The Final Match of the East District Cross Country League was held on a testing and frozen Broxburn Course featuring the infamous Lungbuster Hill and a somewhat icy water splash. There was much to play for with Central Athletic Club’s Teams in contention for a number of League trophies.
The day commenced with the Under 11 races with both the girls and boys being spared the hill and water splash in their 1.4 kilometre test of frozen paths. Testament to Central’s youngsters that all passed with flying colours. Jessica Turnbull led home the girls with a mature run in eighth place with 6min 22secs, followed by Molly Cornes (13th; 6.32), Mavia Duncan (21st; 6.59), Anna McKinnon (26th; 7.10), Becky Organ (29th; 7.28), Heather Hale (34th; 8.03), Hannah Littlejohn (35th; 8.11) and Ellie Ross (39th; 8.26). The Girls Team finishing in a highly competent fourth place overall. The boys also featured a strong turnout led home by Nathan Robertson in 21st (6.14) with Finlay Muir (25th; 6.20), Euan Campbell (30th; 6.25), James Brown (34th; 6.27), Scott MacMurdie (40th; 6.40), Angus Henderson (45th; 6.48), Sam Wheeler (60th; 7.49), Cameron Brown (61st; 7.52) and Ross Cameron (62nd; 8.26) bringing the Boys Team home in a useful eighth place on the day and third across the whole Season.
The Under 13 girls and boys all had their endurance tested over a one lap 2.7 kilometre course featuring the aforementioned Lungbuster Hill and the water splash. Kyra Gibb proved strongest on the day finishing seventeenth (11.55) and with back-up from Ruby Simpson (23rd; 12.22), Millie Stokoe (28th; 12.44), Carrie Banks (30th; 12.47) and Anja Blake (51st; 14.35) the Team finished in a fine fifth overall and fourth over the Season. Callum Byrne in sixteenth (11.16) led home the boys closely followed by Jacob Organ (20th; 11.22) and with more fine performances from Fraser Thompson (30th; 12.08), Ben Hughes (32nd; 12.19), Thomas Woods (33rd; 12.21), Ollie Stewart (34th; 12.23), James Curry (36th; 12.30), David Cunningham (41st; 12.49) and Cameron Fraser (47th; 13.03) they ensured the Team finished eighth on the day and fifth for the Season.
The Under 15 Girls again ran with the Under 17 Ladies, tackling a 4.1 kilometre course and here it was no surprise to see Kate Gallagher repeat last year’s victory with a fine front running display covering the course in 15min 37secs. Jennifer Walls (ninth; 16.45) and Lauryn Turnbull (16th; 17.38) provided excellent back up ahead of Jodie Currie (25th; 18.34) and Eilidh Russell (35th; 19.34) as the Team finished second on the day and crucially first across the Season helping Central AC to lift the Under 15/Under17 Quaich for the first time. There was more determined running in the Under 15 Boys race over the same 4.1 kilometre course with Keir Howlieson and Tom Graham-Marr in 23rd and 24th running toe to toe throughout and given the same time of 16.18. Robbie Subke was making his debut for the Club and here finished 42nd with 22.11 but will have learned much from this outing.
The Under 17 Mens two lap 5.4 kilometre race featured excellent performances from Bradley Scott (fifth; 19.24) and Iain Davies (sixth; 19.31) and with Euan Brownlie eleventh in 20.24 Central’s Team finished a close second on the day and third across the Season.
Morag MacLarty (20.16) continued her winning ways over the two lap 5.4 kilometre course with a fine front running display and with superb back-up from Jennifer Wetton (second; 20.43) and Fanni Gyurko (ninth; 21.55) it was Central who took the Team honours. Hazel Dean made light of the conditions (43rd; 24.46) and a determined run from Alison Curry (85th; 30.43) rounded off Central’s effort on the day ensuring the Team lifted the Womens League Trophy.
There were some concerns over the Senior Men’s Team’s ability to make it a hat trick of League wins and indeed it was Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds who packed well on the day to win this Match. However the combined strength of Andrew Butchart, Scott McDonald, Alex Hendry, Dale Colley, Lewis Millar and debutant Sean Scott ensured Central had enough points over the Season to retain the Senior Mens League Trophy. Andrew Butchart had started in determine fashion to lead throughout and ensure a fine individual victory (26.54). Scott McDonald (27.43) has been showing fine form and here ensured another Central one-two while Alex Hendry cast aside his recent ankle injury to heed the call to Central’s cause finishing fourth (28.13) just ahead of another quality effort by Under 20 athlete Dale Colley (fifth; 28.19). Lewis Millar (33rd; 31.00) was another to shake off recent injury worries to produce a strong run while Sean Scott (54th; 32.23) proved his fitness with an excellent run to close in Central’s scoring six. Neil Cameron (75th; 33.42) had a good tussle to stay ahead of son Aidan (80th; 34.00) while Donald Shaw (92nd; 34.46) also helped the much needed back-up. Gordon Appelbe (107th; 35.39) has been making steady progress of late and here ran a well-judged race. The was further endeavour and commitment from Robin Mussett (151st; 38.01), an improved Kenny Hislop (173rd; 39.35), Jens Subke (182nd; 40.10), Charles Graham-Marr (185th; 40.29), a storming finish from Jan Thompson (191st; 41.04), and competent running from Allan Gall (209th; 42.40) and Cameron Campbell (215th; 44.28). Central’s Masters Team finishing eighth on the day and improved sixth for the Season
There was further icing on the cake when the League points were totalled and Central came out on top in the Combined Male points covering all age groups and lifting this Trophy. There was further testament to the Team Managers Derek Easton, Mary Kerr, John Millar and Jane Waterhouse with Central finishing a close second in the Female Category.
Three of Central’s athletes were representing Scotland in the Celtic Cross Country International on Sunday 18 January held in Dunboyne, Ireland. Results have been difficult to come by but it looks as though Scotland have had a very good day with Central’s youngsters to the fore through Kathryn Gillespie taking second place in the Under 20 Ladies race, Aidan Thompson fourth in the equivalent Mens race and Cameron Milne in fifth in the Under 23 Mens race.