Under-15 and Under-17 report
Scott Hopper was on great form as he won an excellent bronze medal at the Scottish combined events championships. The 14-year-old from Callander was competing in the Under-15 Boys age group in his first ever Pentathlon. Scott was looking for a good start with his strongest event, the Shot Put, up first, and a superb final round personal best throw of 12.89m opened up a 100 point lead on his opponents. However, he knew his lead was vulnerable as the next event was the 80 Metres Hurdles, an event he has never done before, and he had some of Scotland’s top hurdlers lining up against him. However he was undaunted and produced a respectable time of 13.21s which was just enough to maintain his lead. Scott found himself in a high class High Jump event and cleared 1.64m for second, but with a rival clearing 1.73m Scott lost his lead and dropped down to second place overall. He then produced another good performance for second place in the Long Jump with 5.40m, but good performances elsewhere put Scott down to third place overall. Going into the final 800 Metres event, just 21 points separated the top three, which is just 2 seconds in the 800 Metres so everything was still to play for. Scott ran hard but was unable to make inroads against the two athletes ahead of him as one took victory and the other stuck right behind Scott to take overall silver. Scott dug in and finished in a big personal best 2:25.69 minutes and was rewarded with a bronze medal with a final score of 2,574, a superb performance considering he had never done a Pentathlon before and had so little experience in some of the events.
Also competing for Central in the event was Ruairidh Burns who set personal bests in the Shot Put (7.20m), 80 Metres Hurdles (14.34s) and High Jump (1.55m) and finished second in the 800 Metres with 2:17.93 minutes to score an overall personal best 2,065 points for a respectable fifth place. Ruaridh has another year in this age group so will look to challenge for the medals next year.
Central were well represented in Under-15 Girls age group with Scottish schools bronze medallist Katherine Fowler joined by Ellen Montgomery and Brogan MacMillan. In the opening Long Jump event Katherine placed fourth with 4.67m, Ellen set a personal best 4.12m and Brogan jumped 3.36m. In the 75 Metres Hurdles Katherine set a personal best 12.96s for fifth place with Ellen running 14.00s and Brogan 16.27s. Brogan set a personal best in the Shot Put with 6.27m as Katherine threw 7.20m and Ellen 6.73m.
In the High Jump Katherine was on superb form as she cleared an excellent personal best 1.53m, the second highest of the competition. Brogan and Ellen both managed season’s bests with 1.29m and 1.26m respectively.
The 800 Metres saw Ellen and Brogan run in the first heat. Ellen ran a good season’s best 2:52.41 minutes to finish on a personal best score 1,942 points for 12th place. Brogan ran 2:54.56 minutes for a personal best score 1,585 points and 14th place.
The final heat saw the event leaders go head to head. Katherine’s excellent High Jump had lifted her to fifth place but she still needed to pick up 100 points to get into the medals. In the end she finished with 2:39.27 minutes and though she had overtaken some of the athletes ahead of her the final scores saw her in fourth place, just outside the medals, with 2,628 points, a very respectable position but slightly down on her personal best.
In the Under-17s, Molly Cornes was taking on her first ever Heptathlon with the challenge of competing over two days. She started with a personal best in the 80 Metres Hurdles with 13.90s for fifth place then produced a superb High Jump of 1.59m, second highest of the day, Shot Put of 8.22m and 27.16s at 200 Metres to put her in fifth place at the end of the first day. In the second day, 4.74m at Long Jump then 15.95m at Javelin moved her up to fourth going into the 800 Metres. Molly ran a personal best 800 Metres of 2:41.81 minutes to do all she could to get a medal as she beat the third placed athlete by eight seconds but this was not quite enough to get on the podium. However Molly can be proud of fourth place with a score of 3,671 points in her first ever Heptathlon.
Central had three Under-13 pentathletes competing with Dylan McCulloch in the boys and Loren Stewart and Niamh McKinlay taking on the girls event.
Dylan opened well with 1.19m in the High Jump then had an excellent run in the hurdles finishing second place with 14.09s, to move up to fifth place overall. He followed this up with another personal best in the Shot Put with 6.85m then a near personal best at Long Jump (4.11m) and finished with 2:47.27 minutes in the 800 Metres. This gave him a personal best final score of 1,260 points and a respectable seventh place out of 17 athletes.
The Under-13 Girls Pentathlon saw Loren Stewart and Niamh McKinlay taking part. Both athletes are young for the age group so were looking for experience for the future. They started in the High Jump where Niamh cleared 1.15m. However Loren had a superb competition as she jumped successive personal bests at 1.31, 1.34 and 1.37m, to win her pool and place third overall. In the 70 Metres Hurdles Niamh set a personal best 15.34s and Loren ran 17.42s in her first ever attempt at this event. In the Long Jump Loren managed 3.96m and Niamh 3.05m. Loren set another personal best in the Shot Put throwing 5.38m with Niamh just missing her personal best with a throw of 4.41m. Both girls had good runs in the 800 Metres, Niamh placed second in her heat with 2:47.38 minutes while Loren set a personal best 2:52.85 minutes for third in her heat. Overall Loren set a new personal best score 1,626 points and Niamh finished on 1,327 points. Both girls have another year in this age group and will look to improve for next year.