‘I just want to be fastest in my family’ – Andrew McGill, grandson of Frank Clement

Wednesday 6th December 2023

Five Scots picked for Brussels

Andrew McGill heads to Brussels this weekend with his goal to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps taking another significant step forward.

The Livingston AC/Glasgow Uni Hare and Hounds athlete – grandson of Scottish Olympic and Commonwealth 1500m finalist Frank Clement – will win his first GB and NI vest with the U20 Men’s team at the Euro Cross.

But, listening to this grounded-yet-ambitious 19-year-old, the feeling lingers that the journey may yet have some way to travel as he chases faster times on the track.

Eilish McColgan apart, for many young Scottish athletes being the ‘fastest in my family’ might not be too tasking: Andrew, however, will need to reach the top six in the Scottish all-time lists for Men’s 1500m and Mile if he is to better Frank.

‘I’ve said to a few folk recently – people have goals in their sport and set themselves targets,’ explained Andrew.

‘Often that’s to be maybe the fastest in their club or in their country. I just want to be the fastest in my family!

‘It’s always been a goal and first it was taking down my mum’s times and then saying ‘Ok, now I can go after my dad’s times’. I’ve quite a jump to make to get to my Papa’s times – but he has been my idol for a long time and I’d love to run that fast if I can.

‘It is something to strive for. If he did it . . . well, I am related to him, so it is definitely something I can go and try to achieve in athletics.’

Photo by Bobby Gavin

Just for the record, Frank sits No 7 in both 1500m (3:35.66) and Mile all-time Scottish lists (3:54.2).

Up until five years ago, he was certainly top five before the trio of Josh Kerr, Jake Wightman and Neil Gourley started not so much re-writing the rankings as wielding a big red pen.

Frank, 50 years ago this year, also raced in a World Cross at Junior level – finishing 34th.

Andrew, now coached by Mike Johnston in a Glasgow-based group which features athletes from a number of clubs, won’t set too many targets for this weekend in Brussels.

‘I’m thrilled to be selected by GB and NI for the Euro Cross but it wasn’t something I was expecting a couple of weeks ago.

‘I went to Liverpool probably looking to finish top 20 if I could. There’s good depth in that race and last year I didn’t even make top 40.

‘The target for Brussels is pretty simple – I was sixth on the list in terms of the selection so if I can beat even one of my team-mates then I would be pleased with that.’

Frank (and Andrew) featured in PB magazine a couple of years ago in this superb interview by Katy Barden.

And (below) Andrew on his way to U13 bronze medal at the Lindsays National XC at Falkirk in 2017 when he represented Linlithgow AC (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Tags: Andrew Mcgill, Euro Cross, Frank Clement

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