competitor but Coirilidh held her nerve and the lead to take the win for Scotland by 0.05 seconds, in a superb personal best and club record of 11.89 seconds.
Following on soon after was Daniel Ferguson in the Under-16 Boys 100 Metre Hurdles. The Tullibody athlete, also making his international debut, ran strongly over the barriers to finish in a personal best 13.99 seconds, his first sub-14 second run. The Welsh competitor was too fast but Daniel held off Ireland to take second place for Scotland and the silver medal.
Coirilidh and Daniel weren’t finished yet though as they teamed up in the mixed 4×100 Metre Relay. Coirilidh led off for Scotland and ran well round the first bend tracking the Welsh and Irish athletes outside her. Daniel took the baton on the 3rd leg holding off the Welsh athlete and overtaking Ireland before handing the baton on for his Scottish teammate to sprint home for victory. This gave Daniel a gold medal to add to his silver in the hurdles and Coirilidh a second gold medal of the day.
Emma Mailer is a very experienced international having won at the Celtic Games last year. The Stirling athlete was looking to defend her Under-18 Girls 400 Metre Hurdles title, however she knew she was up against a strong Irish competitor, Miriam Daly, who had competed at the European Youth championships earlier this summer. Emma could not prevent the Irish competitor winning but dug in for the full lap of the track to finish well ahead of Wales and take the silver for Scotland in a season’s best 66.41 seconds.
Elizabeth Thompson was competing in her second international in the 4×400 Metre Relay. She is very experienced in relays having won numerous Scottish titles with Central AC teams and helped Scotland to bronze in 4×300 Metre Relay in the schools international last month. She was running second leg, and with Ireland and Wales choosing to put their top athletes in the first leg, she took the baton in 3rd place. However she showed her experience as she ran a 59 second leg to close the 5 metre gap on the other teams to hand over almost level. This allowed her teammates to overtake the Welsh team in the final leg to finish 2nd behind a strong Irish team.
Anna Cameron has made huge strides this season since focusing on Long Jump after winning the Scottish schools earlier this summer with a big personal best 5.55 metres. This earned her a place in the Scottish futures team who were selected by the Scottish schools in addition to the main Scottish team. She didn’t quite manage to reproduce the form she showed at the Scottish schools but gained good experience at international level as she jumped 4.99 metres for 4th. She also gained more experience as she ran anchor leg for the Scottish futures team in the 4×100 Metre Relay.
Overall Scotland dominated the final standings, not only winning overall but winning in every individual age group, helped greatly by the performances of the Central AC contingent.