With the Moorfoot U17 girls having sneaked team silver at the National Short Course Champs at Kirkcaldy in November by just the one single point from Edinburgh AC, it looked on the form book to be a straight contest between the two teams again for the East District team title at a frosty Dechmont Law, Livingston on Saturday. It was three to count and with Moorfoot relying on only the three entrants against Edinburgh's seven, which included the odds-on favourite for the individual title, there was little room for slip-ups, injury or illness.
As expected, Edinburgh's Eloise Walker took individual gold with some highly impressive running, completing the undulating 5.1km course in 17.16 minutes for a resounding win, well ahead of all the U20 women who raced at the same time. First Moorfoot back was Beth Hobbs who continued her good winter form with an excellent 7th place in 19.34, just being run out of 6th in the final sprint for the line. Edinburgh's second counter was 9th and Mairi Wallace battled for 12th in 20.20.
So with two runners home each, it was sitting Edinburgh 10 points, Moorfoot 19 points, but with Charlotte Clare in sight on the home stretch just a couple of places behind Mairi. Charlotte has been our top counter so far this winter ahead of Beth and Mairi, but had been plagued by a sore throat going into the race and despite a cautious start, by the half-way point she was struggling with her breathing in the freezing air. To finish where she did in 14th in 20.36, not far behind Mairi, is testament to her courage and loyalty to her team. Could she complete nine places ahead of Edinburgh's next finisher? Unfortunately, although she finished over forty seconds ahead, only 26 of the 39 entrants ran on the day, meaning that the field had thinned out such that Edinburgh's third counter was home five places back in 19th. That was enough for Edinburgh to seal team gold by four points with the Moorfoot girls taking another silver, still an excellent result.
Earlier in the day the U13 Girls team of Esme Minto, Madeline Collins and Holly Hobbs all ran well over their 3.2km course to take 20th, 28th and 37th respectively in a field of 57, finishing 7th of the eleven complete teams. The U13 Boys team, racing over the same distance, managed 6th courtesy of Patrick Cannon (20th), Ben Allan (23rd) and Angus Carlyle (33rd). Jake Lockyer also finished fast for 42nd of the 65-strong field.
The U15 girls raced over 3.9km and Eilidh Mooney produced her best form of the winter to finish in 25th in 17.00, one place and seven seconds ahead of Charlotte Morrison. Megan Hobbs completed the team in 40th for 7th team overall.
Racing in the U17 Men's race over 6.4km Craig Angus found the effects of a recent head cold to be against him but battled to finish 28th of 42 in 24.36.
Running for Lasswade, Moorfoot trained Euan Hood was 20th in 23.42 to contribute to team silver as did Ailsa Innes and Niamh Shaw for Lasswade's U20 Women's team with their 11th and 13th place finishes in 19.48 and 20.44 respectively.
Well done all in fronting up to the challenge of Championship cross-country racing and putting your best foot forward. "Now for the indoors" I hear a few of you say!