Central Athletic Club’s Press Report – East District Cross Country Relays – Peebles – Sunday 11th October.
The 2015/16 Cross Country Season opened with the traditional East District Cross Country Relays in almost perfect conditions on a hilly course near Peebles. Central Athletic Club once again dominated the Men and Women’s senior events taking both sets of gold medals and proving the Club’s strength in depth with the senior Men’s B team winning silver medals.
The Junior Girls race was a challenging three legs of 2500metres led off by Under 13’s Katie Burr and Amy Kirkpatrick with both Girls showing great character on this testing course. Under 15’s Rosie Eckersley and Heather Scott picked up the challenge on the second leg with both showing marked improvement with their early season form. It was left to Under 17 Madelaine Woods to complete the Club’s effort showing her normal style and commitment in the tough early season challenge.
The Young Male race was held over the same 2,500 metres loop as the Young Females and here it was Under 13’s Daniel Bruce and Cameron Fraser who started Central’s challenge with both Boys sticking well to their task. Keir Howlieson and Comhnall Ferguson ran the Under 15 leg with Keir’s strong run bringing Central’s A team through to fourth at the end of his leg. Meanwhile Comhnall was making steady progress with a gutsy effort further down the course. It was left to Jamie Wastling to shoulder responsibility on the Under 17 leg as he brought the team home with a gritty run for sixth place overall.
The Women’s race, over three legs of 4000 metres, saw Central fielding just one team this year as they looked to defend a three year winning streak in the event. Fiona Thompson soon showed her quality as she pushed to the head of the field on the first leg and handed on to second leg runner Natalie Milne. By the end of the second leg it was Fife AC who had moved to the front but a determined run by Natalie ensured Central were still well in touch at the front. It was Morag MacLarty who picked up the final leg challenge for Central and it soon became apparent the winning team was to be a straight contest between Edinburgh AC’s Scottish Cross Country Champion Madeleine Murray and Morag.
The race fluctuated as Madelaine built a slight lead but then Morag started to make inroads as the race hit the less hilly part of the course. Inexorably Morag brought her track speed to bear as she moved to the front to ensure a Central and another notch on the trophy.
The Central’s Mens Team was looking for a tenth successive win in this event and here their Coach, Derek Easton, had picked two teams to try and ensure some interesting head to head challenges between Central’s A and B teams. At the end of the first leg it was B team runner Alex Hendry who ensured Central held the lead while the A team’s Scott Green ensured that his team were in close contention in this four leg challenge of 4,000 metres.
The second leg saw Aiden Thompson (B) and Dale Colley (A) pushing each other throughout as Dale moved through to give the A team a lead over Central’s B team with a quality outfit from Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds giving chase in third. Strong runs from Cameron Milne (A) and Jamie Crowe (B) ensured Central were in pole positions as the final leg runners set off. The A team’s lead by this stage was such that the anticipated contest between Andrew Butchart (A) and Alastair Hay (B) didn’t materialise but both runners ensured that the yellow and blue vests were one again to the fore lifting gold and silver medals with the Edinburgh students a minute back in third.
Central’s C team acquitted themselves well through Conan McCaughay, Jack Kerr, and Lewis Millar providing a launch pad for a storming final leg run by Michael Wright to see Central’s C team overhaul Corstorphine AAC for fifth place. The D team were always in contention finishing in a fine 17th placing through Iain Davies, Euan Brownlie, Kenny Hislop and David Lindsay. Central’s Masters team of David Eckersley, Ian Dunsmore, Scott Brember and Hugh Buchanan also acquitted themselves well finishing as sixth Masters team and 27th overall. Alan Gall was left to run a single leg on his own which featured one of the best finishes of the day. As the results came through a feature of Central’s dominance was posting ten of the fourteen fastest legs on the day.