Golden victories for the Harriers
Over-40s show how it’s done
It was a golden double for Cambuslang Harriers at the West District Cross Country Relay Championships held at the Beach Park in Irvine.
Among many fine Cambuslang performances, the masters men and women over 40 years of age both triumphed in miserable, wet conditions.
On the opening leg, Bernie O’Neil put the women in a good position for Jacqueline Etherington, with the third-fastest overall time of the day, to move the Harriers into third spot, before Jennifer Reid timed her run well to overhaul her Kilbarchan and Giffnock North rivals.
The Cambuslang male quartet of Charlie Thomson, Justin Carter, Jamie Reid and Ben Hukins were then comfortable winners ahead of Garscube and Cumbernauld.
The senior ladies team of U20 Amy Craig, Lesley McCardle and Paula McCab finished a creditable 24th from 46 competing teams.
In the men’s event, there was a ding-dong battle throughout between the A team of Kevan Harvey, Gavin Smith, Stuart Gibson and Al Campbell against the B team of Jamie MacKinnon, Ryan Thomson, Craig Jardine and Fraser Stuart. The A squad had the advantage on legs 1 and 3, with the B team to the fore on legs 2 and ultimately 4, but in spite of their best efforts Cambuslang were out of the medals in fourth and sixth.
First year U20 Drew Pollock ensured a good start for the C team and with support from Connor McRae, David Savage and Gordon Robertson they finished in 14th spot from 85 finishing teams.
There was also a fine display in 41st place by the masters B quartet of Iain Nichol, Dave Thom, Chris Upson and Mick O’Hagan while the D team of Andrew Carey, Eamon Carr, Dan O’Connell and Eddie Carr finished not far behind them. John Kelly and club coach Iain Crawford managed a run out in an incomplete team.
The female young athletes fared well in spite of a few absences due to injury and school holidays. The A trio of Mya Carmichael, Niamh Riggins and Susie McLaughlin combined well to come home ninth out of 46 competing teams, while B team Eva Ritchie, Eilidh Kennedy and Shona Carey achieved a respectable 18th place and the C team of Lucy McGrandle, Morvern Crawford and Chloe Burton with under 13 Francesca Fairweather doing an opening leg.
The male young athletes finished five complete teams and three incomplete ones. The A trio of Sam McCarthy, Zak Povey and Chris McLew finished strongly in seventh place out of 40 finishing teams, while the B squad of Brodie McDonald, Lewis Roddis and Brodie Aitken was one place behind.
Next home was the C team in 15th place consisting of Jay Gallagher, Robbie Woods and Michael Black, followed by the 20th-placed D team of Reece Duncan, Fearghus MacGregor and debutant Jack MacKinnon.
The E team crossed the line 30th thanks to Barry Masterton, Stuart Millard and Aaron Grew.
Ben MacDougall and Joa Fairweather covered legs 1 and 2 and Chris Black and Jamie Kennedy ran the opening leg for the youngest age group.
All 61 club participants deserve credit for competing in the miserably wet conditions, especially some of the youngest athletes who were getting their first taste of cross country running. Thanks are due to Robert Anderson for transporting the large club tent and to Colin Stephen who captured the first three races before his camera became waterlogged.
A vote of thanks is also due to the West District Officials and to members of the North Ayrshire Club for organising the event.
Golden girls Jacqueline Etherington, Jennifer Reid and Bernie O’Neil
On the run Winners Ben Hukins, Justin Carter and Charlie Thomson (centre) celebrate