Harriers brave blustery Falkirk to gain Silver and bronze
GALA Harriers athletes battled cold and blustery weather to bag silver and bronze team medals at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
A large contingent of runners and supporters travelled to Falkirk’s Callendar Park in a coach sponsored by local travel operators Perryman’s to attend the popular national event, with the club’s U17 mens team gaining silver, and bronze going to the U17 womens team.
The club fielded runners for most of the age groups with Gregor Collins continuing his fantastic form to come 7th out of a field of 164 athletes in the under 13’s boys 3.2 km race in a time of 11.29. Only seven seconds behind was clubmate Ewan Christie who produced a great run (11.36), followed by Evan McConnell (12.50) who also ran well to come 64th overall. Teviotdale Harrier Thomas MacAskill was 40th (12.25) While the club had no athletes running in the U13 girls 3.2km, fellow Borders club Moorfoot Runners fielded four athletes; Emily Carrick_Anderson (29th, 13.14), Esme Minto (30th, 13.14), Meghan Hobbs (67th, 13.59) and Christina McGorum (70th, 14.01). The Moorfoot team came a superb 8th overall.
In the Under 15 boys 4.2km race, Harriers Lewis Tharme and Jake Shepherd represented the club, coming 51st (14.53) and 116th (16.22) respectively in a large field of 150 runners. Teviotdale Harrier Fraser Clyne was the highest positioned Borders runner coming 13th (13.48). The Gala Harriers was represented by Eilidh Forbes in the Under 15 girls 4.2km race. Eilidh came 58th (17.05) out of a field of 118 runners which included athletes from Moorfoot and Teviotdale.
First Gala Harrier home in the Under 17 womens 5.9km race was Katie Rourke (16th, 27.26) who has shown impressive form this season. Team mates Susannah Godfrey-Faussett (19th, 28.03), Zoe Pflug (21st, 28.36), and Elena Heger (28th, 29.58) also had fantastic runs with the three counting athletes from the team securing a bronze for their efforts. The Harrier’s Under 17 men’s team went one better, securing a team silver thanks to superb performances from on-form Faisal Khursheed who came 7th (22.41), followed by Callum Tharme (15th, 23.23), Yousuf Khursheed (25th, 23.47) and Robert Fox (68th, 26.12). Struan Brown also ran well to come 88th in a time of 31.00.
In the Under 20 mens race a familiar face took the national title with a stunning run. Former Gala Harrier Broc Drury, now competing for Aberdeen AAC, won the 7.6 km race in a time of 25.45. There were no local runners in the under 20 womens 6.8km race, with VP-Glasgow AC runner Gillian Black winning in a time of 25.23.
The Senior Men and Women were next to compete for medals over a 10km course. With on-form Scotland and GB athlete Callum Hawkins taking gold in the men’s race in a time of 33.34, Darrell Hastie was the first Harrier home in 35th (38.15) following a strong run. Another 12 Harriers competed in the race with Marcus D’Agrosa coming 60th (39.22), Graeme Murdoch 110th (40.54), Craig Mattocks 174th (42.51), Andrew Lawrie 190th (43.04), Gary Trewartha 215th (43.42), Fergus Johnston 234th (44.15), Colin Brown 323rd (46.48), Ian Maxwell 405th (48.58), Bob Johnson 422nd (49.21), Derrick Brydon 555th (54.56), James Purves 604th (58.15) and Gerry Moss 644th (70.54). The top four counting runners secured 11th place overall for the Gala Harriers Senior Mens team.
In the senior women’s race, Central AC’s Morag Maclarty struck gold in a time of 38.32. The Harriers gained 13th overall for their team with Kirstin Maxwell first home in 43rd (44.25), followed by Sara Green (81st, 47.42), Kate Jenkins 83rd overall (48.07) and eighth F40 athlete home, and Dawn Grant 201st in a time of 56.58.
The Gala Harriers would like to thank Perryman’s for their sponsorship which enabled a large number of athletes and supporters to attend the national event.