Bound for Wales – U17s Rona Tytler, Emily Nicholson and Laura Stark represented Scotland in Bulgaria and are now picked for International Youth Cup
Scotland hill runners have been selected for the four teams which will contest the Junior Home International in Betws-y-Coed in North Wales on Saturday 19 September.
This follows a closely-fought trial race at Aberfoyle last Sunday, the results of which carried the most weight in the selection process.
While 16 athletes in total have been selected, special mention should be made of those juniors who are gaining their first Scotland vest, namely Mairi Wallace (U17G), Finlay Todd (U17B), Rhiannon Kirk (U20G) and Lucas Cheskin (U20B).
And there are some family ties within the four teams with Fife AC brothers Tristan and George Rees both selected while Ross Gollan (Highland Hill Runners) and Mairi Wallace (Moorfoot Runners) may live at opposite ends of the country but are in fact cousins!
Age group categories for the competition are U17 and U20, male and female. Team members are listed below with a number of the athletes having raced in Bulgaria earlier this year at the International Youth Cup for 16 and 17-year-olds.
There is added excitement for the juniors and a greater buzz about the event because this year it is being held on the same day and over the same course as the World Mountain Running Championships. Jacob Adkin, Andy Douglas and Robbie Simpson are the three Scots in the GB teams for this.
Malcolm Patterson, National Coach Mentor (Hill and Mountain), and one of four selectors, commented: ‘We were delighted with the quality of competition at the Trial race and this is reflected in the strong teams that will race in the Junior Home International.
‘I congratulate all the junior athletes who made the teams, plus their coaches and supporters, and wish them every success in Wales.’
Emily Nicholson (Pitreavie AAC); Laura Stark, Rona Tytler (Kilbarchan AAC), Mairi Wallace(Moorfoot Runners)
Freddie Carcas (Edinburgh AC), George Rees, Tristan Rees (Fife AC) Finlay Todd (Ross County AC)
Annabel Simpson, Ailsa Cruickshanks (Fife AC), Rhiannon Kirk (Caithness AAC), Lucy McLeod (Aberdeen AAC)
Gavin Bryson (Edinburgh AC), Lucas Cheskin (Moorfoot Runners), Ross Gollan (East Sutherland AC), Thomas Otton (Gala Harriers)
Thomas Otton – Gala athlete selected for Scotland at U20 and league champion
The league comprises eight races from different locations in Scotland. Each race has its own character and charm and is a significant challenge in itself.
To gain a final standing in the league, three races are needed. Two events are double weighted in terms of scores. These are the Scottish junior hill championship (Ben Lomond), and the final race of the series which stands as the trial race for the Junior Home International (Aberfoyle).
We are very grateful to all the organisers of these races for allowing the Junior League to use their events.
The good news is that year participation and completion was higher than it has been. in fact, 22 runners from 11 Scottish clubs gained a final standing.
Some notable performances include the following: Robert Sparks (Fife) won all his races, and gained maximum points in the U15 boy category.
A fight to win the girls U17 category between Laura Stark and Emily Nicholson produced some great racing. And hill running attracts sibling sets. The McWhinnie twins, the McCheynes, the Burns; and the Nicholsons and Gollans raced but not enough to complete the league.
The winners of the categories are:
U15G Nuala McCheyne Inverclyde AC
U17G Laura Stark Kilbarchan
U20G Rhiannon Kirk Caithness AC
U15B Robert Sparks Fife AC
U17B Tristan Rees Fife AC
U20B Thomas Otton Gala
Many congratulations to all participants. Some of the prizes for completion were given by Run 4 It and we are grateful to their support.
With thanks to Malcolm Patterson and Mark Harris
Rhiannon Kirk – Scotland vest and league title win for the Caithness U20 athlete