Central AC’s cross country teams started the season in medal winning form, with Senior Men taking top spot and Senior Women bronze medals in the East District Cross Country Championships at a rain drenched course at Glamis Castle.
The Senior Men’s team was back on top of the podium with fine runs from Murray MacLarty, Lewis Millar, Michael Wright and Alastair Hay, over the same 4 kilometre loop used for both Men and Women. The first leg saw Murray bring the team through in fourth with a fine effort of 13 minutes 17 seconds. Lewis picked up the challenge and soon pulled the Central team into the lead with a speedy 13:12 leg and with storming efforts from Michael (13:08) and Alastair (12:50) the lead was never relinquished. Central’s win made it a superb set of twelve victories in this event in the last thirteen years. The winning time of 52:27 was followed in by a 53:02 effort by Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds and Hunter’s Bog Trotters recording 53:10 in third. Alastair Hay’s unchallenged run proved to be the fourth fastest of the day.
For the Senior Women’s team, a set of bronze medals were just reward for a fine set of runs. Kate Gallagher set off hard on the competitive first leg and was in 12th place at changeover in 16:21, handing on to Lauren McCulloch whose speedy 15:45 brought the team up to 8th place. It was left to Morag Millar to step in with much the fastest leg of the day to bring the team up through field to bronze medal position with a fine time of 14:02.
Central Men’s ‘B’ team came home in an excellent sixth place overall with Matthew Sutherland’s first leg of 12:55 leading the race after the first leg and recording the fifth fastest leg of the day. Under-20 runner Telfer Gray completed the second leg in 14:29 with the team in eighth overall and with Sandy Holl, another Under-20, picking up the challenge with a 13:51 leg the team moved up to sixth. Jack Kerr’s effort of 13:27 on the final leg ensured the team stayed in sixth with an overall time of 54:42. Central’s Masters’ team of David Eckersley (15:18), Donald Shaw (15:50), Charles Graham-Marr (16:47) and Scott Brember (13:38) proved to be the sixth fastest Masters’ team on the day, finishing 28th overall with Scott recording the fastest time for an Over-40 runner.
Under-20 Tom Graham-Marr led off Central’s ‘C’ team’s effort recording an excellent 13:53, and with David Lindsay (15:41), Ben Noad (17:51) and Kenneth Hislop (21:33) the team finished 46th overall. A further Masters’ team of Hugh Buchanan (17:04), Iain Dunsmore (16:31), Colin Alexander (17:20) and Allan Gall (19:56) finished 49th overall and 13th fastest of the Masters’ teams. An incomplete team of Cameron Campbell (19:10) and John Millar (21:55) rounded off the men’s efforts on the day.
Two further Central Women’s teams also featured with a fine 13th place for the ‘B’ team led off by Claire Houston with a first leg run in 16:58. The team was completed by two members in their first race for the club, Julia McAfee in 18:19 and Rebecca Craig bringing the team home with a fine 15:39 leg. Central ‘C‘ Women’s team finished in 22nd place through good runs by Becky Hay (18:37), Amy Hendry (17:38) and Heather Scott (18:49).
There was an encouraging turnout of Central’s young athletes determined to make the most of the first cross country outing of the season over a 2.5 kilometre loop. Central’s ‘A’ Boys’ team comprised Under-13 Joshua Kennedy (10:05), Under-15 Finlay Muir (9:44) and Under-17 Ben MacMillan (8:46) with the team finishing in a fine fourth place with Ben recording the second fastest lap of the day. The ‘B’ team of Owen Eckersley (10:37), Cameron MacMillan (9:18) and Kyle Howie (9:54) finished in a creditable 12th overall with Cameron recording the fifth fastest Under-15 time on the day. Central’s ‘C’ team of Tom Campbell (10:42), Jack Campbell (10:59) and Sam Burton (9:36) proved gritty competitors with a 24th overall placing while the ‘D’ team of Henry Crossley (11:43), Euan Campbell (10:20) and Oliver Holden (10:49) should be proud of their efforts and their 31st placing overall. Central’s ‘E’ team saw Angus Kennedy (13:52), Ross Lawrie (12:00) and Daniel Bruce (10:15) in 39th placing overall, again all the boys showing the right resolve to stand them in good stead for the forthcoming season.
In the Girls’ races, a good set of team results underlined the strong showing from across the club. The first Central team home was in a great 8th place, with Under-13 Mirren Henry (11.00), Under-15 Naomi Howlieson (11:40) and Carrie Banks (10:21). Closely following came the next Central trio in 12th place with Brogan McMillan (11:41), Anna MacKinnon (11:13) and Rosie Eckersley (10:32). In 19th place was the team led off by Mary Kealey (11:43), with Allie Buchanan, an Under-13 running in the Under-15 leg in 11:50, and Kyra Gibb completing with 10:37.