Kirsty Law made 13 her lucky number at Grangemouth as the discus thrower claimed yet another Scottish Senior title – and a share of our £2000 prize-pot.
The exact size of the slice remains to be seen following the conclusion of the 4J Studios Senior Champs on Sunday but Law was thrilled to win with 56.26m, well over the 54m standard being asked in the Women’s discus.
Triple jumper Bera Ajala took down the Scottish U20 Record as he leapt out to 15.89m to claim Senior gold on an emotional afternoon for sprinter Allan Hamilton as the Edinburgh AC athlete won the 100m in a fitting tribute to his grandfather, the late George Sinclair.
Para athlete Gavin Drysdale had a broad smile, too, after his RR2 100m race with his performance inside the time required for the full £1000 prize pot on offer.
Overall it was a very special day in many respects after two years without National Championship action.
Each and every athlete who competed earned our appreciation – and their coaches and clubs – when we reflect on long periods of lockdown, training access issues and the motivation mentally to carry on.
It was a theme javelin champion Greg Millar highlighted after his latest Scottish title success at 63.96m.
‘It is really good to see championship athletics coming back because it is so important’, he said.
‘I will be honest and say that it has been tough for the past 18 months or so and especially for technical event athletes. I think many folk questioned themselves at times and why they were doing it.
‘But I love the sport and as well as the throwing itself I love pushing myself in training. I am not the type to miss out a rep.
‘I have a couple of comps left to come this year and then will get back into a hard winter of training. I threw two PBs in the British Champs and took bronze after being fourth or fifth a number of times in the past – so the motivation and the love is there.’
Greg Millar (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Law has failed to throw well at Grangemouth in the recent past, despite winning, and the prize-pot distance of 54m was her main target this weekend.
‘I’d have been happy with 54.01m this time to be honest,’ said Kirsty, who also made it ten-in-a-row in terms of Senior titles (with the obvious exception of 2020 when the event was cancelled.
‘It has been on offer here before and I failed to make the distance so I have to be happy today. I’ve three more competitions and the season isn’t done yet.
‘My PB went out to 59.95 only the other week and it actually touched that 60m line. So I’m still improving and still realising my potential.’
Chris Bennett took the Men’s hammer title with 70.88m his best effort with his penultimate throw. Teddy Tchoudja, another Shettleston athlete, added the Women’s shot putt gold with 13.46m.
Ajala put together a good series in the triple jump to take the Scottish U20 Record and his first Senior gold – with a leap of 15.89m.
‘I was out in Estonia with GB and Ni for the European Juniors but did not make the final,’ said Bera, who is coached by John Scott.
‘It was heart-breaking because I was in good shape both physically and mentally and was just a few cm from qualifying.
‘I made my mind up there and then that I didn’t want the season to end that way – I wanted to come and try and win the Scottish. ‘To leap to 15.89m to do that and get the U20 Record is fantastic as well.’
Bera Ajala leaps into the pit at Grangemouth (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Hamilton won the Men’s 100m in 10.59 seconds with Greg Kelly of East Kilbride AC in second and Cian O’Donnell of London Heathside in third. It was a shame to see Kade Thomas pull up early in the race.
Roisin Harrison won the 200m title here two years ago and she won the Women’s 100m final in a photo-finish.
The Aberdeen AAC athlete was clocked at 12.02 seconds with two English opponents, Rachel Bennett and Hilary Gode, both given 12.04 in a very exciting finish.
Andrew Murphy took the pole vault gold with 4.50m and the Women’s 5000m Champs saw Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds athlete Constance Nankivell win.
Michael Cameron won the Men’s 3000m steeplechase and Rosie Sharples of Falkirk Victoria Harriers is our new champion in the Women’s High Jump after clearing 1.74m.
Nony Mordi of Fife is a regular champion on these occasions and added another Triple Jump gold with 12.38m the distance on this occasion.
*Drysdale clocked 16.27 in his RR2 100m race – enough to land him a share of the prize-pot. There were other Para sprint wins for Alexander Thomson and Melanie Nicol.
‘It was a good performance from Gavin, very close indeed to his PB and World Record time for the 100,’ said David Phee, who coaches Gavin along with John Owens.
‘We appreciate the competition opportunity from scottishathletics and the prize-pot is really helpful towards the on-going costs which do mount up over the season.’
Roisin Harrison won the 100m final in a tight finish and (below) Rosie Sharples took Women’s Hugh Jump gold (photos by Bobby Gavin)
In the U17 Champs, Meghan Porterfield was the first gold medallist of the day with discus success with 35.10m. Meghan later added the shot putt gold, too, with 14.42m.
There followed a host of heats and finals across the track and field with the sprints affected by DQ decisions for a couple of highly-ranked athletes.
When the dust settled, the 100m champions were Rory Voss of Pitreavie AAC in 10.92 and Sofia Vidak of Falkirk Victoria Harriers in 12.37.
Catriona Scott of VP-Glasgow won the 300m hurdles (45.57) and Ben Heron of North Ayrshire AC won the 400m hurdles in the Men’s division (57.47). Fraser Gilmour of VP-Glasgow took the 1500m steeplechase title in 4:33.67.
Ayr Seaforth dominated the U17 Triple Jump competitions with Libby White winning with 11.93 and Branden Dunlop the men’s with 10.93m.
Falkirk’s Paige Stevens won the U17 Women’s High Jump with 1.62m and Callum Hendry of VP-Glasgow landed gold in the hammer with 46.13m.
Giffnock North’s Daniel Martin won the U17 men’s Pole Vault title with 3.60m.
Meghan Porterfield on the Women’s discus podium – the VP-Glasgow athlete later won the shot, too.