Central AC’s runners brought home three individual trophies and team medals in six of the 10 races at the East of Scotland Cross Country Championships at Aberdeen. Top individual honours in the senior races went to Jamie Crowe returning home for the Christmas break after some record breaking running at college in the US and Morag Millar whose run of form continues. These races also formed the main basis for selection to represent the East of Scotland in the inter-district matches in the New Year which see a move from Holyrood Park to Stirling, along with the televised international races.
The Senior Men’s race saw Jamie Crowe in the leading pack throughout and as runners, including Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Robbie Simpson, dropped back, it was Jamie who prevailed to win gold with a 27 minutes 19 seconds run over the 8.5 kilometre course. Alastair Hay shrugged off injury worries to finish seventh with 28:17, while an improved effort by Dale Colley (ninth, 28:24) and strong running from Conan McCaughey (11th, 28:31) laid the foundation for team victory.
There were more top performances from Murray MacLarty (21st, 29:37) and Scott Brember (22nd, 29:40) ensuring Central continued their five year team winning streak in this event while Michael Wright (23rd, 29:45) provided the vital back-up with yet another quality run. Further good runs came from David Lindsay (85th, 34:07), David Eckersley (93rd, 34:47), Iain Dunsmore (117th, 36:23), Cameron Campbell (178th, 43:25) and John Millar (190th, 49:03) while Scott Brember’s effort picked up the individual Master’s gold medal.
Morag Millar put in a dominant performance in the Women’s race over the same distance as the men, with her 30:57 timing almost 2 minutes in front of her next opponent. The team finished in fourth place with fine runs by ever-improving Amy Hendry (27th, 37:40) and Master’s runners Julia McAfee (36th, 40:08) and Hazel Dean (40th, 40:47).
The Under-20 Men race over 6.5 kilometres saw Central’s new recruit Hamish Hickey bring home an individual bronze medal with a 21 minute 21 seconds timing and with more good runs from Central athletes Sandy Holl (10th, 22:09), Tom Graham-Marr (13th, 22:11) and Telfer Gray (23rd, 23:40) the team silver medals were assured. In the Under-20 Women’s race, Central’s sole runner Lauren McCullough put in a spirited run, being in a medal place for the bulk of the race, before the pace told and she finished with a fine fifth place in 25:19.
The Under-17 Men’s race saw Ben MacMillan in fine form to take an individual silver medal with an 18 minute 11 seconds run over a 5.5 kilometre course. Daniel Bruce swapped his jumping spikes to prove his endurance credentials finishing 29th with 21:08. The three Central Under-17 Women on the same course were rewarded for some fine running with bronze team medals through Carrie Banks (9th, 22:19), Rosie Eckersley (13th, 23:01) and Kyra Gibb (15th, 23:22).
The Under-15 Boys tackled a 4 kilometre course with Cameron MacMillan leading Central’s effort in eighth with 14:18. Cameron Kerr also had a fine run in 10th with 14:24 and with Euan Docherty finishing 24th (15:32) the Boys were rewarded with bronze team medals
The Under-13 Boys faced a 3.2 kilometre challenge and here a fine assured run from Connor Bell saw him take the individual gold medal with a winning performance of 10:21. Ruairidh Burns continues to impress and here finished ninth with 11:01 and with Aaron Middleton also proving his credentials in 16th with 12:25, Central won yet another set of bronze medals.
The final set of bronze team medals went to the Under-13 Girls’ team with fine runs from Melissa Turnbull (8th, 11:54), Carys Gibb (11th, 12:06), Mirren Henry (19th, 12:33) and Brogan McMillan (36th, 13:30).