Indoor League Final
It was a historic day at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow as Central AC were crowned indoor league champions for the first time in the clubs history. The achievement was all the greater as it broke a 20 year monopoly on the title that had only ever been won by Edinburgh AC and Giffnock North.
The club has come a long way over the last 6 years. After failing to get a single team into the final in 2008 the club prioritised the indoor scene and gradually the success built year after year until by 2014 Central ended in a 3 way tie with the 2 other big clubs. But this year Central were clear winners taking Gold medals in 4 of the 10 age groups with another 2 age groups getting on the podium and a further 4 medals added in the relay events. Central’s progress was also underlined by the fact the club fielded teams in league and relays in every single age group for the first time ever.
This was most apparent in the under 20 age group where the athletes all started as youngsters who first started in the league years ago.
The under 20 men were dominant taking Central’s first gold of the day as their 4x200m relay was run as a straight final in the morning. Long Jumper Ben McGuire opened with a 23.6s 200m split before handing on to decathlete Tom Chandler who fought his way to the front with a split of 23.1s. High Jumper Lewis McGuire then held the front with 23.5s before 400m runner Ewan Corbett stretched away in the final leg with 23.1s to finish with a new club record 1:33.63. They then lined up as our first team to reach the league final in this age group for 14 years. The league title was never in doubt with Ben McGuire taking a double win in the 60m (7.34s) and long jump (6.40m). Lewis McGuire added a win in the High Jump (1.90m) and runner up places from Tom Chandler in the shot (10.91m, pb), Liam Halliday in the Triple Jump (10.59m) and Ewan Corbett in the 200m (23.76s). The team spirit was demonstrated as Ewan bravely filled in for an injured Tom Chandler in the 60m hurdles to take a respectable 3rd in an event he never trains for and Liam Halliday filled in at 800m for 4th to add the league gold to the relay gold won earlier.
The 3 athlete under 20 womens team were equally dominant with Sarah Pearson taking a triple win in the 60m Hurdles (9.41s), 200m (26.6s) and 400m (59.01s). Emily Batchelor added a win in the long jump (4.86m), took runner up in the Triple Jump (10.32m) and gained vital points filling in at 60m and High Jump. Sarah Sweeney completed the line up in her first competition for the club with a respectable 4th in the shot to complete the team gold.
The under 15 girls were also in supreme form, They were so far ahead during the season that not only did their A team qualify as division winners the B team qualified as runners up ahead of every other clubs A team. The A team were run away winners of the league title with big wins for Rachael Methven in the shot (9.41m) with Lucy Davison 2nd for the B team (9.39m), Jenny Walls clear winner in the 800m (2:25.16), Anna Cameron well ahead in the 200m (26.81s) after finishing 2nd in the 60m (8.36s) and Long Jump (4.70m =pb), and the 300m underlined Central’s dominance with Katie Sharkey coming home in 43.39s for victory followed by Emma Mailer taking 2nd for the B team in her first ever 300m with 44.34s. Katie had earlier taken 2nd in the 60m hurdles in a pb 9.36s with Lucy Smith 4th for the B team with 10.34s. Georgia Smith took 2nd in the high jump (1.45m) just ahead of sister Lucy (4th, 1.40m). Elizabeth Thompson (200m) and Skye Henderson (800m, 2:32.97, pb) completed the B team line up as they placed 6th overall. Anna, Abby Davison, Emma & Katie then linked up in the relay to make it a double gold for the team winning by over 2 seconds in 1:48.64, faster than the time they won the national relays in 2 weeks earlier.
The under 11 boys completed the wins with Nathan Robertson winning the 60m A in 9.38s and taking 2nd in 600m A in 1:59.3. Central took maximum points in the Standing Long Jump with Ardan Procter and Euan Hylands both jumping 1.82m to win the A & B string events. Euan Campbell completed the win with 2nd at 600m B (2:03.3) and 4th at 60m B (9.89s).
