There was a superb turnout of Central Athletic Club runners at Alloa for the second match of the East of Scotland Cross Country League on Saturday 21st November. With soft underfoot conditions all age groups faced testing muddy courses with the tough climb to Gubber Hill featuring in all the races.
The day started with the Under 11 Girls race over 1600metres with Melissa Turnbull in fifth place (7min 34secs) leading home a winning Central Team. Anna MacKinnon also had a fine run in sixth (7.36) followed closely by Elise Graham-Marr (seventh; 7.39). There were further useful performances from Rachel Dinwoodie (17th; 8.04), Summer MacLean (20th; 8.07), Ellie Ross (24th; 8.10), Ellie Watson (50th; 8.47), Hana Littlejohn (56th; 8.59) and Rebecca Organ (60th; 9.22). The Under 11 Boys raced over the same course and here Euan Campbell led home the Central team in fourth (6.41) with David Kirkpatrick in 17th (7.10) and Cameron MacMillan (19th; 7.19) bringing Central’s team home in second overall. Cameron Darnbrough (25th; 7.30) led home a large contingent of determined Central runners through Arden Proctor (36th; 7.45), Logan Gray (48th; 8.03), Finlay Marchant (52nd; 8.14), Gregor Saunders (62nd; 8.32), Cameron Brown (69th; 8.52), Lewis Gowen (76th; 9.20) and Oisin Rice (78th; 9.32).
The Under 13’s had to contend with a 2700metre course and in the Girls race it was Ciorstaidh Ainsworth who led her team home in an excellent eighth place (12.43) ahead of strong runs from Carrie Banks (ninth; 12.51) and Grace Tindall (15th; 13.12) as the Girls Team finished fourth overall. There was great back-up from Amy Kirkpatrick (18th; 13.22), Jessica Turnbull (22nd; 13.37), Katie Burr (28th; 14.01) and Naomi Howlieson (48th; 15.16) as again all Central’s runners showed good form and commitment.
The Boys race saw similar commitment through Daniel Bruce in twelfth (12.09) followed home in quick succession by Jacob Organ (16th; 12.17), Cameron Blance (21st; 12.36) and Finlay Muir (23rd; 12.39). There were further strong runs from Thomas Woods (31st; 13.05), James Brown (39th; 13.23), Cameron Fraser (40th; 13.33), Cameron Dinwoodie (41st; 13.34) and Toby Mooney (56th; 15.09) as once again the Boys did the Club proud finishing as fourth team.
The Under 15 Girls and Under 17 Ladies ran together over a 3700 metre course and it was Central’s Kate Gallagher who showed fine form to finish second overall with 15.21. Rosie Eckersley was first of Central’s Under 15 Girls in twelfth overall (17.01) ahead of a committed run from Fiona Davies (19th; 17.48) while Jodie Currie showing improved form in 22nd (17.57). Madelaine Woods (29th; 18.20), Skye Henderson ((31st; 18.24), Cerys Gilbride (36th; 18.38), Heather Scott (38th; 18.50) and Eleanor Hanson (49th; 19.45) completed Central’s effort in this race as the Girls finished fourth team in this very competitive group. The Under 15 Boys contested the same 3700metre course and here Keir Howlieson featured in the front group throughout finishing in fourth (14.41) and with Tom Graham Marr (sixth; 14.50), Ben MacMillan (seventh; 14.55), Sandy Holl (14th; 15.29) and Kyle Middleton (35th; 16.55) Central’s runners placed first in this age group.
The Senior Women tackled two long laps of the course over some 8200metres and here it was Jennifer Wetton, making progress back to full fitness, who carried the Club’s hopes, coming home in a fine fourth place (25.21).
Alex Hendry repeated last year’s victory in the Senior Mens race of three laps and some 8200metres with a confident run of 30min 24secs. It was good to see Ross Houston testing himself again and finishing fifth overall (31.27) ahead of Iain Davies who finished first Under 20 on the day and twelfth overall in spite of a heavy fall. Conan McCaughy (21st; 33.32) shrugged of a bout of food poisoning to support the Central team and with Under 20 Euan Brownlie (27th; 34.15) and Colin Logan (28th; 34.22) packing well the first Team place was assured. Lewis Millar (32nd; 34.50) provided the all-important back-up leading in top 100 finishers Ross McNaught (67th; 37.10), David Eckersley (76th; 37.47), Phil Williams (81st; 37.59), Will Hensman (85th; 38.10) and Scott Bremner (93rd; 38.28). The blue and yellow vests just kept filtering through with Donald Shaw (107th; 39.18), Hugh Buchanan (138th; 40.25), Ian Dunsmore (148th; 40.35), Jens Subke (154th’ 40.47), Fraser Purves (163rd; 41.05), Richard Coombs (173rd; 41.29), Simon Barlow (174th; 41.31), Robin Mussett (196th; 42.21), Charles Graham-Marr (208th; 43.01), Liam McCabe (242nd; 45.05), Jan Thompson (273rd; 48.01) and Allan Gall (274th; 48.03) in a record field of over 300 finishers.
Elsewhere Central’s Alastair Hay finished ninth in 30.06 in a high quality Leeds Abbey Dash 10K road race on 15 November. Focus for Central’s runners now turns to the European Cross Country Selection races in Liverpool next weekend with Club and individual selection places up for grabs.