Scottish U20 champion Annabel Simpson is flanked by medallists Laura Stark (left, silver) and Kirstin Oakley (photos by Bobby Gavin)
Dundee Hawkhill’s James Donald and Fife AC’s Annabel Simpson took Scottish U20 titles at 3000m, as the Glasgow Athletics Association Miler Meet at Crownpoint proved a huge success.
With big fields and 17 races across two distance, the combination of 800m and 3000m once again delivered a big hit with athletes and coaches.
And there was a rash of PB performances from those at all ages and stages and across both distances.
Jamie Crowe, one of Central AC’s emerging athletes under the guidance of Derek Easton, snatched the main 3000m race with Ben Greenwood of Perth Strathtay and Philippa Millage of VP-Glasgow winning the two fastest 800m races.
And there were Scottish U17 titles at 3000m for Struan Paton of Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers and Kate Gallagher of Central AC – as well as a clutch of Women’s Masters medals on a night when athletes from all over the country descended on Glasgow.
Millage’s 800m time of 2.05.23 was an age group record at W35 while Garscube Harriers athlete, Lesley Chisholm, broke her own Scottish best mark at W40 with 10.05.47 for 3000m.
Crownpoint now boasts the track surface that was at Hampden and with around 270 names on entry list there was clear evidence once again that these well-organised GAA Miler Meets offer the perfect model for event specific meetings.
PB and record joy for Philippa Millage
scottishathletics are delighted to work in partnership, in terms of hosting some championship events therein, and the U20 and U17 Scottish titles were keenly-contested.
Donald took his gold with a PB of 8.41.08 from silver medallist Max Milarvie (VP-Glasgow) and third-placed Martin Lynas (East Kilbride AC).
‘I was happy to win it and get the PB as well,’ said James.
‘I did steeplechase last summer and represented Scottish Schools in the SIAB in that but I’m enjoying running on the flat now so I think I will stick with that for the time being. My coach is Les Kelly and I train in quite a big group in Dundee with a lot of help from training partners like Chris Jones and Gordon Barrie.’
Simpson is no stranger to the U20 podium and took the gold with a PB in 9.40.07 to win from Laura Stark, on the day the Kilbarchan AAC athlete celebrated a GB call-up in hill running, and Ayr Seaforth’s Kirstin Oakley.
Paton won the U17 Men’s gold in a PB of 9.02.31 from Inverclyde AC’s Ryan Gray and his Cambuslang team-mate, Drew Pollock. Central AC’s Gallagher was the U17 Women’s champion in 9.58.72 to win from Aberdeen’s Naomi Lang and Inverclyde AC’s Shelby Morrison.
Great finish from Central AC’s Jamie Crowe
In the main 3000m race, Crowe just edged out Craig Ruddy of Inverclyde by a fraction of a second with 8.25.59 to 8.25.75. Peter Hodkinson of Notts AC was home in third.
Ben Greenwood is chasing World Juniors qualification time of 1.48.50 and went pretty close with what was virtually a solo run in the latter stages for 1.49.56 (Ben’s PB is 1.49.50) with Michael Ferguson second in 1.51.78 and Stephen Mackay of Inverness at 1.51.91.
West District champion Millage took on an array of promising young athletes in the main Women’s 800m race and pulled clear to win in 2.05.23 with a PB as Jemma Reekie was second in 2.07.23 and Steph Pennycook third in 2.07.98.
‘That’s a Scottish masters record and I’m trying to get them at 400m, 800m and 1500m and will go to Aberdeen for the Masters Champs,’ said Philippa.
‘Before then, though, I’m at Birmingham for the British Champs and Olympic trials – I have the qualifying time for that and have been invited so why not race? It will be a great championship to be at this year I think.’
There was a good 3000m run by Scotland international Stacie Taylor for a PB at 9.36.
The Women’s Masters golds went to:
W 35 Claire McArthur (Hamilton) 11.55.29; W40 Lesley Chisholm (Garscube) 10.05.47; W45 Julie Wilson (Inverness Harriers) 11.43.44; W50 Pamela McCrossan (Clydesdale) 12.05.43; W60 Phyllis Hands (Motherwell AC) 13.36.16.
*Big thanks to the GAA for their ogranisation and to the volunteers who make these events such a success – particularly to the scottishathletics officials on duty. And to the pace-makers who put in strong shifts to try and get people to the PBs they wanted!
Ben Greenwood wins the 800m in 1.49.56