Louise hits the silver trail for Scotland

TEVIOTDALE Harrier Louise Mercer, 15, made her cross-country debut for Scotland in the Celtic Cross-country International in Dublin on Sunday.

Normally the course is a fast one, but heavy rain in the hours leading up to the event resulted in the route turning into a mudbath.

This didn’t deter the Hawick High School pupil as she competed with distinction, finishing in 10th place in a large field which included athletes in the under-20 race. Despite the mud, the pace was fast from the off, but Louise worked her way through the runners and finished strongly, narrowly defeating the Inter-district champion Kathryn Gillespie on the final run to the line.

She was second Scot to complete the 4km race in 20 minutes and 17 seconds, helping her country to silver medals in the team race, the Scotland under-17 team finishing just two points behind a very strong Irish team.

Louise has learned a lot from this experience and it bodes well for her next outing which will be at the Scottish Championships in Falkirk on February 19.