Harriers rub shoulders with athletics royalty at Holyrood

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SATURDAY saw the big names of Brendan Foster, Jonathan Edwards and Paula Radcliffe in front of BBC TV cameras in Holyrood Park for the Great Edinburgh International Cross-country.

And hard training over the autumn and winter months ensured that six young Gala Harriers aspiring for similar greatness were picked for the East of Scotland team for the Inter-district Cross-country races, along with one senior woman. In total, three of the forementioned came away with a medal from their various age-group races, with an almost clean sweep for the East team. First off were the under-13 girls and boys over 3km, with four Gala juniors representing the East. Arguably, the best performance of the day came from Susannah Godfrey-Faussett, whose seventh position in 12 minutes and 12 seconds ensured she grabbed one of the gold medals as one of the first six counters from the team. Cara Hogg (13.48) also ran well.

Jamie Logan’s 13th position in his Under-13 race in 11.34 made him the fourth counter in the East’s silver medal, while Andrew Hogg also put in a strong race to finish in 11.54.

Joe Agnew won his first East District selection for the under-15 boys’ 4km race and finished in a solid 15.09.

Thomas Otton was one of the youngest boys in the under-17 men’s race, stepping up to this age category for the first time and finished in a very creditable 22.01, while his older team-mates were capturing gold further up the field.

Dianne Lauder, a veteran of district representation, added another gold medal to her cabinet by finishing the senior women’s 6km event in 23.17 in 11th position (sixth counter).