It was an early start for the 15 young Greenock Glenpark Harriers on Saturday who were heading up to Falkirk to compete at the national cross country championships. The day started off with the sun beating down on Calendar Park and there was a buzz in the atmosphere with thousands of nervous and excited runners.
The first race of the day was for U13 girls, and included Katie Johnson and Ava Beaton. Both girls started off strong and gradually worked their way forward, throughout the race both girls managed to maintain a consistent pace which enabled them to get a great finishing position with Ava Beaton coming 18th and Katie Johnson 42nd.
The next race of the day involved the u13 boys Ben Campbell and David Docherty. Unlike the girls the boys were pushed to the back of the pack during the race but managed to gradually pick up the pace and earn a place much further up with Ben earning 20th place and David securing 126th from a field of almost 200.
One of the strongest team efforts of the day came from the U15 girls Abbie Tosh, Emma Aitken, Ruby McGill, Olivia Trainer and Francesca McKay who managed to come 9th overall. The leader for the GGH girls was Ruby who started off the race looking very comfortable, whilst Abbie and Emma kept each other company throughout the race up in till the end where Abbie just got ahead of Emma by a couple of seconds. Another strong performance was shown by Olivia Trainer and Francesca McKay, who managed to keep a consistent pace which participated in the team’s overall finishing position.
U15 boys Shaun and Alex Wiseman were in the second to last race of the day and considering it was first time competing in a national event, it was a great effort from the brothers. Shaun showed a great pace throughout the race but gradually increased it to be able to get a better time, not too far behind him was team mate Jude Dolan who kept fighting until the very end of the race. Alex worked extremely hard on his national debut by pushing on with determination throughout the 4km and ending off with a sprint finish.
The last race of the day was the U17 men’s 6km. For this race all three runners, Harry McGill, Ewan Ferguson and Alan Mollins put in a fantastic display. Harry quickly progressed into the leading pack (despite having a slip at the starting line) and managed to maintain this position throughout the race which enabled him to come home in 6th place. Another who impressed was Alan who had managed to gain himself an impressive time and placing, despite only have coming back from a long term injury a couple of months ago. Ewan Ferguson also ran well and though he was injured throughout the race, he managed to keep going and fight through the pain which overall enabled him to come 79th place.
Overall the juniors had shown strong performances and should be proud of themselves, and that it is all down to the hard work and dedication they have put into their training. Race Reporter – Mhairi Moore