Our U20 Men’s medallists at Kingussie (photo by Phil Mestecky)
Report by Phil Mestecky
The junior hill running community was out in force again in Kingussie on Sunday for this year’s National Championship race last weekend.
With double-points up for grabs in the Junior Hill League and Scottish championship medals on offer, over 50 young athletes were on the startline for what proved to be a dramatic and exciting race over 5km and 250m of climb to the panoramic summit of Creag Bheag.
In the U15 Girls championships, Cerys Wright of Team East Lothian capped a successful summer of track racing with a triumph on the hills.
In second place was Anna Elizabeth Ross of VP-Glasgow with Anna Meek of Inverness picking up a bronze.
For the boys, it was another victory for Joel Gillan of Central AC, who has been dominant in all six league races he has started this year. Silver went to Josh Daunt of Edinburgh AC with Ethan Scobie of Giffnock North picking up Bronze.
In the U17 Women’s championship, with Katie Meek of Inverness feeling unwell and unable to run, the race was left wide open for the three Gala Harriers athletes who had made the long journey north.
In the end, it was Ava Richardson, coming into some fine, late-season form, who pipped clubmate Kirsty Rankine by a handful of seconds to claim the win, with Poppy Lunn completing the clean sweep for the Borderers.
U15 Boys winners (photo by Lyndsey Scobie)
In the men’s race, a superb run from Perth Strathtay’s Struan Gatherer saw him overturn the formbook to take gold ahead of Andrew Grant of Strathearn Harriers and Rowan Taylor of Lasswade in third.
In the U20s, both men’s and women’s races were impossible to predict beforehand with Isla Paterson of Gala Harriers and Springburn’s Rachel Giffen very evenly matched over the last few races and a gang of four men sharing wins throughout the season.
This time it was Isla who got the better of Rachel on the day with Anna Macdonald of Strathearn Harriers picking up bronze in just her second ever hill race.
In the men’s race, Angus made it double-gold for the Wright family and for Team East Lothian with Harris Pagett taking silver for Strathearn Harriers and Jonathon Downey of Kilmarnock Harriers picking up a bronze this time after his excellent silver in the Junior Home International the previous weekend.
Big thanks to all the athletes (and parents) that made the trip to Kingussie and to race organiser, Manny Gorman, and team for putting on such an enjoyable event for us all.
Photos by Craig Pagett Photography
Scottish Athletics Junior Hill Running League Update after 7 Races
Sunday’s race at Creag Bheag was the penultimate one of an exciting and well-supported junior hill running league. With double points awarded at this one, it proved decisive in several categories with several of the league champions now confirmed.
A hard fought second place on Sunday gave Anna Elizabeth Ross of VP-Glasgow 40 points and now makes her position atop the U15 girls table unassailable with just one race to go. Second place is also confirmed with Giffnock’s Holly Simpson securing her runners-up position.
For the U15 boys, it looks good for Joel Gillan of Central AC, but he could still be overhauled by Josh Daunt of Edinburgh AC if he makes the trip to Dingwall for the last race of the league and finishes in the top three.
There’s nothing anyone can do at Cioch Mhor on Sunday to overtake Kirsty Rankine of Gala in the U17W category but Katie Meek of Inverness can claim second place ahead of Gala’s Ava Richardson with a strong showing.
It’s all to play for in the U17M category, as Struan Gatherer’s excellent run for Perth Strathtay at Creag Bheag gives him the chance to take the title with a win in the last race.
It’s much clearer in the U20s with Isla Paterson of Gala and Rachel Giffen of Springburn confirmed as first and second respectively and, for the men, it’s Strathearn’s Harris Pagett who sits safe on top of the League but still a chance for Thomas Hilton or Jonathon Downey to grab the Runners-up spot.