|Borders U15/U17 Girls - Fiona (far left), Mairi (4th right) and Beth (3rd right)|
Lornshill Academy in Alloa was the venue for the second race in the East District Cross-Country League on Saturday and whilst the Hibees enjoyed the relative comfort of the artificial turf at the nearby Recreation Park, the runners had to slog their way through sometimes ankle deep mud on the tough hilly course.
It was a day of solid rather than spectacular team performances with numerous crucial absentees costing the team some potentially high spots. But more than half the counting Borders runners in the team races were Moorfoots.
Proceedings got underway, and were not bettered thereafter, with a storming individual 2nd place for Esme Minto in the U11 Girls race and 2nd team spot.
Relative newcomer Esme was home in 7minutes 21 seconds for the 1.6km course with clubmates Holly Hobbs 9th in 7.44 and Madeline Collins close behind in 12th in 7.48. The Moorfoot trio placed Team Borders 2nd on the day, five points adrift of Central but the girls lead their league going into the third and final race in January by fourteen points ahead of Fife, with Central a further eight points back in third. Chtristina McGorum battled well for 22nd of the 70 runners in 8.10.
The U11 Boys raced the same course and the biggest age-group field of the day saw Patrick Cannon lead the team home in 18th of the seventy nine runners in 7.15. Angus Carlyle was the third team counter in 27th in 7.33.
The U13 Girls raced over 2.7km and it was another Moorfoot duo who led the team points, with Eilidh Mooney 21st in 13.30 and Megan Hobbs 30th in 14.07.
The U13 Boys was probably the team most affected by absentees with any one of three missing Borders runners easily capable of providing enough points to place the team top of the leader board. Ethan Elder had a strong run for 3rd in 11.28.
Seventy one U17 and U15 Girls raced together over 3.7km including as many as nine in the Team Borders vest. Suited by the hilly course, Mairi Wallace had an excellent run to finish 10th overall and 4th U15 in 16.39 and Beth Hobbs completed the team points in 14th (7th U15) in 17.10. That placed the girls 5th on 35 points in a tightly fought combined age-group but all three team counters are still U15 and they were unofficially runaway winners in the younger age-group. Fiona Grant was 30th in 18.24.
Over the same course Craig Angus just missed out in a three way sprint for the line and finished 28th in the U15 Boys race in 16.08.
Kobe Stevens and Lucas Cheskin endured the 8.2km of the Senior/U20 race with Kobe home in 24th (5th U20) in a massive field of 303 finishers and Lucas 60th in 36.53.