With the morning’s persistent drizzle gradually fading as racing got under way at Stirling University on Saturday, at the first of the winter season’s East League cross-country races, the still and mild conditions proved ideal for good running.
Although it remained dull, there were some sparkling Team Borders performances to brighten the day, including three top three individual placings and four more top 10 finishes across the seven age-group races.
Kirsty Rankine (Gala) was the first to record a top 10 finish in the U11 girls’ race over 1.65km. Shefinished ninth in a time of 6 minutes 45seconds in a very tight contest for placings outside thetop three.
Moorfoot’s Ava Mooney was only four seconds and five places behind, and newcomer Elise Field (Chirnside) completed the team in 49th , giving the girls 72 points for eighth place.
Gala’s Ross Christie had a storming run in the U11 boys’ race over the same course, holding on well over the closing stages for second place in 6 minutes exactly, only two seconds off the winner.
Two newcomers, Luke Grieve from Moorfoot and Gala’s Morgan Fairclough, both ran well in the Team Borders vests for the first time and finished close together in the middle of the pack in 35th and 39th. This gave the U11 boys’ team 76 points for seventh place.
Also racing to second was Gala’s Cameron Rankine in the U13 boys’ race over 2.4km. In a mirror image to the finish of the U11 Boys’ race, Cameron re-appeared from the wooded section with 400m to go in
second place, not too far off the lead runner but with some pressure coming from behind.
Responding to the challenge, he finished strongly to end just five seconds off the winner in a time of 10.05. Good
support from Chirnside’s Zico Field in 19th, and Gala’s Archie Hendry, earned the team third place with
In the U13 girls’ race, Isla Paterson (Gala) was the first of the three Team Borders runners home
just inside the top 10, in 11 minutes 32 seconds. Holly Hobbs (Moorfoot) finished fast for 21st and her clubmate Sophie Logan completed the team in 51st for 7th place on 82 points.
It was an all-Gala team for the U15 Boys over 3.3km, with Gregor Collins and Ewan Christie both
well inside the top 10 in seventh and eighth with times of 11.24 and 11.28 respectively.
After a late rallying call for a third runner, first-timer McKenzie Power’s solid run for 35th place saw the
team finish third on 50 points.
The third individual podium place of the day came from Moorfoot’s Charlotte Clare in the combined
U17/U15 girls’ race.
After a sensible steady start, Charlotte gradually worked her way through the field over the two-lap 3.3km course and emerged into view on the heels of the third-placed runner
as they headed into the final 400m.
Using her track speed, Charlotte sprinted into a podium place on the approach to the line to finish in a time of 12.16.
It was another third place finish for the team, with BBeth Hobbs (Moorfoot) home in 16th and Anna Fairclough (Gala) running very well as a U15 for 24th
for a team total of 43 points.
The U17 men raced over a gruelling 6km and it was another all-Gala effort for Team Borders,
with Lewis Tharme home in 13th pace, Jake Shepherd 28th and Sam McKInnon 31st. This saw the boys
rewarded with third place and 72 points.