Stornoway Running and Athletic Club rolled out the grass and track carpet to signal the opening of the new outdoor track and field season.
With more 150 athletes on show the standard was exceptionally high as PB’s were set and top times, and mighty leaps recorded despite it being so early in the year.
Athletes crossed the Sound of Harris for the SRAC O.G.M from South Uist, Eriskay and North Uist Athletics Club’s to do sporting battle with their Hebridean brothers and sisters from host club Stornoway and also a number of unattached runners and athletes.
The sprint group was especially talent packed as 60-youngsters lined up on the start line in a whopping 10-heats.
SRAC’s duo, Lucy Barron and Logan Spence were the top performers amongst the 8 to 10 boys and girls as they emerged with PBs in both the 75m and 150m. There was also a fine sprinting display from North Uist team-mates Marion Anderson and Shaun MacDonald as they took 75 and 100m wins convincingly in the U13 age group.
Marion also came out top over the 150m with Shaun running a fantastic 2:27.14 PB over the 800m .
Another young North Uist athlete doing well was U13 girl, Joni Smith as she ran a fine 800m debut of 2:48.36 and was also top in LJ with 3.58m.
In the U15 girl’s Long jump there were a hat-trick of good PBs from the top girls – Angela Horne (SRAC) – 4.52m, Gemma MacRitchie (SRAC) – 4.25m and Shona Steele (SUEAAC) – 4.23m.
The standout performances of the day also came in the horizontal jumps, from a visiting athlete with strong Lewis connections, U17 Stephen MacKenzie of the Inverness Harriers. Stephen has recently been working to establish himself in mutli-events, and showed just how versatile he is, jumping two stunning PBs in both the LJ - 6.77m, and the TJ - 13.50m, performances which see him ranked no. 4 and 2 in the UK ! He also ran a 24.05 PB over the 200m.
There were many fine performances over the day and across the ages. Amongst them SRAC’S Kyla McMurdo’s 2:12.33 and Iain Matheson’s 2:05.32 in the 600m for 10 year old girls and boys, Ewan Amos’ 75m and LJ performances in the 9 year old boy’s category, and U13 Ewan Murray’s fine 200m sprint performance of 31.11.
So look out for them as the season unfolds. Another SRAC youngster who had an excellent run was U15 boy Ewan Macleod, who’s 300m run of 44.34 was a fine PB.
The throws events also proved popular, and U15 North Uist girl, Marion McCorquodale was in fine form, her highlight being a PB throw of 8.92m in the Shot putt which takes her in to the top 15 in the country.
In the top 100m race North Uist Island Games athletes, DJ MacMillan and Ruairidh Muncaster were getting their first run of the season and did well, with DJ (12.09) pipping Ruairidh (12.17). SRAC U17 girl, Sian MacDonald – who’s also heading for Gotland also had a good season opener of 13.48, with her U15 team-mate Angela Horne also running well with a new 13.78 PB. U17 SRAC youngster, Scott MacIver normally involved in the middle distance events, was also in action in the sprints and showed a good turn of speed with PBs over the 100m (12.68) and the 200m (25.80). These were good solid performances as a strong headwind didn’t making things easy for the athletes.
The middle distance racers attracted a number of athletes, and in a new 5000m race with seven seniors taking part, it was Lewis newcomer, Ahmed Dilwati, running his first track race, who took top honours as he came in first in 19.57.61.
In the 1500m race, SRAC’s U20 Michael MacMillan, another Island Games hopeful showed good early season form with his 4.02.55 win a new PB. Another athlete making his own mark at this distance was SRAC youngster, U13 Charlie Morrison who ran a fine 5:29.56 debut.
So, many fine opening season performances, and with the Island Games in Gotland , and another Island Select adventure ahead, and regional and national championships on the horizon as well, it promises well for the busy season ahead !