The first ever Scottish Championship track title for a Moorfoot Runner arrived on Saturday at the Scottish National Age-Group Championships at Grangemouth courtesy of Michael Girdler who stormed home in the U13 Boys’ 800m seeded final. Running sensibly, Michael slotted in on the heels of the leaders after 200m and followed the fast pace before moving out round the home turn and kicking away down the home straight to record a fantastic time of 2.12.56, more than two seconds clear of silver. Not only was that a four second personal best time but it was nearly a full second inside the previous Scottish Championship Record set back in 2005.
Not content with that, Michael then went through the rounds of the 200m, demonstrating his speed by taking silver in the final in 26.41, slightly outside his personal best, but it had been a hard day at the office!
Although there no more medals, there were some excellent other performances and a host of personal bests.
Ethan Elder punched well above his weight in a fast paced U13 Boys’ 1500m final. The line came a tad too soon for Ethan who came home a fast finishing fourth in a PB time of 4.47.40, less than a second off the bronze medal.
After two years of missing out on national finals by the narrowest of margins, this time round Ailsa Innes, running for Lasswade, qualified as the fastest loser in the U17 Women’s 800m in 2.23.77, only twelve hundredths off her PB. She too then punched well above her weight with a really strong run in the final to finish an excellent fifth.
Charlotte Morrison set an eleven second PB of 5.37.44 in finishing 7th in the B final of the U13G 1500m.
On Sunday it was the turn of the U15 and U20 athletes and the PBs continued despite the strong wind into which they athletes had to battle in the home straight. Mairi Wallace turned in her best ever track performance in her U15 1500m heat, running superbly to move into clear third off the final bend and an automatic qualifying place, only to be outsprinted near the line by two fast-finishing rivals. But her time of 5.07.68 was a near four second PB and the fastest of the six non-automatic qualifiers for the final. With an eye on her main target, the Scottish Junior International hill running trials next weekend back on her favoured hilly terrain, she was a precautionary withdrawal from the final.
Craig Angus found the competition hot in his U15 1500m heat but was another to set a four second personal best of 5.13.40. You can’t ask for any more particularly on such a windy day. Euan Hood, running for Lasswade, was a few seconds outside his personal best when finishing 6th in a muddlingly paced heat and missed qualifying for the final by just over a second.
Niamh Shaw, another wearing the Lasswade colours, ran well to come within a second of her personal best in the U20 Women’s 1500m which went as a straight final. Niamh finished 6th in 5.05.34.
Kobe Stevens, in his first year in the U20 age-group, ran strongly for a fastest loser spot in the 800m finishing in a time of 2.02.21 but didn’t have the legs to trouble the leaders in what was a relatively slow tactical final.