Stornoway Running and Athletics Club’s young athletes made a huge impression on the recent Scottish Age Group Championships in Aberdeen.
Pitting themselves against the best youngsters in Scotland, the 22 strong squad came home laden with three medals, no fewer than 22 PBs/SBs, and 16 final appearances / top 10 finishes - and a new national champion.
Perhaps most pleasing was that the accomplishments were fairly well spread across the various athletics events - from sprints, to hurdles, to jumps, to throws to middle distance events.
In the U13 short sprints it was the girls who stole the show. SRAC’s Sian MacDonald won her 100m heat in 13.84, and North Uist’s Trinity Johnstone also won hers in a new PB of 13.85. Both made the A final, and there was little to separate them with Trinity just pipping Sian, as they took 6th and 7th place.
Meanwhile in the U17 Girl’s heats, Abbie MacKay ran a fine PB of 13.15 to finish 3rd and make the B final where she ran another fantastic PB of 13.07 to again take 3rd. A great run as she edges closer to breaking that 13 second barrier. In the boy’s heats, Alasdair Rigby also ran a fine race in a fast heat to finish 5th in 12.28.
In the field events, U17 girl, Eilidh MacLeod was also in fine form in the High Jump. After a SB in clearing 1.50m first time, she then came close to clearing a big PB and Island Games standard of 1.55m, just clipping the bar with her heels.
Back on the track and in the Boy’s U13 800m, it was 11 year old David Morrison who was the star SRAC performer as he took a massive 10 seconds off his PB to run 2:42.24 to finish 4th in his heat.
Fellow U13, 11 year old Aodhan Finnegan also ran well in the 1500m final, and while he missed out on his PB, he finished 11th in a national final.
Michael MacMillan qualified an easy 2nd in his U17 800m heat, along with North Uist’s Morrison Paul Morrison who also took 2nd in his heat. There was also an easy heat win for Connor MacLean in the U17 Boy’s 1500m as he progressed to the final.
U13 throwers, Evan Trayner and David Morrison have both had a great season breaking in to the national rankings, and enjoyed their first National competition experience. The pick of their performances was David’s 5th place finish in the U13 javelin as he broke 20m for the first time! His new PB of 20.43m sees him now ranked no. 15 in the country.
Sian MacDonald finished a fine 6th in the U13 girl’s LJ with a new PB of 4.28m which sees her ranked 14 in the country. In the U17 girl’s LJ, Abbie MacKay jumped her best outdoor jump of 4.93m giving her a 9th place finish in a very strong competition, and her second Island Games standard of the season.
On the track U13 girls, Ellie MacLean and Sian MacDonald both had excellent hurdles performances in their heats – Ellie recording a PB of 13.10 and Sian clocking a good 13.43. While both girls made the B final, they didn’t run after picking up minor injuries.
Next up were the 200m heats. U17 boys, Alasdair Rigby and Ross Mactaggart, both ran well in their heats to finish 5th. Alasdair ran 25.14, with Ross running 25.53. Meanwhile Aodhan Finnegan in the U13 Boy’s 200m broke his PB running 33. 61
U17 girl Eilidh MacLeod was the standout 200m performer, running two good PBs. Having ran 27.57 in her heat, finishing a fine 4th, she then ran 27.49 in the final.
Next up was the U17 Boy’s 800m final featuring MacMillan. In a tactical race Michael tucked in behind the leader, and attacked on the final 200m hard to take a fantastic bronze medal.
In the U17 1500m Boy’s final there was even further success as 16 year old Connor Maclean won a national title. He struck gold and became the Scottish U17 Boy’s 1500m champion as he ran away from the rest of the field – an amazing finish to SRAC’s first day at the Nationals!
First up on day two were the sprinters with the 100m heats. U15 girls, Mary MacLeod and Catriona Rigby both had good runs in fast heats, both finishing 5th with new PBs. Mary ran 13.77, with Catriona breaking 14 seconds for the first time, running 13.92. There was also a fine run by Andrew Horne in his U15 Boy’s 100m heat, finishing 3rd with a new PB of 12.12.
In the U20 Girl’s 100m final Jenny Mactaggart had a typically strong run to finish in 6th place in 13.18.
In the U15 Boy’s 1500m heats, 14 year old Kyle Munro finished in 4th place in his heat with a great sprint finish to make the final. His heat time of 4.46.46 was a new PB which sees Kyle ranked 39 amongst Scotland’s U15 Boys. Back out on the field, and in the U20 Girl’s Long Jump, Jenny Mactaggart jumped a fantastic SB 5.04m in the second round - a tantalising 1 cm short of her PB. It was another Island Games standard and while she had a string of great jumps as she pushed for a new PB, 5.04m remained her best and secured her a fine 4th place finish.
Meanwhile in the U15 Boy’s 100m final, Andrew Horne had another great run, coming through strongly to take 5th place in 12.22.
U15 girl, Caitlin MacKenzie was having a busy day of it too with the throw events, and her PB in the discus with 16.52m was the pick of her performances.
In the U15 Girl’s Long Jump, Annabel MacKay jumped not just one PB but 2 ! After a 4.09m in the first round she then jumped 4.15m in the third round! Mary MacLeod also jumped well with a best of 4.29m.
On the track, Andrew Horne won his U15 Boy’s 200m heat comfortably, easing over the line in 25.04 to make the final.
SRAC newcomer, Haran Rabe in the Boy’s U15 discus event made great strides as he threw 29.20m to secure a brilliant 6th place finish!
In the hurdles, there was a great PB run for Ross Budge in the U15 Boy’s 80m Hurdles as he ran 14.20 - almost a second faster than his previous best.
There were also good hurdles runs from U15s Finlay Emmott and Annabel MacKay. Finlay ran a PB of 16.44, and Annabel was close to hers with 15.44.
There was one final race for the SRAC group with Andrew Horne going in the U15B 200m final. The young sprinter has been in great early season form and had qualified for the Scottish National Schools Finals sprints finals at Hampden over 100m and 200m in June with a great chance of a podium finish.
However an injury on the day robbed him of the chance to compete. Not this time though as he showed great character to run a great final to take a fantastic bronze.