They then had further success as Euan Hylands and Nathan Robertson teamed up with Cameron Dowie and Archie Flett to grab a silver in the tightest of finishes in 2:17.19 with Nathan coming from 4th to 2nd in the home straight of the final leg.
There were further medals for the under 17 men who finished 2nd in the league for the 3rd year in a row. John MacLennan set a superb new club record 7.37s to win the 60m then added 2nd in the 200m equalling his outdoor best from last summer with 23.8s. Charlie Dineen was busy taking 2nd places in the 60m Hurdles (9.10s) and long jump (5.79m). Cameron MacCorgray was also on form equalling his high jump best with 1.75m for 2nd. Jamie Price set a pb at 400m (53.97s) for 3rd and Keiran Halliday was also 3rd at the Triple Jump (11.65m). Fraser MacPherson completed the points just missing his pb in the 800m (2:13.37). Keiran, Jamie and John then teamed up with Andrew Sweeney to add a bronze in the relay with 1:36.99.
The under 15 boys completed the league medals with a bronze. Matt Chandler was clear winner in the 60m Hurdles (9.29s =pb) and the long jump (5.09m) then added 2nd at high jump (1.60m). Keir Howlieson set a pb in the 800m (2:16.16) for 2nd. Matthew Meredith (200m 26.93s) and Oscar Clarke (60m, 8.98s) secured the remaining points for 3rd overall. Oscar Clarke, David Cunningham, Matthew Meredith and Euan Smith reached the relay final but with Euan and Qscar needing to be replaced due to injury, Matt Chandler and Keir Howlieson stepped in for 6th place in the final.
The final medal came from the under 17 womens relay team who probably produced the gutsiest performance of the day. After numerous injury setbacks for the team over the season they were unable to reach the league final but with key athletes returning to form felt confident they could make up for this in the relay. Catriona Laing, Lucy Mason, Jessica Cleland and Minnie Roe were lining up hoping for a better outcome than at the national relays 2 weeks earlier where a collision in the heats ended their hopes of qualification. This time they were not to be held back and after comfortably reaching the final Catriona led off with a 26.3s 200m split to hand over to Lucy in first place who in only her 2nd ever competition found herself up against Edinburgh ACs national champion and a top class Giffnock competitor. Lucy ran like an experienced competitor and holding her own until the home straight where she was narrowly edged down to 3rd after a 26.9s leg. She then produced a perfect changeover that put Jessica back into 2nd place ahead of Edinburgh. Jessica then chased down and passed the Giffnock team to briefly regain the lead before Giffnock passed her in the home straight where she handed on in 2nd after a 26.6s leg. Minnie then set about closing the gap with the Giffnock athlete but found herself under pressure from Edinburgh closing up behind her. Giffnock were too strong on this occasion but a final surge from Minnie in the home straight was enough to hold off the Edinburgh team that had won the national title 2 weeks earlier and secure the silver medal. Minnie’s split of 26.7s was enough to bring the team round in 1:46.85 which was not only a club senior record but places them 10th in the Scottish all time list.
The club had a record 10 teams in the league finals and 9 in relay finals. Also reaching finals on the day were the under 11 girls of Lara Cameron, Anna MacKinnon, Poppy Lamb and Katie Findlay who placed 5th overall in both the league and relay finals.
In the under 13 boys Aiden Grevemberg set a pb in the shot (7.22m) for 2nd and Jack Haughton set a pb in the 60m (9.02s) for 3rd with Ben Salmon, Erik Escala and Sandy Buchanan securing 5th place overall. Jack, Ben, Daniel Bruce and Sandy also reached the relay final placing 5th in 2:03.38.
The under 13 girls team of Ciorstaidh Ainsworth, Amy Kirkpatrick, Evie Hylands, Katie Burr, Shona McLay and Molly Cornes also reached finals in both league and relay.
The final league medal table saw Central on top for the first time in the leagues history with 4 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze ahead of Giffnock North with Edinburgh AC and Victoria Park Glasgow tying for 3rd. This is a tremendous achievement for the club, all the athletes, team managers, coaches and parents involved.