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Harris & Ava make National Final

On day 2 of the National Indoor championships at the Emirates Arena it was the turn of the under 15 athletes, with Ava Beaton and Sophie Campbell competing the 1500metres. Sophie was pleased to have improved her previous quickest time by two seconds (6.13minutes); while Ava’s 5:23 was enough to take her through to the final.

In the 800m Katie Johnson, surprisingly running for the first time indoors, set off in in determined fashion chasing one of the 2 automatic qualifying places. It was a pace she couldn’t maintain, and she slipped back to 4th in 2:42min, but she should take great confidence from her speed over her opening 400m. David Docherty was next up and good solid run (2:31min) saw him record a 5 second PB. Harris Morrison was drawn against the clear favourite Central AC’s Connor Bell. A very quick 200m saw the pair quickly open up a gap on the rest of the field for a very comfortable progression to the final (2:12mins).

In that final it was again Bell setting the pace with a pack of 4 chasing the remaining 2 medals. Harris had kept himself in contention in 3rd with a lightning first lap of 29 seconds, but with no let-up in the pace his rivals were gathering on his shoulder going into the last lap. Unfortunately despite being  faster than his heat, Harris couldn’t hold on and narrowly missed out on a medal, in a time just a second off his best(2:10mins).

In Ava’s 1500m final she turned in another solid performance to place 10th, although disappointed, she can look forward to the summer track season after an injury laden winter.

Flying Scott wins Bronze

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Scott Hannaway takes 3rd in the 400m Final, Picture by : 4J Studios National Indoor Age Groups 2020 (C) Bobby Gavin

Glenpark’s young athletes were in the best of form with 5 out of 6 recording personal bests at the National Indoor Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Under13s Summer Taggart and Sophie McGinty got proceedings underway in the 800metres, with both drawn together in the first of 4 heats.  They pair went out hard hanging on to the tail of the leader, and were rewarded with lifetime bests; Summer (2:45) slashing 17 seconds from her previous best and finishing second , and Sophie (2:49) improving by 4 seconds holding on for 4th.

Next over 1500metres were Erin McEleny and Maria McCabe. Maria in the first heat, bravely battled round the 7 ½ laps after a niggle in the warm up flared up early during the race, but despite her pain she ground out a new best of 6:02 improving by 4 seconds.  Erin followed in the quickest of the girls heats, she was holding on to the pack, but the very fast early pace took its toll and she faded in the closing stages, nevertheless it was an outstanding effort just outside her best. Also competing was Euan Johnson who was drawn in the quickest boys’ 1500m heat. He too went out quickly with the leading pack, but despite drifting off he managed to improve his best by 3 seconds to 5minutes 28sec.

The final race involved Under 20 Scott Hannaway, who had earlier won his heat to set up a much anticipated 400m final. And it didn’t disappoint; Scott who had kept within touching distance of Kilbarchan’s Stephen Johnston for a lap and a half, put in an attempt to strike for gold in the last bend, but it wasn’t to be, as he couldn’t quite get on terms, only to then see Glasgow’s Niall MacLean slip by in the last few strides, with less than 4 tenths of a second separating the 3 medallists.  It wasn’t all disappointment for Scott as he clinched Bronze in a new lifetime best of 49.32 seconds.

David Wins XC League

The 10th and final round in the GGH Junior XC League took place at Tower Hill with 20 juniors turning out in the cold and windy conditions. Despite the weather and boggy underfoot conditions there were some excellent times in the 2km time trial. Congratulations to Overall winner David Docherty and to all the age category winners Beth Docherty, Summer Taggart, Ava Beaton, Abbie Tosh, Grant Munro, David Docherty, Harris Morrison, and Shaun Wiseman. The most improved athlete over the long winter contest was Euan Johnson.

GGH XC League

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GGH   Junior XC league will go ahead on Sunday 16th Feb at 11am. The worst of the storm will have passed, but it will be chilly and windy so wrap up well and make sure you wear your spikes☄️🌧🌪⚡️ See you all at Tower Hill. *This is the 10th and final round of the league so its double points for everyone😁

Renfrewshire Road Race 2020

There was a fantastic turnout of Greenock Glenpark Harriers for the annual Renfrewshire 5 mile road race last Sunday. This event always seems to bring with it some West of Scotland weather challenges, and this year was no different! However, it didn’t stop 57 seniors from braving the wind a rain. A super turnout from the club in our 125th year.

The opportunity for a fast and flat 5 mile race always brings out a string field. Kilbarchan’s Olympian Derek Hawkins cruised to victory in 24.36. Derek and his reflection was perfectly captured by our photographer just prior to the masses splashing their way through one of the large puddles. It was a Kilbarchan one two, with Holly Thompson winning the ladies race. There were also comfortable wins for Bellahouston Road runners and Inverclyde AC in the ladies and mens team competitions respectively.

