Scotland’s 4 x 400m men’s relay squad missed out on a Glasgow 2014 qualifying standard by less than a second in agonising fashion at Loughborough.
But the door to Hampden is opening for yet more athletes with the likes of Alison Rodger, Emily Dudgeon and Myra Perkins in good form at the international event.
Dudgeon (pictured here by Bobby Gavin of www.thatonemoment.co.uk) claimed her second 800m qualifying standard as one of three Scotland event victories with Ryan McKinlay in the 3000m steeplechase and those 4 x 400m men the others.
Laura Whittle and Jake Wightman also posted victories in the colours of hosts Loughborough University over 3000m and 800m respectively.
With other decent places, Scotland took fourth place in the overall match won by England from
Loughborough and third-placed GB and NI Juniors. Scotland’s men finished third in their match, only half a point off second place, with the women placed fourth.
The Scot Stats website has tracked performances and lists no fewer than 16 Commonwealth Games standards were achieved as well as a dozen PBs on a hugely encouraging Sunday at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium.
Stephen Maguire had stressed the early-season nature of the fixture, and the contrast in aspirations for those already selected and those chasing qualifying standards, and was delighted with the overall performances.
The men’s relay team of Kris Robertson, Greg Louden, Grant Plenderleith and David Martin won the last event of the day in fine style in 3.07.75 – but 3.07.00 is the standard required. The frustration was tangible for those wearing Scotland colours as Martin crossed the line and clock flashed up that 0.75 differential.
The splits were as follows Robertson 46.7, Louden 46.8, Plenderleith 46.8, Martin 47.4. Women’s splits as follows: Child 53.1, Maria Thomas 55.1, Kisten McAslan 54.1, Kathryn Christie 54.6; Diane Ramsay 55.1, Lynsey Sharp 53.9, Zoey Clark 54.0, Kelsey Stewart 56.9.
Belgium in a couple of weeks looks to offer up another opportunity for the men’s squad to try and crack Hampden qualifying on the one occasion that is required.
Two 4 x 400m women’s teams representing Scotland augured well in that event with second and fourth place finishes achieves with the athletes involved as follows: Eilidh Child, Maria Thomas, Zoey Clark, Kathryn Christie, Diane Ramsay, Kirsten McAslan, Lynsey Sharp and Kelsey Stewart.
Dudgeon had put her name firmly in the frame with her 800m – the 2.02.67 winning time the same as her previous standard.
McKinlay, drafted into the 3000m steeplechase, seized the initiative with a couple of laps remaining and his positive approach from the bell paid off handsomely with a PB by 10 seconds of 8.55.78.
Scotland were hugely impressive in the throws. Hammer and javelin are featured elsewhere on this website and women’s shot putt was another positive competition with Kirsty Yates and Alison Rodger both over the 15.50m mark required for Glasgow 2014. Yates threw 15.85m and Rodger 15.53m. Kirsty Law threw another discus standard out at 55.48m.
It was an exhilarating day for some of our Aberdeen-based athletes. Kathryn Christie picked up PBs at 100m an 200m and ran a 4 x 400m, Zoey Clark also PBd in a guest race and Kelsey Stewart represented GB Juniors and ran in the relay.
Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches who made the trip to Loughborough whether to represent Scotland, any of the other teams, or indeed compete as guests.
The 12 PBs on Sunday were as follows: Ryan McKinlay, Kathryn Christie (x two), Zoey Clark, Rachel Hunter, Myra Perkins, Adam Thomas, Ross Maxwell, Greg Louden, Gant Plenderleith, Connor Henderson, Diane Ramsay.