Central AC hosted the first match of the East of Scotland Cross Country League on a tough Stirling University course that showed off the diversity of campus. The series of races was finished off by the biggest field of the day, when Central came good with a fine team win and four runners in the top five providing the best home result of the day.
This Senior and Junior Men’s race over a three lap 9 kilometre course saw Andrew Butchart make a welcome return to some grass roots competition, following his World Championship run in Doha, storming into an early lead which he extended on each lap to win in an excellent 28 minutes 8 seconds. Jamie Crowe followed as close in Andrew’s heels as he could and finished in second with a tasty 28:28 clocking while Alastair Hay also ran strongly throughout for a fine third place (29:21). It might have been four from four if Central’s Under-20 runner, Hamish Hickey, had not fallen on the final lap, recovering to finish fifth (29:38), and finishing first Under-20. Matthew Sutherland also impressed in twelfth with 30:23 while Club stalwart Michael Wright had another fine effort in 14th (30:46) as the Senior Men finished first team on the day, well ahead of their closest rivals, Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds. Under-20 runners Ben MacMillan (15th; 30:50), Aidan Shea (20th; 31:34) and Telfer Gray (22nd; 31:46) underlined the potential for the future of the Club with more quality efforts. Fraser Logan battled through in 31st (32:14) leading in Will Hensman (73rd; 34:31) and David Lindsay (110th; 36:47). There were further fine runs from Allan Hume (129th; 37:15), Donald Shaw (134th; 37:24), Neil Ferrier (165th; 39:11), Iain Dunsmore (188th; 40:08), Gordon Appelbe (194th; 40:37), Hugh Buchanan (196th; 40:50), Ben Noad (216th; 41:58), Colin Alexander (227th; 43:19) and Allan Gall (248th; 44:55).
Central’s Senior Women’s team took on a tough two lap 6km challenge and were pleased with a fourth placed team finish. Claire Houston led the team home with a strong 20th place in 25:32, with Kirsten McStay (32nd, 27:52), Heather Scott (38th, 28:21), Julia McAfee (42nd, 28:54) and Jane Waterhouse (57th, 30:10) all well placed in a field with 107 finishers.
The Under-11 races featured one lap of 1,650 metres and here it was Joel Gillan who led home Central’s efforts in 23rd place in 7 minutes 1 second followed in by Max Godsman in 27th with 7:15, a great experience for both boys. For Under-11 Girls, Central was well represented by Dara Clark who gave a great account of herself with 17th in 7:26, well backed within a close finishing race by Ciara Middleton 27th in 7:55.
The Under-13 runners were faced with a single tough lap of 2,400 metres and in the Boys race Aaron Middleton showed good early season form to finish fifth in 10:24 and, with back-up from Joshua Kennedy (11th; 10:33), Fergus Young (45th; 12:04) and Henry Crossley (55th; 12:26), the Club finished fourth team. Central’s Under-13 Girls had a strong team that achieved third team place through some strong running by sisters Carys and Leah Gibb in 10th and 13th (11:42, 11:48) and then Niamh McKinlay (27th, 12:20), Leah Brown (42nd, 13:08) and Isla Henry (58th, 14:25).
Central’s Under-15 Boys made an impact in their 3.3 kilometre challenge with Cameron Kerr backing up his fine run from the previous week in fourth (11:18) while Euan Docherty came through in 23rd (12:31), Euan Campbell in 39th (13:33) and Finlay McAndrew in 53rd (15:10) with the Under-15 Boys finishing fifth team overall. The combined Under-15/17 Girls race covered the same 3.3 km with a team of six from Central. A club trio led this team in with a few personal battles, and it finished with Amy Cully (22nd, 13:30), Kyra Gibb (23rd, 13:31) and Summer McLean (24th, 13:36) all pushing each other to the line. This trio were well backed up by Mirren Henry (31st, 13:57), Anna MacKinnon (34th, 14:04), Scarlett Roy (63rd, 15:56), Naomi Howlieson (67th, 16:01) and Brogan McMillan (70th, 16:22).