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Sue Hewitson was first Harrier female with a good run in 33.2, just missing out on v40 bronze too. There was a silver in the v50 category for Fiona Cushnaghan and also a silver in the v60 for Charlotte McKay. Well done girls! Marian Monk is steadily making her way back to top racing form, as she outfought Claire Monaghan for 2nd Harrier. The ladies team were pushed out into 4th place and sadly missed out on a medal. It was good to see Fiona MacFarlane and Cheryl Thomas pushing the top 3 ladies very close, almost getting themselves in as a team counter.

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Shaun Lyon finished as the top male harrier and was 8th overall in 26.10. Run of the day has to go to Neil Lafferty. He has been flying in recent weeks with storming runs at the vets relays and at parkrun, but he took a good few scalps with his brilliant time of 27.06 for 2nd Harrier and 12th overall. This also saw Neil claim a v40 bronze, brilliant run Neil! Neil was narrowly ahead of Paul Monaghan and Stevie Campbell. Andy White and Daniel Doherty made up the six counters for the male team to claim a brilliant silver medal.

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There were also medals for Danny McLaughlin, with a v60 silver. The solo gold medal of the day for the club came to Andy White, who strolled to victory in the v50 race in under 28 minutes. It wasn’t as fast as Andy’s run here last year, but his training is going well ahead of an other assault on the London Marathon.

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Marathon training was paying off further down the field, as Oliver Reilly continued his great form to claim 7th spot on the team in just over 29 minutes. Similarly, Robert Dolan also ran a big 5 mile PB (with a 5k PB thrown in during the race too). Sandwiched between these two were the returning Chris Mooney who held off Stephen Hanley’s charging sprint finish. It is good to see former club champion Chris making a return to racing after 12 months of injury woes, and he followed this race up with a cracking 17.18 at parkrun yesterday.

Duncan Anderson made a return to racing after a quiet winter, and picked up where he left off at the tail end of last year by dipping under 30. There were good runs for Kevin Craig, James Doherty and Liam McFadden, who have recently joined the club. Another new face Stuart Clark really surprised himself with his time, and really felt the benefit of the Harriers training and the quality of the field on show.

There were two graduates from our Tuesday night Couch to Club Runner sessions taking part in the race. Emma Sinclair has ran 10k races since joining the club, but perhaps not in this sort of weather! Jennifer Boyd took part in her longest race, and indeed longest run to date and was delighted to get round in well under 50 minutes. Hopefully we see a few more graduates as the season progresses.

A big thank you to all of the race volunteers and marshals for helping out in such terrible conditions. The times for our runners are below (noting that there is still a slight issue with the ladies times)

Results: Shaun Lyon 26:10, Neil Lafferty 27:06, Paul Monaghan 27:16, Steven Campbell 27:19, Andrew White 27:53, Daniel Doherty 28:48, Oliver Reilly 29:12, Chris Mooney 29:15
Stephen Hanley 29:16, Robert Dolan 29:21, Duncan Anderson 29:51, Kevin Craig 30:17
Michael McLoone 31:17, John Stevenson 31:23, Owen Atkinson 31:33, Sean Marshall 32:15, David McCorkindale 32:46, Sue Hewitson 33:27, Danny McLaughlin 33:47, James Doherty 34:46, Stephen Reid 34:59, James McFadden 35:08, Liam McFadden 35:30, Stuart Austin 35:42, Richard Jow 35:44, David Holmes 35:51, Alan O’Rourke 35:55, Ian McKee 35:57, Eric Lindsay 36:07, Marian Monk 36:11, Calum Gorry 36:12, Stuart Clark 36:16
Robin McAuslan 36:18, Claire Monaghan 36:19, Fiona MacFarlane 36:40, Cheryl Thomas 36:45, James Campbell 36:56, Scot Hill 37:22, Frank McMahon 37:51, Lucas Bezian 38:08
Lisa Boonsanong 39:12, Debbie McKenzie 39:18, Lynsey Mooney 39:35, Gerry Gillespie 40:09, Kenny Scott 40:21, Stuart Crawford 40:36, Fiona Cushnaghan 40:54, Heather Lafferty 40:55, Boyd MacKenzie 42:19,Elaine Medinelli 43:28, Angela Nelson 43:33, Julie Smith 43:49, David Carruthers 45:29, Jennifer Boyd 47:42, Emma Sinclair 50:04, Charlotte McKay 52:10, Simon Hutton 52:31

GGH Sprinters Make History

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History Makers: Mark Holliman, Scott Hannaway, Scott McCluckie, Mark McLachlan

GREENOCK Glenpark Harriers sprint relay quartet set local history in the club’s 125th year by winning silver in the National Indoor Relay championships held at the Emirates Indoor Arena, Glasgow.

Scott Hannaway, Mark Holliman, Scott McCluckie and Mark McLachlan, contesting the senior men 4 x 200m relay, made light work of the heat qualifying for a spot in the final with room to spare.

