Harriers head for Birmingham event

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THREE Borderers are headed for Birmingham this weekend for the UK Athletics Inter-Counties Championships.

Sarah McCormack of Moorfoot and Diane Lauder of Gala Harriers will represent the East of Scotland team and Teviotdale Harriers’ Louise Mercer is part of the under-15 squad.

Sarah and Diane impressed selectors at the the National Cross Country Championships, the culmination of the cross-country season in Falkirk’s Callendar Park, which provides both a wonderful setting and challenging underfoot conditions.

Sarah had a tremendous run in Moorfoot colours finishing fourth in the senior women’s race behind Commonwealth Games athlete Freya Murray.

Gala Harriers times – Juniors: Rowan Marr (14 minutes 36 seconds); 45, Fraser Wardhaugh (15.47); Paul Henney (16.11); Kerry Sandilands (16.54).

U17 Men: Cameron Gowans (31.25).

Senior Women: Dianne Lauder (31.01); Fiona Dalgleish (35.57); Gillian Duncan (37.38); Eileen Nicol (39.16) Fiona Shepherd (39.34); Dawn Grant (43.07). 11th place from 21 senior women teams.

Senior Men: Graeme Murdoch (44.08); Fergus Johnson (46.04); David Moffat (49.20); Magnus Inglis (51.16); Colin McCall (52.09); Paul Daly (52.12); Derrick Brydon (53.24); Billy McCulloch (54.06); Tony Lunn (53.32); Alistair Lawrie (54.39); Dave Nightingale (55.27); Malky Gowans (55.37). 16th place from 30 teams.

z Meanwhile, Moorfoot and Gala Harrier athletes returned from Dunbar with plenty of silverware in the last round of the truncated Borders Winter Cross-country Series on Sunday.

Gala won both the junior and senior team prizes, with the juniors retaining the trophy from last year.

Terrain is a mixed bag at Dunbar – wet and dry sand, pebbles and dunes – and both junior and senior Gala runners thrived in the rich variety.

Junior results: Boys – 2, Rowan Marr (10 minutes 39 seconds); 3, Fraser Wardhaugh (11.15); 7, Cameron Gowans (11.37); 9, Nathan Cox (11.54). Girls – 11, Kerry Sandilands 12.12; 13, Isla King (12.17).

Other Junior times: Andrew Hogg (12.25), Alex Freer (12.55), Zoe Pflug (13.28), Cara Hogg (13.31), Jo Arres (14.11), Marshall Smith (14.13), Morvern Cawthorn (14.55), Rhiannon Fagan (15.43), and Billie Pflug (16.22).

Series standings: Boys 8 to 11 years – 2, Andrew Hogg; Boys 12 to 13 – 3, Nathan Cox; Boys 14 to 15 – 3, Rowan Marr; 4, Fraser Wardhaugh, 5, Cameron Gowans.

Girls 8 to 11 – 1= Cara Hogg, 2, Zoe Pflug; Girls 14 to 15 – 2= Kerry Sandilands; Girls 16 to 17 – 1, Isla King.

Thirteen might be unlucky for some but it reflected the number of senior Harriers stepping up to the mark on Sunday and proved to be lucky for them as they romped home with the coveted overall team prize.

Results: Men 40 to 44 – 8, Mark Bryson (25.23). Other times: David Moffat (26.19), Colin McCall (26.35), Paul Daly (26.57), Bob Marshall (28.57), Alastair Laurie (29.23), Dave Nightingale (29.47), Malky Gowans (30.26), Tommy Knox (31.04), Graham Capper (33.08) and James Purves (33.16).

Fiona Shepherd and Dawn Grant have always turned out for their club across the series and were rewarded with placings on the day and overall with their runs of 32.43 and 35 minutes respectively.

Series standings: Men 40 to 44 – 1, Mark Bryson; Men 55 to 59 – 2, Dave Nightingale; Men 60 to 64 – 1, Bob Marshall; Female 35 to 39 – 3, Dawn Grant; Female 40 to 44 – 1, Fiona Shepherd; Female 55 plus – 2, Shelagh King.

Three junior Moorfoot athletes clinched overall series wins at Dunbar in their age-groups, with one just missing out on the tie-break rule.

Kobe Stevens had already secured series victory in the boys’ 12 to 13s with three straight wins and duly made it four-in-a-row at Dunbar.

Lewis Gray also clinched the boys’ 8-11 series win after recording his third race win.

Sophie Collins was the third Moorfoot series winner in the girls’ 14-15 group after battling to second place at Dunbar.

A fantastic tussle in the girls’ 8-11 group between Moorfoot’s Mairi Wallace, Gala’s Cara Hogg and Zoe Pflug, and Ishbel Strathdee from Edinburgh AC ended with a three-way tie, with the Edinburgh athlete declared series winner by virtue of her win in the final race.

Duke of Edinburgh commitments meant Jacob Adkin was an absentee in Dunbar, but his earlier performances in the boys’ 14-15 group were enough to secure second place overall.