Central Athletics Cross Country Championships were again held on the normal, testing course at Queen Victoria School, Dunblane on Saturday 17 February. The excellent weather didn’t completely make up for the taxing hills and the testing burn crossings.
The Boys and Girls Under-11 Races were held together over a 1.25 mile course with all 36 children showing great enthusiasm and determination. It was Joshua Kennedy who caught the eye to take the Boys’ trophy with a fine run of 6min 16secs with Tom Campbell also showing good form for silver (6.21) and Jamie Oldham picking up a deserved bronze (6.23). Owen Eckersley (6.51) was another to run well throughout to head home Aaron Middleton (6.53) and Alex Dunlop (7.04). Sam Gardner (7.18) held off Max Duncan (7.19) in a strong finish from both boys. Murray Henderson (7.38) led home Henry Crossley (7.49), Cameron Pollock (7.58) and Conall Paterson (8.00) while Dylan McCulloch and Jamie Connor finished together in 8.09 ahead of Andrew Fairbairn (9.02) and Gordon Chrichton (10.30). A number of Under-9 Boys also competed with Ray Taylor again showing great promise with a 6.30 clocking. Jack Sutton (7.26), Tyler Gibson (7.53) and Logan Bell (7.54) all proved they have what it takes to make an impression.
The Under-11 Girls Race was a bit of a family affair with sisters Carys and Leya Gibb in the first two spots. Carys’ (6.49) run a big improvement on 2017 and Leya also improving to 7.20. Naimh McKinlay picked up bronze, just holding off Leah Brown with both finishing in 7.27. Loren Stewart had a good run to record 7.49 and lead in Katy Cullen (7.56), Anna Lee (7.59), Iona Griffen (8.12), Beth Ronald (8.18), Mara Gillan (8.40), Connie Bateman (8.50) and Sophie Appelbe (9.07). The three Under-9 Girls who ran were all well in contention with Sienna Shepherd (8.20) just heading in Sienna Melville (8.21) and Ciara Middleton recording a useful 9.12.
The Under-13 race was held over a 1.75 mile course and here it was Connor Bell (9.32) who strode to victory with Cameron Kerr (10.03) repeating his silver medal run from 2017. Euan Campbell also made it a bronze medal double with an improved 10.08 clocking. Jack Campbell (10.19) had another quality run to head in Sam Vannet (10.25), Ryan McGuire (10.45), Ruiridh Burns (10.49), Cameron Darnbrough (10.55), Ross Lawrie (11.15), Innes Brown (11.56) and Finlay Marchant (12.57).
Melissa Turnbull (10.12) showed great class to win the Under-13 Girls Race by a margin from guest runner Leona Melville (11.11). Silver went to Summer MacLean (11.15) ahead of Mirren Henry’s 11.18 run to capture bronze. Anna McKinnon (11.19) was only a fraction from a medal place as she headed in Caitlin Bradwell (12.07), Megan Hogg (12.23), Heidi Eik Maxwell (12.23) and Olivia Freed (12.25). There were further encouraging runs from Anna Reid (12.44), Kirsty Reid (13.08), Megan Dunlop (13.23) and Heather Hale (14.42).
The third race, over a two lap course of 2.5 miles, saw the Under-15 Boys and Girls run with the Under-20 Women. Finlay Muir (12.28) proved to be the fastest Under-15 Boy holding off Lewis Dow (12.30) to move from Under-13 Champion to Under-15 trophy winner, and it was good to see Oliver Holden (14.24) tackling ‘the country’ as he lifted bronze. Finlay Brown put is a sterling effort to record 17.12. Kirkintilloch Olympian athlete Rachel Paton (15.30) was the only Under-15 Girl to accept the challenge while Rosie Eckersley again came through well in 13.53 to lift the Under-17 Girls trophy with guest runner Hanah Paton recording 15.05. Eleanor Hanson repeated her win in the Under-20 Woman’s age group finishing with a 15.16 clocking.
The Under-17 Men ran with the Senior Men and Veteran Men over 4 miles with another set of quality runs throughout. Sandy Holl put a fall behind him to take the Under-17 Men’s win with 23.11. The long striding Matthew Sutherland proved the strongest Senior Man on the day to win in 19min 50secs with Lewis Miller (21.38) in second and last year’s champion, Gordon Appelbe, taking bronze with an improved run of 24.05. Both Ben Noad (26.11) and Talat Aidi (26.20) showed sound efforts and continue to make good progress. David Eckersley (23.48) was the winner of the Veteran’s trophy ahead of a good run from Donald Shaw (23.57) for silver and Colin Alexander recording 25.35 for bronze. Charles Graham-Marr (25.51) ran strongly to finish ahead of Jens Subke (26.01), Hugh Buchanan (26.36), Jason Saunders (27.38), Colin Sinclair (28.29), Alan Gall (28.50) and Cameron Campbell 28.58.
Full results were: