Giffnock North AAC long jumper Rachel Alexander – double Scotland selection (photo by Bobby Gavin)
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Six young track and field athletes who area headed to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in September lead Scotland U18s in international action at Grangemouth this weekend.
The Celtic Games International match features the best teenage athletes at U18 and U16 level from Scotland, Wales and Ireland on Saturday (first event at 11.45am).
Four of the six selected by Commonwealth Games Scotland for the 2015 youth multi-sport event have also recently won GB vests in athletics when they competed at the World Youth Games in Cali, Colombia, earlier this month.
Inverness thrower George Evans won a bronze medal in the discus in South America while Berwick sprinter, Cameron Tindle, and Warrington-based 800m runner, Carys McAulay, both made finals in Cali.
Ben Greenwood reached the 800m semi-finals in Colombia and those four are joined by sprinter Alisha Rees and long jumper, Rachel Alexander, in the team picked by scottishathletics for the Celtic Games International.
It is the first step on the international ladder for many of these teenagers as they seek to follow in the footsteps of stars like Eilidh Child, Laura Muir and Chris O’Hare – with legacy issues very much to the fore one year on from Hampden medals for four Scots and with that track surface of course now down at Grangemouth.
Rodger Harkins – opportunity
‘In recent weeks we have seen some terrific performances by Scottish athletes – at Senior level and also at the European Age Group champs at U23 and U20 and at the World Youths in Colombia,’ said scottishathletics Director of Coaching, Rodger Harkins.
‘We see the Celtic Games for U18 and U16 athletes as potentially the first step towards those events at some stage in the future.
‘For many athletes, this is the beginning of their international careers and if you look at the athletes who have been prominent in recent weeks like Lynsey Sharp, Mark Dry, Neil Gourley, Josh Kerr, Jack Lawrie, Kathryn Gillespie and Mhairi Hendry then I’m sure you will find them as having been involved in the Celtic Games in their mid to late teens competing for Scotland.
‘This Celtic Games match at Grangemouth is an opportunity to try and deliver good performances which will underline their promise for the future.
‘In the selections, we have included all four of the athletes who were with GB at the World Youths in Cali – George Evans, Ben Greenwood, Carys McAulay and Cameron Tindle – and we are delighted about that.
‘So right there, within the U18 Scotland team, there are athletes others can look up to for inspiration and motivation to try and emulate further down the line and then there are those went to the Euro U20s and Euro U23s this month as other role models.’
Hosting the event this year has also handed scottishathletics the opportunity to extend it by adding a ‘Futures Team’ to improve the depth in events and give more youngsters a first taste of international competition.
U18 Men: Cameron Tindle 100m, 200m; Sandy Wilson 400m; Ben Greenwood 800m; Michael Macmillan 1500m; Howard Bell 100m H; Declan Gall 400m H; Alex Carcas 3000m; Samuel Stenhouse Long Jump; Henry Clarkson Triple Jump; Cameron McCorgray High Jump; Craig Moriartry Pole Vault; George Evans shot putt, discus; Jack Moncur Javelin; Craig Mullins Hammer; Drew McIntyre, Ade Awokaya-Mebude 4 x 100m; Lewis Brown, David Allen 4 x 400m
U18 Women: Alisha Rees 100m, 200m; Carys McAulay 400m; Jemma Reekie 800m; Caitlin Arnott 1500m; Zaynah Aziz 1500m s/c; Finlay Marriott 100m H; Sarah Pearson 400m H; Rachel Alexander Long Jump; Alex Burns Triple Jump; Jade Carlyle High Jump; Kirsten Cronie Pole Vault; Bevhan Trevis Shot Putt, Discus; Ellie Fulton Javelin; Natalie Robbins Hammer; Selina Henderson, Jill Cherry, Jenna Wrisberg 4 x 100m; Jemma Reekie, Gillian Gordon 4 x 400m
U16 Boys: John MacLennan 100m; Adam Scott 800m; Joel McFarlane 100m H; Alessandro Schenini Long Jump; Fraser Judge Shot Putt; Andrew McFarlane Javelin
U16 Girls: Kate Johnstone 200m; Erin Wallace 1500m; Alix Still 80m H; Shannon McInally High Jump; Shona Crossan Discus
U18 Men: Greg Kelly 100m, 200m; Cal McLennan 400m; Cameron Steven 800m; Joe Arthur 1500m; Taylor Roy 110m Hurdles; Robert Green 400m Hurdles; Sol Sweeney 3000m; Ed Barbour long jump; Aiden Quinn triple jump; Chris McKay high jump; Daniel McFarlane pole vault; Andrew Peck shot, discus; Adam Boyle javelin; Andrew Costello hammer; Greg Kelly, Taylor Roy, Ed Barbour, Aiden Quinn, 4x100m relay; Cameron Steven, Stewart Millar, Rhys Sim, Robert Green 4×400 relay
U18 Women: Sarah Malone 100m; Andrea Goodman 200m; Yasmin Lookess 400m; Sarah Eunson 800m; Zoe Bates 1500m; Ailsa Cruickshanks 1500m s/c; Katie Patullo 100m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles; Sophie Moar long jump; Siobhan Kingham triple jump; Amy Gullen high jump; Evie Bartl pole vault; Niamh Feighan shot; Charlotte Steele discus; Stephanie Fowler hammer; Lisa O’Neill javelin; Sarah Malone, Andrea Goodman, Sophie Moar 4x100m relay; Yasmin Lookess, Sarah Eunson, Lucy Massie, Katie Patullo 4 x 400m relay
U16 Boys: Andy Moses 100m; Joe Arnaud 800m; Scott Connal 100m Hurdles, long jump; David Lees javelin; Ben Wightman shot
U16 Girls: Lauren Greig 200m; Kate Sharkey 80m Hurdles; Lauren Dickson 1500m; Christie McSkimming high jump; Hannah Paisley discus
(Note: There are limited events at U16 level in this match)