Big push by relay women

Gala Harrier seniors had a good turnout of men and women at Livingston for the annual National Road Relays.

Female teams need four to count and, unlike last year when it clashed with Mothers Day, two teams of Gala women made the journey to tackle the looped course, which is divided into two short and two longer legs.

Gillian Duncan (21 minutes 20 seconds) kicked off for the A team and placed them in 21st position. Ladies’ captain Rachel Fagan (38.39) bumped them up to 14th. Fiona Dalgleish (21.44) clawed back two places and handed over to Dianne Lauder in 12th place which, with the fastest long lap of the day (33.50) gradually became a seventh place for the girls out of 31 full teams.

The B team also performed very well with Eileen Nicol (22.19) Andrea Pogson (41.09) Gina Allen (22.32) and Fiona Shepherd (41.31) gaining 20th position.

The men’s event, consisting of three short and three long laps, requires six to count and again, two Gala men’s teams started though the B team was incomplete.

Of a field of 64 teams, Graeme Murdoch started off with a time of 16.43 followed by Mark Bryson (34.16) Graham Manczak (18.13) Steve Martin (34.43) Dave Moffat (18.46) and Colin McCall (34.16) – leading to a 23rd place. Graham Pogson (20.52) and men’s captain Derrick Brydon (38.12) put in good efforts over their two laps before running out of teammates.

Last weekend, a hoard of Gala’s young athletes were at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium for the Lothian Track and Field Trials.

Junior coaches Neil Renton and Graham Capper were heartened by good performances from all. For the girls, Christie Rout was the stand-out performer but she was well supported by Rhiannon Fagan, Katie Brown and Bethany Wardhaugh.

For the boys, Andrew Hogg continued his fine form of the winter series with Thomas Otton, Cameron Burnett, Rowan Marr and Fraser Wardhaugh also putting in strong performances.