Camperdown Park in Dundee was the destination for hundreds of cross country runners heading for the East District XC Championships on Saturday. The day was cold but dry, with the going soft – near perfect conditions for the full range of age categories, from Under 13s to seniors, the top 8 of which would achieve selection for the Inter-District event in January in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.
Over 3.2 kilometres of grassy parkland, Gala Harriers were well represented in the Under 13 girls and boys by Rhiannon Fagan (14th in 13 minutes 51 seconds) and Eilidh Forbes (27th in 14.38), and by Kieran Bryson (36th in 13.24) but it was a pity that a full team could not be fielded in each.
The number four seemed to be a recurring theme for Gala Harriers throughout the day, with both Under 15 girls and boys’ teams just missing out on a medal in 4th place. Over 4K, the girls’ team of Susannah Godfrey-Faussett (7th in 15.57, stepping up to this age category for the first time), Lindsay Jack (18th in 17.19, with a particularly well-paced run) and gutsy Katie Rourke (20th in 17.27) should have been recorded as being 4th team home, while the boys’ Under 15s comprised the same team who won gold last year in the Under 13s. Jamie Logan (11th in 14.57) Corri Campbell (16th in 15.34) and Andrew Hogg (23rd in 15.49) have all stepped up a category and as amongst the youngest did very well to come in as the 4th team.
Last year, the Under 17 men stole a bronze medal and the same team of Thomas Otton (9th in 23.11) Gavin Bryson (14th in 23.41) and Jason McIntosh (24.51) all had good runs over 6.4K but again found themselves just out of the medals in 4th place. It was a very close thing as the points scored put them in joint 3rd position but had any of the lads been able to move up one place they would have taken the bronze medal.
Former Harrier Louise Mercer came, guess where, 4th place, running for Edinburgh University in the Under 20 women but still secured a team gold, and her brother James was 22nd in 35.46 in his Under 20 mens’ race.
Unsurprisingly, the Gala women came home in 4thplace with spectacular runs from Dianne Lauder (5thin 24.30) and Kirsten Maxwell (12th in 25.37), with other fine runs from the Gala girls further down the field holding off other club runners to minimize the threat and help their clubmates. But a golden moment came for Fiona Dalgleish (27.11) Jenny Forbes (27.30) and Kate Jenkins (28.06) who secured another well-deserved Gala team victory in the Masters category of the women’s senior race. Rachel Fagan (28.34) Anya Campbell (29.04) and Dawn Grant (31.12) all contributed to a good day out for the senior women.
In a massive field of 239 senior men, eight Gala seniors, led home by Darrell Hastie (19th in 34.11) Fergus Johnston (55th in 37.04)) and Wayne McIntosh (68th in 38.08) managed 9th place overall, ably backed up by Andrew Lawrie (39.42) Mark Bryson (40.37) Derrick Brydon (43.56) Alistair Laurie (45.41) and Rory Campbell (47.36).