The final match of the Scottish Division One track and field season saw Central Athletic Club Men’s Team competing in Grangemouth. Heavy rain prior to the meeting and a blustery wind throughout the day made for challenging conditions for all the athletes.
With the normal league format the first track event, the 400 Metres Hurdles, saw Michael Wright and David Lindsay once again shouldering responsibilities with both providing strong performances. Michael finished fifth ‘A’ runner, clocking 67.90 seconds with David finishing in second ‘B’ place (68.67s). The 800 Metres races saw Under-17 Lewis Dow clocking 2 minutes 4.00 seconds for fifth ‘A’, on a day where personal bests were hard to find. Under-20 athlete, Ben MacMillan, was a late replacement in the ‘B’ race so a 2:18 clocking for seventh was a welcome bonus for the team. Ian Horsburgh was proving his fitness ahead of the European Masters Championships and powered to a tasty 11.18s in the 100 Metres in third place. Unfortunately a calf tweak saw Ian take no further part in the meeting but the Club wish him well with his endeavours in Venice in mid-September. Under-17 sprinter, Jamie McNaught, was making his debut in the league and produced a swift 12.38s performance placing him sixth ‘B’ runner in the 100 Metres. Erik Escala (11.87s), Daniel Ferguson (12.08s) and John Wilkie (12.30s) all showed good sprinting form as guest athletes in the 100 Metres. Michael Wright and David Lindsay again provided classy performances in the 3,000 Metres Steeplechase with Michael finishing second ‘A’ runner with 10 minutes 1 second and David second ‘B’ with 10:35. It was good to welcome Dale Colley back to the team providing a useful run for fourth ‘A’ placing in the 1,500 Metres in a useful 4 minutes 15 seconds while Under-20 Hamish Hickey weighed in with 4:19 for third ‘B’ points. Erik Escala is another Under-17 athlete proving his ability in the Men’s League and here ran to 54.98s over 400 Metres to place fourth in the ‘A’ race. The 5,000 Metres race saw Under-20 athletes Ben MacMillan and Hamish Hickey back on the track and always up with the leading group. In the final fast last lap Ben charged home for fifth ‘A’ spot (15:32) while Hamish came home with third ‘B in 15:36, having recovered from a trip earlier in the race while leading. Michael Wright continued his busy day running as a guest in the 5,000 Metres clocking 16:09 and finishing second out of a long list of guest runners.
In the field the throwing duties were again covered by Donavan Webster and Ron Todd. Donavan achieved a superb personal best in the Discus with a best of 38.25m for third ‘A’ place and picked up more useful points in the Shot Put (11.48m) and Hammer (33.64m). Ron’s busy day saw him take more useful points in the Javelin (27.82m), Shot Put (7.88m) and Discus (26.88m) again showing a superb can-do attitude throughout. Ron had started his busy day by taking maximum ‘B’ points in the Pole Vault with a 3.00m clearance and encouraged Erik Escala to ‘A’ victory in the event with a 3.40m clearance while Colin Christie cleared 2.40m as a guest competitor. The Under-17s scooped up more points in the jumps through Daniel Bruce 5.46m and Jamie McNaught 5.09m in the Long Jump and Daniel Ferguson (10.95m) in the Triple Jump. Daniel Bruce was again our sole competitor in the High Jump, clearing 1.55m: a great effort in the windy conditions.
The 4 x 100 Metres and 4 x 400 Metres Relays were left to the four endurance runners prepared to take responsibility. The running order for both races was Michael Wright, Dale Colley, Ben MacMillan and Hamish Hickey with Michael, Ben and Hamish taking to the track just 10 minutes after completing their 5,000 Metres races. Neither team looked out of place as Central finished seventh in the sprint relay (53.09s) and sixth in the 4 x 400 in 4:04.
As always there was great back-up from the Club’s officials through Stuart MacPherson, John Dickson, Tom McMenemy, Bill Gault and Richard O’Grady.
Points on the day were Aberdeen 353; Falkirk 324; Edinburgh 243; Inverness 235; Victoria Park Glasgow 220, tying with Central also on 220; Corstorphine 192 and Shettleston 123. Overall positions and points at the end of the Season saw Aberdeen retain the league trophy with a maximum 32 league points; Edinburgh second with 23; Inverness 20; Central 18.5; Shettleston 18; Falkirk 13; Corstorphine 10; Victoria Park Glasgow 9.5. So Corstorphine and Victoria Park Glasgow were relegated to Division 2 with Lasswade and Giffnock North gaining promotion.