May 072019

A busy weekend of athletics started on Friday 3 May with the Scottish Championships 5 Kilometre Road Race at Silverknowes, Edinburgh. The highlight of the evening for Central Athletic Club was a fine gold medal performance from Morag Millar taking the title with a 15 minutes 49 seconds timing, a new course record by 18 seconds.

Morag Millar by Bobby Gavin
Morag Millar by Bobby Gavin

“I am delighted with that run and to get a National Championship title once again to my name,’ said Morag.

“The Course Record was actually mine a few years ago and then I remember Maddie Murray coming along in 2016 and running 16.07 to take it away from me. So to get that back and get well under 16 minutes is really pleasing.

“I’m in good shape at the moment and it has all just rolled on from Falkirk and the National Cross Country when I won bronze. Lewis and I live near Alloa so we did the half marathon there but other than that and Run Balmoral last week then this was the race I was wanting to target in a big way and that has paid off.

“I’m 33 but I feel with the lay-offs I have had, my legs are a lot younger. Maybe not quite 21 but you get what I mean!

“It’s always a great race at Silverknowes, even when it is windy, although I did have to jump out the way of a bin in the mad dash at the start. But that mad dash always gives people a great start and helps times.”

Morag’s run helped Central lift team silver medals with further strong runs from Natalie Stewart (17th; 17.56) and Lauren McCulloch (23rd; 18.13), with Lauren also picking up second place in the Under-20 category.

There were also fine performances from Central’s men with Alastair Hay (9th; 14.50), Jack Kerr (30th; 15.29) and Lewis Millar (34th; 15.35) missing out on team bronze by just one point. There was however a further top position for Central with Ben MacMillan finishing second in the Under-17 race with a high quality 15.09 clocking in 16th place overall.

Saturday 4 May saw Central Athletic Club men’s team competing at the first match of the Scottish Division One Track and Field League with both athletes and officials sheltering from cold northerly winds.

Michael Wright in the Steeplechase
Michael Wright in the Steeplechase

With the normal league format the first track event, the 400 Metres Hurdles, saw David Lindsay again showing good form over the hurdles to land sixth ‘A’ place with 67.10 seconds. The 800 Metres saw Matthew Sutherland shake off tiredness after his victory in the previous weekend’s Stirling Half Marathon and his 5 kilometre race from the previous evening to clock 2 minutes 6.94 seconds for seventh place in the ‘A’ race. It was good to see Ian Horsburgh showing great form to record fifth in a high quality 100 Metres with 11.48s, backed up by Cameron Smith with a further excellent clocking of 11.81s for third in the ‘B’ race. Michael Wright proved how well he had recovered from his Scottish Marathon victory to lead in the field in the 3,000 Metres Steeplechase clocking 9:39.84 while David Lindsay again proved his worth to the team in winning the ‘B’ event with 10:50.62. Under-17 athlete Erik Escala showed his maturity in finishing second in the 400 Metres ’A’ race, clocking 53.51s in difficult conditions. The 1,500 Metres saw well-judged performances from Jack Kerr and Ben MacMillan, fresh from their previous night’s exploits. Jack took the ‘A’ race in 4:07.65 with Ben winning the ‘B’ race in 4:12.86 for his first men’s league points. The 200 Metre series saw Ian Horsburgh and Cameron Smith back on the track with Ian picking up third ‘A’ points in a tasty 22.89s and Cameron in fifth ‘B’ spot with 24.11s. The 5,000 Metres saw Michael Wright again prove his value to the team with a second place ‘A’ run of 15:58.34 while Under-20 runner Hamish Hickey picked up second place ‘B’ points in 16:53.32.

In the field the throwing duties were covered once again by Ron Todd recording a Discus best of 26.37 metres; an 8.38m Shot Put; a 32.60m Javelin throw and completed a busy day with a Hammer throw of 24.66m picking up excellent points in all events. The pole vaulters had to compete against the cold wind but came through with flying colours with Erik Escala hitting a new personal best of 3.30m to win the ‘A’ event while Ron Todd provided a win in the ‘B’ event with a clearance of 3.20m. It was good to see Peter Muirhead heading back to top performances in the Long Jump with a best effort of 7.06m and a win in the event.

The 4 x 100 Metres Relay quartet of Ian Horsburgh, Peter Muirhead, Erik Escala and Under-17 debutant Adam McGregor brought the baton home in a tasty 46.6s for fifth spot. The 4 x 400 Metres Relay quartet of Ben MacMillan, David Lindsay, Hamish Hickey and Jack Kerr had to battle all the way to the line to take sixth spot recording 4:02 with a fine effort from Jack on the final leg.

As always there was great back-up from the club’s officials through Richard O’Grady, John Dickson, Tom McMenemy and Bill Gault.

Points on the day were Aberdeen 366; Shettleston 287; Edinburgh 239; Central 221; Falkirk 220; Inverness 219; Corstorphine 191 and Victoria Park Glasgow 124, proving once again the value of every point.

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