and Harris XC Series 2011-12
Saturday 14 January 2012
by Alex Murray
Race 2 Results
Overall XC Series Points Position
VIew more of Gavin's photos on Picassa
Another Great Day at AMC LHXC - Smiles All Round!
The second of SRAC’s annual Lewis and Harris AMC cross country races went a head last Saturday in very good conditions as the sky’s finally “dried-up”! Following the senior race that included entrants of all levels of ability won by Iain MacCorquodale and Jayne Millar came the real excitement of the days events!
Accounting for approximately half the total field entry of one hundred and seventy eight, the under 9 and under 11 races were more entertaining than a lot of sport that spectators pay for! A circuit of half a mile round the Castle and its green set off in all four of these events as if Usain Bolt were leading the field. The bottle neck sprint form the Castle green start however eventually strung out as the runners came back onto the green to the finish line. Taking the tape with a 9second advantage in 4minutes and 2 seconds was Back’s Calum MacLennan. But it seems the dominance of his team and other dominant schools in previous years has dissipated somewhat with nine schools listed in the top ten runners. Kids love to run and as more schools pre-enter these cross country events the more talent comes to the fore.
In the girls under 9 event there were less school represented in the top ten as old rivals Back and Stornoway were most noticeable. (The top ten also included; LICS, Tong and Sgoil nan Loch.) The race for the lie was a tighter affair with Back’s Ellie MacDonald holding off Stornoway’s Holly MacEwan and Kate MacSween by 3 and 7 seconds respectively.
Back picked up their third win through John Bain in the under 11’s race. John fought off sir E Scott’s Alasdair Binns, opening up a fair margin with a strong sprint finish to the roar of the spectating crowd with Scott MacIver claiming third slot. Into race four the girls under 11 race over the same 1 mile course as the boys and finally another school took the top place! Laxdale’s Ellie MacLean crossed the line first but this race was very closely fought out and re-emerging from the trees and onto the Castle green there was a fine three way tussle to take the tape first! Sgoill nan Rubha’s Isla MacKay dropped slightly nearing the finish funnel leaving Ellie being challenged by Sian MacDonald from SnR. The smaller figure of Sian never gave up on the race in but the experience of past victories of Ellie helped her win with a 2 second margin! SRAC are delighted to have all three girls regularly attend Saturday morning club sessions and what ever the SRAC coaches are doing with them sure seems to be working! (These sessions are open to children 8 years and upward, meeting at Porters Lodge at 10.30am – come and try it – kids love to run!)
Another club threesome led the boys under 13 race to the finish line and after a brave fight from the improving Hugh McKenzie the win went to the inform Kyle Munro. Kyle “fresh” back for the Scottish Inter District Championships showed good form and a very strong sprint finish to pull away in the last 200meters to take the win. The boys will hopefully both travel to the Scottish Championships in Falkirk next month and also in the team will be thirds placed Rory Mighton. Looking at the field there are others that SRAC would welcome to the team and regular training sessions! Lewis and Harris certainly has talent and kids do love to run!”
Showing their liking of cross country were Catriona Bain of Back and Stornoway’s Catriona Rigby! The two moved efficiently (and seemingly effortless) over the mud and rain soaked Castle grounds course of 2 miles! Times of, 16:48 and 17:15 for C Bain and C Rigby put the girls in a good leading one – two from the rest of the field.
As the cross country age groups increase so does the distances they compete over! Into the under 15 the distance was 2.5 miles. SRAC’s under 15 team for the National Championships next month all ran fairly well with Connor MacLean continuing his winning ways. Though team mate Jamie Sullivan really did put in a very, very good effort to keep up with the club’s North District Champion! If all four hold form or even improve they could be part of one of SRAC’s best performing teams at the Nationals! Also continuing in winning ways in the under 15’s was Sir E Scott pupil Peigi McKellar, who if memory serves may well be unbeaten throughout the age groups at the local castle grounds events.
Throughout the competition the entry was once again very good and that is important as participation by all at all levels of ability throughout the age groups makes for a highly successful community event! Many thanks to all the schools that supported the event (particularly for early pre-entries), the parents encouraging their children to participation and healthy life choices. Thanks to sponsor Alex Murray Construction, Stornoway Trust, Lewis Crofters and the SRAC team! The next event will be February 11th, followed by the Western Isles XC Championships to be hosted by SRAC in the Castle Grounds on March 17th. The SRAC Prizegiving is now rescheduled for February 25th.