The second of three East District Cross-Country League races took place at Alloa last Saturday on a tough and increasingly muddy course.
As the races progressed, evidence of some muddy falls became increasingly common and, for some face-first tumblers, a couple of slices of cucumber over the eyes was all that was needed to complete the beauty treatment.
Top individual placing for Team Borders on the day again came from Chirnside’s Josh Abbott, who demonstrated his fine form with a second place in the U13 boys’ race in 10.42. Clubmates Jamie Kinghorn (11.38) and Harry Fuller (12.06), in 12th and 21st respectively, provided the points for the team to finish second behind Edinburgh.
This leaves Team Borders 10 pts adrift of their city rivals going into the final race in January, when a full return to fitness by a notable number of absentees could see the deficit reduced. Fraser Clyne also ran exceptionally well and finished in eighth for Teviotdale.
It was a similar story for the U13 girls who also sit second team overall, 14 pts behind Edinburgh. The Moorfoot trio of Beth Hobbs (7th/12.15), Molly Falconer (10th/12.29) and Elena McGorum (12th/12.32) bagged the Borders’ points on this occasion. Earlier in the day, there were fine efforts from the U11 boys’ and girls’ teams. The boys sit fifth overall, and with points coming from Gala’s Harriet Woodland Broome (8th/7.09) and the Moorfoot duo of Megan Hobbs (9th/7.12) and Madeline Collins (12th/7.19), the girls are currently in line for a podium place behind Edinburgh and Fife.
Top team performance of the day came from the stretched U17 men, who travelled with only the three runners from Gala Harriers. A fine third place by Thomas Otton (22.02) was backed up by Gavin Bryson (9th/22.36) and Jason McIntosh (11th/23.02). That was enough for a 10-point victory on the day which leaves the Borders boys with a 15-point overall lead ahead of Fife and Edinburgh.
In the U15 boys’ race it was again a Gala trio (Callum Tharme, Jamie Logan and Cori Campbell) who scored the team points to put them only marginally outside the podium places in fifth overall.
With no U17 Borders girls it was always going to be a tough day at the office for the young team in the combined U15/U17 girls’ race, but there were solid runs from Moorfoot’s Mairi Wallace and Fiona Grant, who were split by Gala’s Lindsay Jack, who had a very encouraging debut in the older age group.