Central Athletic Club’s Cross Country Championships were held at Queen Victoria School, Dunblane on Saturday 15 February with the recent storms requiring changes to the normal course, but the impending presence of Storm Dennis ensured all the races were a true test of determination in incessant rain and high winds.
The Under-11 Boys and Girls raced together over a 1.2 mile course with all showing superb enthusiasm and resolve. Here it was guest runner Rory Garner who led home the field, but it was Jake Drummond who lifted the Boys’ trophy with an 8 minutes 15 seconds run ahead of silver medallist Finlay MacGregor (8:21) and Lewis Henry (8:30) taking bronze, while Noah McIntyre-Sim (10:16) should be proud of his fourth placed run.
The Under-11 Girls saw Emily Stanford’s 9:05 effort take the trophy and gold medal with a confident run just ahead of Dara Clark (9:09) as she lifted the silver medal for the second year in succession. Ciara Middleton (9:26) was in close contention and won bronze ahead of Nora Thompson (11:52) in fourth. Eilidh Connor (11:22) was first of the Under-9 Girls on show ahead of more good efforts by Jessica Walker (11:25) and Summer Johnston (11:36).
The Under-13 race was held over a 1.6 mile course and here it was Joshua Kennedy who led home the field with a fine 10:42 effort with Aaron Middleton (11:03) picking up his second consecutive silver ahead of Alex Dunlop’s 11:17 effort for bronze. Fergus Young (11:47), Henry Crossley (12:11), Jamie Connor (13:08), Conall Paterson (13:52) and Scott Hill (14:33) should all be pleased with their efforts in overcoming this test in the tough conditions.
Carys Gibb (11:46) produced an excellent performance to win the Under-13 Girls race ahead of another fine run by her sister Leya (11:57). Loren Stewart’s 12:18 effort was rewarded with a bronze medal just ahead of another strong run from Niamh McKinlay (12:20) with Leah Brown (12:23) in close attendance. Emma Anderson (13:10) has been an ever-present in the cross country series to date and again did herself proud.
The third race, over a two lap course of 2.4 miles, saw the Under-15 Boys and Girls run with the Senior Women. Euan Docherty showed his normal strong running to win the Under-15 Boys’ trophy with a 15:54 run. Amongst the Under-15 Girls it was Summer MacLean who again caught the eye with an excellent 16:20 run to lead in further fine efforts from her fellow medallists Catriona Kane (16:28) and Mirren Henry (16:34) while Leonna Melville (18:02), Zosia Paddon (19:26) and Scarlett Roy (20:08) all added to the event with improved performances. It was good to see Kirsten McStay testing herself here to take the Senior Women’s trophy with a fine 18:22 effort.
The Under-17 Men ran with the Senior Men and Veteran Men over 3.5 miles with further classy runs throughout. Sam Grivell deserved his victory in the Under-17 race to clock 23:16 while it was Matthew Sutherland who came to the fore to take home the Senior Men’s Trophy in 21:21 ahead of worthy efforts by Neil Ferrier (23:46), Ben Noad (26:02) and Ian Elliot (26:19). As always there was great rivalry amongst Central’s Veteran runners with David Eckersley (24:35) lifting the trophy ahead of Alan Hume (24:46) with Iain Dunsmore (25:59) taking bronze. It was good to see Hugh Buchanan (27:12), Liam McCabe (28:53), Colin Sinclair (30:23) and Allan Gall (31:49) all supporting the race and running well throughout.