Dominic O’Hare clinches U20 1500m gold on Sunday at the Emirates Arena – photo by Bobby Gavin
The O’Hare name has appended Scottish championship age group successes in the past – with GB international Chris and his younger sister, Olivia, on our rolls of honour a few years back.
Now a third member of the family, 17-year-old Dominic, can be added after claiming gold in the U20 1500m final at the Emirates Arena on Sunday.
The Edinburgh AC athlete picked up a couple of spike injuries on his way to the win as he won it in 4.10.95 on day when U15 and U20 athletes rose to the challenge of trying to bring their best performance to competition.
‘I am pleased for Dominic because he has stuck at the sport over a number of years from a young age and has had a few injuries along the way,’ said his father, Terry.
‘Obviously there is family history there in terms of winning Scottish titles, so it is great for Dominic to win this one. He won a bronze at the Scottish Schools at Hampden last summer and if memory serves may have had a silver at the Age Groups in the past.
‘He’s had good news, too, on university applications and it has been a good weekend for us because Chris did quite well in America in the Millrose Games, when he ran 3.55.35 for the mile, finishing sixth. He was actually the 100th athlete to go under four minutes in the Wanaker Mile event and he was presented with an award for that – although I think he would rather have win the race!
‘Olivia is in her third year academically at Tulsa University but her second in terms of her athletics. She first went over there when Chris was still at Uni which was good and she’s now friendly with Stacie Taylor, another Scottish athlete who went over.
‘When Chris comes back home, he and Dominic often go out together on runs. I think Dominic loves training with him and it adds to his motivation.’
The O’Hare family angle was just one such tale from a truly hectic weekend at the Emirates when more than 2000 people made it along to watch the next generation of Scottish athletes.
Sprint double – Alec Thomas
As news filtered through of four British golds in Sheffield, the pathway is clear: and why progressing from junior to senior has to be more significant than medals won when very young.
Alec Thomas is making a decent fist of aiming for that goal.
The 18-year-old won 60m gold at the Senior Indoors and added a silver in the 200m. He was offered the chance to compete in Sheffield at the British indoors this past weekend but opted for the Emirates Arena instead – with a trip to the England Athletics U20 coming up in a fortnight.
Alec duly delivered a PB in the U20 60m to win gold and followed that up with another win in the 200m at 21.53 – just three hundredths away from a Scottish age group record.
‘I am pleased with a PB in the final and feel I am making good progress with the help of my coach, Chris Baillie,’ he said.
‘It was a great day at the Seniors and I was pretty tired by the time I came to the 200m final and my sixth race of the day!
‘I will only race the 200m in Sheffield at the U20 and I’m going to go into that ranked very highly because I am hearing the one guy above me has been injured at the British Indoors.
‘The groups are all enjoying being coached by Chris. He has so much experience of his own to pass on and it is just giving us all more confidence when we compete ourselves. I’m really pleased with how things are going at the minute.’
Jack Lawrie secured an U20 double at 60m hurdles and 400m with 8.11 and 49.71, while GB Combined Events international Emma Canning picked up gold at high jump and long jump and a 60m hurdles silver.
Aidan Gilbride (East Kilbride) won the 800m in 1.55.38 and Anna Gordon (Pitreavie AAC) the pole vault with 3.50m.
Among the other Scots to pick up gold were Kelsey Stewart (Aberdeen AAC) 400m 56.16; Carys McAulay (Warrington) 2.12.40; Jenna Wrisberg (Giffnock North) 60m 7.71; Ben McGuire (Central AC) long jump 6.84; Joseph Amouzou (Shettleston) triple jump 14.28m; Caroline Harvey (Ayr Seaforth) triple jump 11.13m; Marcus Morton (VP-Glasgow) high jump 1.95m; Annabel Simpson (Fife AC) 1500m 4.40.99.
Emma Canning – two golds and a silver
In the U15 age group, the outstanding performance was by Arbroath and District’s Joel McFarlane as he won three golds – the 60m H in 8.84, the long jump with 6.11 and the high jump in 1.70m.
Among the other Scots to win U15 golds were the likes of Lauren Greig (Glasgow School of Sport) 60m 8.02 and 200m 25.78; Jade Henry (VP-Glasgow) 60m H 9.15; Jack McCleneghen (Cumbernauld AAC) 300m 40.79; Harry Hall (Aberdeen AAC) 800m 2.13.66; Fraser Weller (Nairn AAC) shot putt 10.71; Emma Frew (Ayr Seaforth) 1500m 4.54.56; Stewart Taylor-Peacock 24.29; Molly Reade (Mull AC) high jump 1.55m
Joel McFarlane – gold medal hat-trick at U15