The National Indoor Under-20 and Under-15 Championships were besieged in the famous red and gold of Stornoway Running and Athletics Club this week in what was a stunning event for our heroic Hebrideans.
In addition to the red vest on the chests of our star athletes, they were draped in gold, stuffed with a cache of personal bests and a massive fantastic four athletes boasting Island Games standard performances and times.
Paul Morrison of North Uist and SRAC’s Abbie Mackay, Andrew Horne and Michael Macmillan all produced displays straight out of the top drawer with each setting Island Games level standards.
The latter, teen whizz kid Macmillan, had a particularly stunning return as he landed two national bronze medals – returning home across the Minch with his neck weighed down by the precious cargo.
Macmillan galloped onto the podium in very quick races in both the U20 men’s 800m and the U20 1500m final to the delight of his watching club mates and earn his first national gongs in the SRAC vest.
The nine athletes rocked into the Emirates Arena for the two-day event in direct competition with the very best young athletes from all the clubs in the country.
First into the firing line of competition were the long jumpers, Abbie and Annabel Mackay, who competed in the U20 and U17 events respectively.
Abbie MacKay hit the ground running so to speak, and nailed a fantastic opening season PB 5.19m jump in round one and then improved it to 5.21 in round 3, leaving her in fourth place at the half way stage.
Her remaining jumps didn’t see any further improvement as she twice fouled by the narrowest of margins with good jumps, before a final round leap of 5.09m.
She finished in a fine fifth place – with each one of her jumps Island Games standards, and is currently ranked no. 6 in the country.
U17 Annabel MacKay had difficulty finding her rhythm in the first two rounds, with consecutive foul jumps, but in the final round she put it all together and jumped 4.33m, only cms short of her PB.
In the U20 women’s 400m heats, Eilidh MacLeod was having her first run indoors at the longer distance,
Read this week’s Gazette for the rest of the report kindly submitted by SRAC.