Aug 142019

Scottish Under-20 Championships, Grangemouth, 10-11 August 2019

Jack Houghton was on superb form as he became Scottish junior 400 Metres Hurdles champion at the Scottish Under-20 championships at Grangemouth at the weekend. The 19-year-old from Dunblane has had an excellent season so far after setting two new club Under-20 records this season and just missing the UK championship final in June. Jack has been a Central AC member for many years and has won Scottish schools titles but a Scottish championship title has so far eluded him. His first attempt at the Under-20 championships two years ago did not go to plan as he lost his stride and hit several hurdles. However this year, with two years more experience he was looking to finally land a Scottish gold medal. When the gun went he set out strongly holding his 15 stride pattern all the way up the back straight to open up a 5 metre gap on the opposition. However on the bend, as he changed his stride down, he was challenged by the athlete on the lane outside him. However he held his form and stride up the home straight and, after negotiating the final hurdles, surged away from the field to win with an excellent 55.33 seconds. This not only improved his personal best and club Under-20 record but moved him up to third on the club senior all-time list. This was significant as it beat his coach, Kenny Pearson’s lifetime best and former club record of 55.47s. Jack will compete at the senior championships next week with realistic podium ambitions and will also be targeting the club senior record of 55.1s.

There was further success for the club in the 1,500 Metres races. The men’s event saw three Central athletes taking part. In the heats Hamish Hickey ran a personal best 4:11.95 seconds to just miss a final spot. However Ben MacMillan (4:06.58) and Sandy Holl (4:06.61) both managed to get through their heat and qualify for the final.

In the final Ben hung onto the leaders as long as he could. When the bell came he found himself in fourth place and dug in for the final lap. He didn’t manage to make any headway on the top three but held off the rest of the field to finish an excellent fourth with 4:02.01 minutes.

In the women’s race Lauren McCulloch found herself in a similar position and held on for fourth place with an excellent new personal best 4:41.21 minutes.

Scottish Under-15 Championships, Grangemouth, Saturday 10 August 2019

Scott Hopper was on top form at the Scottish Under-15 championships at Grangemouth on Saturday as he took a superb gold and silver medal. The 14-year-old from Callander has been unbeaten at Javelin throughout the season and has been steadily improving with a personal best of 46.76m in July. He has also showed his versatility with good performances at High Jump and Pentathlon this season. However, it was in his throwing events he was looking to succeed at the national championships. And he certainly achieved that in the Javelin as he stamped his authority in the first round and launched the spear out to a superb new personal best 49.59m. This put him over 15 metres clear of the field effectively putting the competition beyond doubt. He then had five further throws to try and throw beyond the 50m tape and was well over the 40m line with each throw, but his first throw ended up as his best. This distance puts Scott eighth on the Scottish Under-15 all-time list for the event and is within 5 metres of the club and Scottish record held by former Central AC athlete Ryan Stewart since 2006.

Competing alongside Scott was Robb Ferguson who is also a versatile athlete having won the Scottish Schools Under-14 Javelin title and medalled at hurdles earlier this season. The 13-year-old from Tullibody knew he was up against it as one of the younger athletes in the Under-15 field but threw an excellent 31.45 metres in the first round to take third place and the bronze medal. This distance was a personal best and the first time Robb has thrown over 30 metres with the 600g weight of javelin. Robb has another year in this age group and will look to retain the title for the club next year.

Both athletes had further events to do. Scott went on to the Shot Put event where he set another personal best 12.94 metres for second place and an excellent silver medal.

Robb took part in the 80 Metres Hurdles and found himself in fourth place at the mid-point of the race. He chased the leaders down all the way and was gaining on the third place athlete but couldn’t quite get there and had to settle for fourth. However he smashed his personal best with 13.01s and can be proud of his achievements as a first year in the age group.

There were several athletes just missing out on podium positions. Connor Bell was competing in the 800 Metres and at 13 was young for the age group but ran hard and while he couldn’t keep up with the top three he took an excellent fourth place, just outside his personal best with 2:10.02 minutes.

Louise Carroll took a respectable fourth place in the High Jump with a near personal best 1.49m, not quite getting the 1.54m which would have got her a personal best and a medal. She then set a new personal best and club record in the Triple Jump with 9.90m, just missing the 10m mark. Katherine Fowler was also just outside the medals with fourth in the 200 Metres in 26.84s (26.74s in heat) after placing fifth in the long jump with a near personal best 4.95m.

Ellen Montgomery has made good improvements this season and placed a respectable fifth in the Discus with a personal best 20.21m after setting a personal best 13.32s in the 75 Metres Hurdles. Megan Dunlop placed seventh in the Discus with 19.33m after 14.41s in the 100 Metres. Ella Wilson set a personal best at Triple Jump with 9.43m for eighth after 14.71s in the 100 Metres.

In the 1,500 Metres Mirren Henry and Cameron Kerr reached their respective finals. Mirren ran 5:21.47 minutes for ninth place in the girls’ final and Cameron 4:39 (4:36.16 in heat) for 10th in the boys’ final. Also in the 1,500 Metres, Anna MacKinnon ran a season’s best 5:44.94 minutes.

In the 800 Metres Ruaridh Burns ran 2:25.25 minutes in the boys’ heats and East District champion, Amy Cully ran 2:36.06 minutes in the girls’ heats.

In the sprints Finlay Marchant ran 13.31s in the 100 Metres and 26.81s in the 200 Metres, Hannah Tams ran 14.40s in the 100 Metres then just missed out on the 200 Metres semi-finals with a season’s best 29.82s in her heat. Brogan MacMillan ran 30.11s in the 200 Metres after 1.24m at High Jump.

Well done to all Central AC competitors for taking on the best in Scotland.

Scottish Under-13 Championships, Grangemouth, Sunday 11 August 2019

Central AC’s Under-13s were well represented at the Scottish championships. A wet day at Grangemouth made new personal bests hard to come by but there were several fine performances.

Top performer of the day for the club was Danielle Abel who took on the 70 Metres Hurdles. The 12-year-old from Alloa reached the final at the Scottish schools in the older Under-14 age group earlier this season and was looking to do the same at the Under-13 age group. She had a fast heat and smashed her personal best with 12.36s to qualify for the final as a fastest loser. She then finished in a respectable sixth place, beating athletes who beat her in the heats, with 12.45s.

Lewis Miller narrowly missed the 100 Metres final after running 14.38s then just missed the half way cut in the Long Jump with a best jump of 3.83m after three rounds. Jamie Oldham was placed ninth overall in the 800 Metres after placing third in his heat with 2:30.32 minutes then ran 31.17s in the 200 Metres. Jamie Connor placed 20th overall after finishing fourth in his heat with a new personal best 2:49.17 then ran 31.59s in the 200 Metres. In the girls’ 1,500 Metres Niamh McKinlay took an excellent second place in her heat to finish 11th overall with 5:31.39. Sophie Morgan ran a new personal best 14.94s in the 100 Metres and Alice Cameron placed 10th in the Discus with a season’s best 11.00m then ran 33.73s in the 200 Metres.

Well done to all Central AC competitors for taking on the best in Scotland.

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