National XC returns in style with repeat wins for Mhairi and Jamie

Saturday 26th February 2022

Mhairi Maclennan on her way to a third gold medal in the National XC Senior Men’s race (photo by Bobby Gavin)

 Provisional Results (on right of page)

By Peter Jardine

The Lindsays National XC returned after a two-year absence . . . and didn’t it feel great to be back at Callendar Park!

From early in the day when the first club tents went up to the scenes mid-afternoon when hundreds competed in the Senior Men’s race, the atmosphere was again second to none in athletics in Scotland.

And there was a strong sense of déjà vu around the podium when the medals were presented!

In fact, three of the four Senior and U20 races were won by the same gold medallists as two years ago with victory for Mhairi Maclennan and Jamie Crowe as well as Megan Keith at U20 level as Kristof Hornyik took the U200 men’s race.

It was a third success for Maclennan and a second for Crowe. Jamie’s win guided Central to their 11 successive team golds in the Senior Men’s race. Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds won the Senior Women’s race.

Those Senior team races ended up as:

Senior Men: Gold – Central AC; Silver – Shettleston Harriers; Bronze – Cambuslang Harriers

Winning Central AC team: Jamie Crowe 1; Hamish Hickey 5; Tom Graham-Marr 11; Matthew Sutherland 27; Alastair Hay 32; Calum Philip 38.

Senior Women: Gold – Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds; Silver – Edinburgh AC; Bronze – Central AC.

Winning Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds team: Holly Page 4; Kate Lowery 14; Emma Gill 23; Grace Pow 35; Alexandra Kiltie 47; Ellen Crombie 54.

Gifnock North savoured a remarkable clean sweep of team medals in the younger age groups as they won all six sets of golds at U17, U15 and U13 level.

Inverness Harriers were another club to relish a good day with three individual gold medals (U13 Girls, U20 Women and Senior Women) as well as U20 Men’s team golds.

‘It was just great to be back here and racing the National XC again,’ said Mhairi, who won over the 10k course in 36.36 with Scout Adkin of Moorfoot Runners some 51 seconds back. Central AC’s Morag Millar took the bronze.

‘I love it so much and it means an awful lot to me to win it again. I felt that way when I won my first title and probably even more so as I’ve been through a lot of things in the past few years.

‘I’m back running for Inverness Harriers and Ross Cairns is coaching me again. It might seem strange to have returned to someone who coached my in my early years but I’d finding an overall back to basics approach is helping me.

‘I was not aware that few women have won it on more than two occasions. I would never say never about running the National XC and trying to win it again.

‘It’s a big part of my athletics life in many ways so although I’m thinking and talking about a marathon at some stage. I’d still like to be back here racing again.’

Crowe suffered a nerve issue problem immediately prior to his first GB appearance in the Euro Cross in Dublin in December.

He then had Covid and then another hamstring injury with a run in Portugal at the Euro Clubs Cross his comeback only three weeks prior to Falkirk.

‘It’s been a problematic winter to say the least and I’m only really just over it, ‘ said Jamie, who won by 18 seconds in 32.26 with Ross Gollan of Shettleston taking silver at 32.44. Andy Douglas of Inverclyde took the bronze at 32.48.

‘But I had two very good weeks of training and felt I had a chance of defending the title I won here in 2020.

‘It was an honest race from the off and in the first lap I could not actually get to the front to push it on because Ross Gollan was already pushing it on. Andy Douglas was then coming through, too.

‘I knew after the first lap what I wanted to do and where I wanted to try and get ahead and I managed to open up a bit of gap on the second – near where my dad (Des) was out on the course as a marshal.’

Hungarian-born Hornyik followed up a Scottish Unis 1500m track title with a fine run to lead home the Central AC duo, Ben Macmillan and Alastair Marshall.

‘I represented Scotland at Liverpool a few years ago but had a difficult year in 2020-21 with injuries and Covid,’ said Kristof.

‘I lost a bit of motivation but I don’t suppose I was along in that. Now I train sometimes with Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, my original club, and now at St Andrews Uni. The set-up works for me and I am hoping for good times on the rack in the summer.’

Megan Keith is the European U20 Women’s champion and looked a cast-iron certainty to win the Scottish title at that age group that she had claimed in 2020.

Megan did exactly that as she led in an Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds 1-2-3 with Cera Gemmell in second and Hannah Anderson in third.

‘I enjoyed that and it was a good run but I am wondering now about the shift up in distance for the World Unis XC, ‘ said Megan, who heads to Portugal next month.

‘It’s 10k for that one which will be harder but it was either 10k at the Inter-Counties at Loughborough or the World Unis so I will take Portugal!’

Those U20 team races ended up as:

U20 Men: Gold – Inverness Harriers; Silver – Central AC; Bronze – St Andrew’s Uni

U20 Women: Gold – Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds; 2 Glasgow Uni Hare and Hounds



Tags: Callendar Park, Falkirk, Jamie Crowe, Kristof Hornyik, Lindsays National XC, Megan Keith, Mhairi Maclennan

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