The second race of Central Athletic Club’s 2021-22 Cross Country Series was held on Saturday 13 November in Callander Crags Woods with bright sunshine being enjoyed by runners and spectators alike.
Craig Walker and his band of helpers had set a testing course for the youngsters with a fairly demanding uphill finish for all 25 athletes that will live long in the memory for some.
The first race of just over a mile proved a good test for the Under-9 and Under-11 athletes with Luca Shepherd (8 minutes 54 seconds) showing great resolve to take the win. Alfie Laing (9:12) also showed superb form in second while Austin Evans (12:00) showed some useful potential. Jessica Walker covered the course in a tasty 10:19 timing that saw her win the Girls’ race with Emily Watkin’s fine 10:23 effort just a few strides behind. Summer Johnston finished in an admirable 10:38 while Kalina Lu-Czartoryjska can be pleased with her 12:48 effort. Under-9, Zackary Walker had pushed his older competitors and finished in an excellent 9:26 while Francesco Ragona (16:12) was the youngest athlete on the day and also picked up valuable points in the Under-9 Girls category.
The second race was a further test of some 1.5 miles which saw Under-13 athlete Joel Gillan (9:13) rounding off a fine effort in first while Noah McIntyre-Simm (12:02) also ran hard into the finish. Under-15, Scott Hill (9:15) was close on Joel’s heels to take the honours in his age group from an improving Alex Dunlop (9:39) while Conall Paterson (11:35) completed the Boys’ challenge with another strong effort throughout.
It was Under-17 Scarlett Roy (9:33) who proved her fitness to win the Girls’ race with a concentrated effort to head home further strong runs from Rachel Warden (10:26) and Millie O’Neill (12:14) in this age group. Leah Brown (9:55) showed commitment and fine style to take the Under-15 Girls category ahead of a solid run from Loren Stewart (10:10) while Tabitha MacKenzie (10:37) can also be pleased with her run. Fia Watkin (10:32) added to her growing reputation as she again proved the strongest of the Under-13 Girls. There were further impressive runs from Under-13 Girls Sienna Shepherd (12:09), Orla Pieroway (12:28), Clara Escala (15:10) and Nadzieja Lu-Czartoryjska (19:22) with all competitors deserving off their applause at the finish.