Central AC athletes put on some great performances as they represented their schools in the Scottish Schools Pentathlon Championships at Grangemouth on Saturday.
Star performer of the day was Katherine Fowler of McLaren High who won a superb bronze medal in the Girls Group C (age 14) Pentathlon, her first ever national medal. Katherine was kept company throughout the day by her Central teammate and training partner Louise Carroll of Balfron. In the opening 75 Metres Hurdles event the pair were drawn next to each other, and matched each other stride for stride to the line to finish joint second in their heat in 13.2 seconds which for Katherine was a personal best and put them in joint fourth overall.
In the High Jump, Katherine and Louise again finished equal with clearances of 1.44 metres for joint third in the event and fifth place overall. There were personal bests for both girls in the Shot Put as Louise threw 7.40m and Katherine threw a big personal best 7.91m, a two metre improvement. This put Katherine in sixth and Louise seventh, within 60 points and 100 points respectively of the second placed athlete. In the Long Jump, Louise set another personal best 4.66m and Katherine produced a big personal best jump of 4.96m, the second furthest in the competition. This jump also meant she leapt up the leader board into third place and a potential medal, with Louise now sitting in seventh.
Katherine was only 16 points ahead of the fourth placed athlete which equated to just over a second in the 800 Metres. Her resolve was put to the test when her rival set off hard but Katherine responded and tracked her all the way before sprinting past in the home straight to finish in another excellent personal best 2:32.14 minutes. Louise also set a new personal best 2:41.76 minutes, chopping 10 seconds of her previous fastest. When the scores were added up Katherine had finished with 2,712 points to take third place and go top 10 in the UK rankings, while Louise scored 2,487 points for an excellent sixth, with both earning a place in the Scottish schools squad. It was a great day for both girls as they had set big personal bests and also achieved gold standards in the club awards scheme. For Katherine the day finished with the proud moment when she stood on the podium for the first time ever at a national event to be presented with her bronze medal.
Erik Escala of Dunblane High was taking part in the Boys Group B (age 15-16) Pentathlon and opened well in the Shot Put with 11.99m for second place. He followed this with an excellent personal best 14.92s in the 100 Metres Hurdles and 5.60m in the Long Jump to put him in fourth place. He set further personal bests in the 200 Metres (23.98s) and 1,500 Metres (5:15.33) to finish with a personal best score 2,978 points for fourth place, just outside the medals but enough to earn a national squad place.
Jack Campbell of McLaren High took part in the Boys Group C Pentathlon and opened with a Long Jump of 4.53m followed by personal bests in every event after that: 80 Metres Hurdles (13.30s), Shot Put (7.96m), 200 Metres (27.24s) and 800 Metres (2:34.17). He scored a personal best 1,935 points for sixth place and a national squad call up.
Ruaridh Burns of Stirling High was taking part in the Group D (Under-14) Pentathlon opening with 14.32s in the 80 Metres Hurdles. He then produced a personal best 4.94m in the Long Jump to win the event and put himself in third place. He unfortunately missed his Shot Put after a timetable change meaning he registered no points for the event but bounced back by winning the 200 Metres in 26.36s. He finished with second place in the 800 Metres with 2:19.93 minutes to finish in fifth place in a personal best score of 1,795 points. He was only 300 points behind the winner and with a Shot Put anywhere near his personal best he would have taken the gold medal. He will look to make up for this later in the season.
Molly Cornes of Balfron High had set an excellent personal best of 2,978 points earlier in the year but after being hit with illness recently was never able to get near her best. After a decent start with 1.50m at High Jump for third she worked hard to finish in seventh place in 2,490 points. She will look to improve once she is fully fit later in the season.
In the Girls Group D competition Jessica Hanson and Molly Sullivan, two Central athletes from Dollar Academy were taking part. Jessica set personal bests at 75 Metres Hurdles (13.91s), Long Jump (4.16m), High Jump (1.29m) and 800 Metres (2:59.24) for a personal best score 1,834 points for 13th. Molly set personal bests at 75 Metres Hurdles (15.43s), High Jump (1.11m), Long Jump (3.85m) and 800 Metres (2:50.14) for a personal best score of 1,499 points for 14th place.