The Scottish Schools Track and Field Championships made a welcome return after 3 years.
Central’s only Group A (age 17 and over) competitors were Megan Dunlop of McLaren High and Chloe Watt of Balfron who took on the 100 Metres sprint. Both athletes progressed to the final after Chloe ran 13.44s and Megan 13.50s in the heats. In the final Chloe went faster with 13.41s for seventh while Megan placed eighth with 13.65s. In the 200 Metres Megan reached the final again after a 28.22s run in the heat, then ran an excellent new personal best 27.80s for seventh in the final.
Central AC’s Group B (age 15-16) athletes had the added incentive of putting their case forward for selection for the schools track and field international in Belfast in July.
Catriona Kane of Dunblane High has made big improvements this year and was rewarded with a place in the Scotland team for the schools cross country international earlier this year. This time Catriona was taking part in the 3,000 Metres, the longest race of the day. After Caitlyn Heggie of Dingwall took an early lead, Catriona found herself in the chasing pack early on. The group was unable to close the gap but Catriona pulled clear of the chasing group before the finish to claim runner up spot and the silver medal. Her time of 10:46.40 minutes was short of her personal best but was still enough to reach the badge standard and stake her claim for one of the two places in the team for Belfast.
Also chasing medals was Ruairidh Burns of Stirling High. Ruairidh was taking on both the Long Jump and 400 Metres Hurdles and the timetable did him no favours with both events taking place at the same time. In the 400 Metres Hurdles Ruairidh missed out on a medal by one place taking fourth in a personal best 64.74s. He then returned to the Long Jump and, fired up, he leapt to a new personal best 5.98m which was enough for second place and the silver medal.
Also contesting the Long Jump were Ken Young of Wallace High and Chris Driver of Balfron. Ken took eighth with a jump of 5.31m while Chris was one place behind with a personal best 5.22m for ninth. Ken and Chris also faced each other in the 100 Metres where Chris set a personal best 11.75s to progress to the semi-finals where he ran 11.78s and was pipped for the last final spot by 0.01s. Ken also progressed to the semi-finals running 11.93s.
Central had a good contingent in the 1,500 Metres. In the boys’ race, Connor Bell of Balfron was a respectable fifth in 4:23.13 minutes while Jamie Oldham set a personal best 4:42.20 in the heats. The girls’ 1,500 Metres saw Stirling High pair Leah Brown and Scarlett Roy go head to head. Leah set a season’s best 5:18.60 closely followed by Scarlett in a new personal best 5:18.75. Jamie returned the next day to set another personal best in the 800 Metres running 2:14.48.
In the Group C (age 14) age group Central athletes were at the fore in the jumping events. In the boys’ Long Jump Lewis Miller of Dunblane High found himself in a strong competition. He moved into second place early on but by round 5 found himself pushed out of the medals in fourth. He dug in to leap to a new personal best 5.66m for second place and claim a badge standard. He then had a nervous finish until the other competitors finished but he managed to hold onto second and win the silver medal.
In the girls’ Long Jump McLaren High pair Loren Stewart and Connie Bateman were both on form. Loren jumped a personal best 5.02m, her first ever jump over 5 metres, for third to claim the bronze while Connie jumped a personal best 4.60m for a respectable sixth place. In the High Jump Loren won her second medal of the day as she added a bronze after a clearance of 1.45m for third place.
Jamie Connor of Dunblane High was just outside the medals in the 300 Metres as he placed fourth in 43.27s, and then took fifth in the 80 Metres Hurdles with 14.47s. Niamh McKinlay of McLaren High placed eighth in the 1,500 Metres with 5:13.73 then just missed the final in the 800 Metres with 2:28.62. Niamh was joined in the 800 Metres by McLaren High teammate Tabitha McKenzie who ran 2:38.09.
In the Group D (under 14) age group Central were represented by McLaren High’s Fia Watkin and Ana McKie. In the Long Jump Fia placed 11th with 4.11m and Ana 22nd with a season’s best 3.68m. Fia then placed fourth in her 800 Metres heat with 2:34.87 while Ana ran 14.13s for the 100 Metres.
Well done to everyone who took part.