Senior National Championships – and Junior National Relay Championships
Central AC’s top athletes had a medal-winning weekend at the Scottish National Championships at Aberdeen’s Sports Village track. Three endurance athletes took gold medals and there was a crop of medals for the junior relay squads.
After exploits around the globe in a GB vest over the past few months, Andrew Butchart wore his Central AC vest to aim for an almost impossible double to win both 5000 and 1500 metre titles within an hour of each other. In a race packed with local talent, Andrew was brimming with confidence for the 5000m, and with six laps left to go broke the race apart with a series of laps that no-one in the rest of the field could live with to win comfortably in 14:28.37. Team-mate Alistair Hay showed a clean pair of heals to the rest of field as he made ground to win silver in 14:34.45. Central team-mates Cameron Milne (7th, with a new personal best time of 14:59.84) and Conan McCaughey (9th, 15:12.08) completed the strong central showing in this event.
The 1500m final followed, and despite looking sprightly at the start, on the last lap Andrew did not have it in the tank to hold onto the break at the bell and despite a finishing straight push he had to give up the title to local favourite , Myles Edwards, and Andrew took silver with 3:55.02. Dale Colley had featured strongly in the closing lap and took 6th in 3:59.20.
Morag MacLarty took the ladies 5000m title comfortably easing away from the field and was pleased with a Scottish title after a season beset with injuries with a time of 16:50.30. team-mate Lyndsay Morrison had a tussle on her hands for lower medals as she made it another Central 1-2 to take the silver in 17:09.13.
Scott Green added to the Central haul, as he won the 3000 metre steeplechase, with a fine win in 9:09.53, a new Central AC club record. He took 13 seconds off his personal best to deliver a reward after a number of years struggling with injuries. Team mate Aidan Thompson was just out of medals in fourth place with 9:50.71.
Tom Watson took a fine bronze medal in 800m after a comfortable win in the heats, but had to face stiffer racing to get on the podium with a 1:51.96 timing. Peter Muirhead claimed a new personal best with his 7.25m jump as he took silver in the long jump and mitchell Graham recorded 24.36s in his heats of the 200m.
Record medal haul for Central relay teams
With five teams through the heats into the junior relay finals it was a fast and furious medal winning 20 minutes of action at the end of the senior championships.
Central’s under 13 showed their class as they moved up another gear from their heat when they had finished behind main rivals Edinburgh. When the pressure of th final was on the team of Amy Kirkpatrick, Coirstadh Ainsworth, Briagha Cook and Shona McLay they improved their heat time as they fought all the way to this time edge out Edinburgh AC’s team, posting a new seasons best time of 53.89s, just outside the new Scottish record set by a different Central quartet in 2014.
Central’s under 15 team headed into the event as overwhelming favourites, the core team having not been beaten in any relay for two season’s. The quartet of Anna Cameron, Abby Davison, Katie Sharkey and Emma Mailer continue to push their performances and posted a time of 50.46 to make it a second title for Central and further improvements on their performances in the heats and earlier league matches.
The under 17 ladies were a completely new team, but Jessica Clelland, Catriona Laing, Lucy Mason and Emily Watson, almost got on the top step of the podium as they finished in second just behind local team Aberdeen. The Central girls posting of 49.53s was just outside a club record set in 1982 and according to the club statistician it was the fastest under 17 time set since then.
The under 17 men’s team were confident in being able to be competitive, and pulled out all the stops as they too finished second with a time of 44.96s, this time behind Giffnock North. The team of Jack Houghton, Andrew Sweeney, Keiran Halliday and John McLennan got to within a stride of gold and well clear of the other teams.
The under 13 boys team were also close ot the podium as they finished fifth in their final, with a team of Harris Almass, Cameron Blance, Daniel Bruce and Jack Haughton turning in a time of 57.45s.