Scott Hannaway, on the lead-off leg, lived up to the announcer’s introduction as one of the country’s top juniors by getting out of his blocks sharp. He ignited the back straight as he overcame the stagger, hitting the home straight in the lead as he handed over to Mark Holliman for the second leg.

Mark, coming down in distance from his usual 400m and 800m, had a strong leg, holding off his competitors in the last 100 metres before the smoothest of changeovers with Scott McCluckie, the Harriers still contesting for the title.

Scott used his valuable experiences to cruised on to the back straight and remain calm under the pressure of the Giffnock North athlete. On the last changeover with Mark McLachlan, it was neck and neck with Giffnock gaining a slight edge over the local team.

With the two leaders running clear from the field and into the final 150 metres, Mark began attacking the leader and, despite closing the gap, ran out of time before crossing the line.

The quartet made local history, being the first senior sprint team to reach the podium, and created a new local record of 1:30.3, less than a quarter of a second off the title.

*Congratulations also to the Harriers Sprint Coach Kenny Morrison, who has overseen the sprint groups tough training plan over the winter months.

Girls Make National S/F

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Greenock Glenpark Harriers under 13 girls surpassed their expectations when competing in the National Relay Championships at the Emirates Arena. Prior to their opening 4x200m heat they only gave themselves a slim outside chance of making it through to the semi-finals.

The girls, predominately endurance athletes and no prior relay experience, a fastest loser spot was the best the girls had hoped for.

In the first round heats the diminutive Maria McCabe led the quartet out on the opening leg, and although back in 4th and out of the automatic qualifying positions Maria was still within touching distance of the teams in front.

A slick exchange of the baton and an explosive start from Sophie McGinty saw the Harriers surge into 2nd place by the time she had rounded the first bend, Sophie then continued to extend the lead over the 3rd placed athlete.

There was another faultless baton switch to Erin Mceleny on the 3rd leg, who’s powerful running put more daylight between the chasing pack, before passing onto Summer Taggart. With the pressure now off, Summer cruised around the 200m track recording the teams fastest time and an automatic place in the semi-final.

The semi-final saw a switch in the team format, with Maria stepping aside to make way for Islay Newsome. And it was another flawless performance from the girls, although not making it through to that elusive final, a 4th place finish, and all 5 girls recording personal bests on the day, it was highly successful; with the bonus of seeing the Harriers Men’s team win Silver, and also watch trackside an exciting 800m race as Jemma Reekie outsprinted Laura Muir to set a new British record.

Results: Heats – 2nd Place (Maria McCabe; Sophie McGinty; Erin McEleny, Summer Taggart) 2:14.10

Semi-Final – 4th Place: (Summer Taggart; Sophie McGinty; Erin McEleny; Islay Newsome) 2:16.80

Young Harriers Impress Indoors

Greenock Glenpark Harriers youngest athletes were out in force at the National indoor Open Championships, with all competing in the 1500metres event.

National Open2020 team

First away  over 7 ½ laps of the tight 200m track was Ruby McGill, who started very cautiously at the back of the field. As the race progressed her confidence grew and she moved effortlessly through the pack to finish in 4th improving her personal best by 9 seconds.

Six of the Harriers were drawn in Heat 10, and it was an impressive display of front running by Shaun Wiseman winning clear from team mate David Docherty, with Abbie Tosh running superbly for 3rd. Sophie McGinty, Maria McCabe and Francesca McKay followed closely behind.

Shaun Wiseman

Shaun Wiseman

The trio of Ava Beaton, Ruari Trainer and Sophie Campbell were up next. Ava ran solidly to take 3rd, with Ruari producing a speedy final lap to come within a fraction of a second of breaking the 6 minute barrier. Sophie also rallied well in the last 200m to record an excellent debut at the distance.

In the final Heat there was another large contingent of Harriers competing, and it turned out to be the most exciting race of the day, with Leo Beaton, Douglas Campbell and Euan Johnson pitted against each other. Euan had been the leading Harrier until the bell, but in an exciting tussle which saw their positions exchange numerous times over the final circuit, Leo edged it with just one second separating all three. Erin McEleny and Summer Taggart were impressive in the same heat. Erin stayed close on the heels of the boys with both girls going comfortably under 6 minutes.

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Leo Beaton, Douglas Campbell & Erin McEleny

For many, this was the first time they had competed indoors, and their performances evidence of the hard work they have put into training over the winter months.

Photos courtesy of (C) Bobby Gavin.

Results: Shaun Wiseman 4.48, David Docherty 5.13, Ruby McGill 5.17, Ava Beaton 5.22, Leo Beaton 5.30, Douglas Campbell 5.30, Euan Johnson 5.31, Erin McEleny 5.44, Abbie Tosh 5.48, Summer Taggart 5.56, Ruari Trainer 6.00, Sophie McGinty 6.04, Maria McCabe 6.06, Sophie Campbell 6.15, Francesca McKay 6.27.