The second match of the East District Cross Country League was held on the normal testing course at Broxburn on Saturday 24 November. With a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers the races were made more challenging for those facing the full force of the rain. The constricted start and slippery conditions in places resulted in a few falls for Central’s runners with most able to pick themselves up and continue.
The Under-11 races saw both the girls and boys facing a 1.4 kilometre course. There was a good turn-out of Central Athletic Club’s Under-11 Boys with spirited performances from the club’s youngsters. Ray Taylor had an excellent fifth place run with a time of 5 minutes 27 seconds. Ossian Arkotxa also did well in 10th (5:33) with back-up from Jack Sutton (20th, 5:44), Jamie Connor (40th, 6:14) and Logan Bell (64th, 6:49) the results ensured the boys finished in fourth place on the day and are in fourth overall in the league.
For the Under-11 Girls, it was a third team place, with more good turnout and performances. Leah Gibb had a great run with 7th place in 5:51, with Niamh McKinlay (14th, 6:02), Isla Henry (28th, 6:26), Tabitha McKenzie (33rd, 6:39), Ciara Middleton (45th, 7:00) and Connie Bateman (48th, 7:07).
The Under-13 Girls and Boys had their endurance tested over a one lap 2.7 kilometre course featuring the dreaded Lungbuster Hill. In the Boys race Connor Bell ran well throughout to finish fourth with 10:05. There were further strong efforts from Aaron Middleton (21st; 11:00), Ruairidh Burns (29th, 11:13), Owen Eckersley (47th, 11:41) and Alex Dunlop (60th, 12:04). The Boys finished in sixth place and are currently in fifth in the league.
For the Under-13 Girls, Carys Gibb, followed her younger sister’s example by being first Central athlete home in 14th place in 11:52. Mirren Henry (16th, 11:54), Catriona Kane (17th, 11:54) and Leona Melville (18th, 11:58) came in strongly together with Mary Kealey (38th, 12:55) and Brogan McMillan (53rd, 14:24) completing a strong turnout and third place on the day, confirming third place overall in the league.
There was more excellent running in the Under-15 Boys race over a 4.1 kilometre course with Finlay Muir showing improved form to finish eleventh (15:44) and with good back-up from Ryan McGuire (14th, 16:03) and Euan Docherty (45th, 18:13) ensuring the team finished sixth on the day and are currently fourth in the league.
The combined Under-15 and Under-17 Girls also held their league position with fourth place over the challenging 4.1 kilometres through another strong team of Rosie Eckersley (Under-17) (11th, 17:07), Grace Tindall (17th, 17:42), Summer Maclean (28th, 18:39) and Heidi Eik-Maxwell (43rd, 19:52).
The Senior Men tackled a 3 lap course of 8.1 kilometres. Scott McDonald used his experience to work through the field and finish fifth with 29 minutes 14 seconds. Scott Brember proved to be the fastest Masters runner on show, finishing 16th overall with 29:49. Under-20 runners Sandy Holl and Telfer Gray did the club proud with 32nd and 43rd places respectively with 30:48 and 31:16. David Eckersley (122nd, 35:46) and Donald Shaw (128th, 36:05) completed Central’s counters while Iain Dunsmore (140th, 36:46), Colin Alexander (150th, 37:28), Ben Noad (165th, 37:58) and Hugh Buchanan (167th, 38:03) all showed their normal true grit. Alan Gall and Cameron Campbell had their own personal tussle with Allan prevailing by some 10 seconds as they finished 234th and 235th with times of 42:27 and 42:37. The Senior Men’s team finished in ninth place on the day leaving them off the pace in fourth in the league.
The Senior Women had a 5.4 kilometre two lap race, with failure to fill the team places left the squad crashing from lead place after match one to an irrecoverable 10th place after this match. Ever-resilient Claire Houston recovered from a fall to finish in 32nd in 25:11 with new masters recruit Julia McAfee 52nd in 26:46.
A number of Central Athletic Club’s senior athletes travelled to Liverpool at the weekend to compete in the British Athletics Cross Country Challenge with places in the European Cross Country Championships and European Clubs Championships at stake. Morag Millar tussled with a high class British field to finish in a superb 22nd place, covering her 8.1 kilometre course in 27 minutes 30 seconds.
The Senior Men from Central had a less successful day, again competing against the best in Britain over a 9.8 kilometre course with the British Club Championship within the race featuring Central AC competing against Leeds City AC and Swansea Harriers, for club champions from Scotland, England and Wales respectively. Cameron Milne was the best placed of Central’s runners in 60th (30:15) leading in Dale Colley (111th, 31:31), Chris Smithard (132nd, 32:18) and last minute addition Lewis Millar (207th, 34:58), with top honours in the club event going to Leeds.