Photo by Mark Shearman
Mhairi Maclennan extended her winter of content with another superb cross country win – this time at the British Cross Challenge final to claim Inter-Counties XC gold.
The North of Scotland athlete made it three golds in less than two months as she added to her Scottish Inter-District win in Irvine in January and success at the Lindsays National XC at Falkirk last month.
Mhairi came home to win by eight seconds wearing only one shoe on a day when there were three Scottish individual winners at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough.
In fact, Scotland West toasted a double at U17 level as Fraser Gilmour won the Men’s race and Hannah Ryding took victory in the Women’s.
With Craig Shennan (Scotland West) taking a silver in the U15 Boys race there were four medals to savour.
And in the team races there was a double gold for Scotland West at U17 level with a strong team effort in both races delivering places at the top of the podium.
Race winner Gilmour was followed home by Reuben Macdonald (eight), Cameron Deverill (24) and Cameron Green (44) for the U17 Men’s team win. Scotland East’s Warren Lorente placed 13.
Race winner Ryding was followed home by Louisa Brown (four), Esme Dougall (22) and Millie Nicholl (27) for the U17 Women’s team win. Scotland East’s highest finisher was Natasha Phillips at six with Maja Thomson at 19.
Who needs two shoes to win a major race?. Scotland's Mhairi MacLennan won the @BritAthletics Cross Challenge women's race in Loughborough yesterday despite losing one shoe in the mud. 📷MarkShearman @AthleticsWeekly @scotathletics @Real_XC @mhairimaac @ScotWomenSport pic.twitter.com/JHBULpi5GG
— Mark Shearman MBE (@AthleticsImages) March 13, 2022
In the Senior Women’s race, Maclennan moved away from Jess Gibbon on the final hill, accelerating anyway on the steep pull, losing her spike in the process, and captured a fine win.
‘I knew I had to just keep going for it today,’ said Mhairi.
‘The last time I was here I came third by one second, so I didn’t want to leave it too late so she (Jess Gibbon) could outsprint me, because that’s what happened last time with Jess Piasecki.
‘So, I just pushed up the final hill, even though I lost one of my spikes. I know I’m good up hills and through mud, so I just kept pushing. It paid off.’
There was an excellent fourth place for Scotland West in that Senior Women’s race thanks to the efforts of Nynke Mulholland (23), Gillian Black (34), Lesley Bell (52) and Emily McNicol (55).
Scottish representation in the Senior Men’s race was limited by Lachlan Oates placed 13 as he concluded a fine season in our own Scottish Cross Country Grand Prix. Duncan Robinson was at 24.
Hannah Ryding takes the win and leads home Scotland West to U17 Women’s team golds (photo by Mark Shearman)
Fraser Gilmour takes the win to lead Scotland West to the U17 Men’s team golds (photo by Mark Shearman)
In the U20 age bracket, Ben Sandilands was the best placed Scot in the Men’s race at 10 with fellow Scotland East athlete, Andrew McGill, at 17.
In the U20 Women’s race, Scotland West’s Meredith Reid placed seven with Kirsty and Caitlin Purcell at 13 and 14.
In the U15 age bracket, Craig Shennan was second with top 15 runs for James Wotherspoon (East) 12, Alasdair Nugent (West) 14 and Andrew McWilliam (East) at 15. Scotland West were sixth team here.
West athlete, Freya Campbell, was at 13 in the girls race. East athlete Orlaith Shepherd was at 22 and West athlete Millie McClelland Brooks was at 24.
West athlete Calum Dick was at 15 in the U13 Boys race.
An amazing win by Fraser G today, 8th for Reuben, Cameron D and G dug in for the team win 🏆 at the British Cross @scotathletics @green_green311 @gnaac1 @GilmourSuzanne #muddybrilliant pic.twitter.com/ZppvDI5n9h
— E1lDhMacShannon (@EilidhGMac) March 12, 2022
— William MacRury (@macrury_william) March 12, 2022