West District cross country Championships – Kilmarnock , 8th December 2018
Greenock Glenpark’s junior Harriers went into the District cross country championships with high expectations and they didn’t disappoint. They left with four young athletes – Ava Beaton, Katie Johnson, Harris Morrison, and Harry McGill – all making automatic selection for the West District team for the prestigious Inter-District cross country competition in January. High finishes by Alan Mollins and Ben Campbell have also put themselves in contention for one of the coveted places.
In the first race there was an unfortunate error by the race stewards, causing the under 13s girls, distance to be cut from two miles to just one. But Greenock girls Ava Beaton and Katie Johnson, who were always in the top 10 throughout the race, weren’t caught out by the earlier than expected sprint finish, reacted well to cross the line in 6th and 9th respectively.
Next up were the u13 boys, with Harris Morrison immediately going with the leading pack, and Ben Campbell using different tactics – holding back from the early fast pace. As the large pack started to break up and spread out, Harris was able to keep with the leaders and hold on for the final 12th automatic qualifying place. Ben meanwhile was pulling in places throughout getting to 16th. David Docherty in his first year, and has been gaining in experience in every race, ran a well-judged race to come through well.
The under 15 girls were well represented, and the group continues to progress well in their short time together. In the tough conditions they top girl was Ruby McGill, another who prefers the steady approach, went from 30th midway through the first of the 2 laps, to 18th, just outside the qualifiers. Abbie Tosh, Emma Aitken, Alyshia Singleton and Olivia Trainer all ran well on the first lap, but tired in the latter stages, but this was expected as they are only starting to gain the required endurance as they step up to the longer distances. The girls took a well-deserved 7th place in the team competition.
Jude Dolan ran well in his first year in the u15s, producing another consistent performance.
Under 17 boy Harry McGill had mixed emotions; being frustrated at finishing 4th just a few seconds outside the medals, but delighted to make the District team. Alan Mollins training had been disrupted with a heavy cold in the week leading up, but he put that aside to grind out 15th place finish. Ewan Ferguson also recovering from illness, always steps up a level when racing, again this was no exception with his efforts earning the team a 4th place finish.
1600m: Ava Beaton 5.03, Katie Johnson 5.08
3200m: Harris Morrison 12.58, Ben Campbell 13.15, David Docherty 14.51
4000m: Jude Dolan 18.18, Ruby McGill 18.35, Abbie Tosh 22.03, Emma Aitken 23.47, Alyshia Singleton 24.37, Olivia Trainer 24.59.
5500m: Harry McGill 20.13, Alan Mollins 21.38, Ewan Ferguson 23.41