This years West District Cross Country Championships took place on Sunday at an unbelievably muddy Bellahouston Park, Glasgow thanks to Storm Desmond which seems to have dropped a years worth of rain in Bellahouston.
Normally the underfoot conditions soften up as the races progress with the Senior Mens race usually having the worst of the conditions but this venue proved to be the same for the first race which was the U13 Girls as it did for the Senior Men.
Although no individual medals were won by Seaforth athletes on the day there were some notable performances with Kenny Neill achieving an excellent 17th place in the Senior Men and there are several younger athletes eagerly awaiting a call to confirm selection for Team West to contest the Inter District Championships at Holyrood, Edinburgh on Saturday 9 January 2016. Team performance of the day was by the girls U13 team of Morven Hubbard, Rosie Davidson and Evie Mackay who collectively took team bronze.
Full results for all Seaforth athletes competing can be found in the tables below:-
Rozelle Park in Ayr proved to be a challenging course for this years Ayrshire Cross Country Championships. Numbers were down on previous years which wasn’t helped by the fact the event was held on the same day as the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool which a group of Junior Seaforth athletes competed in. Those athletes who did compete at Rozelle battled through the mud and braved the hills to finish with some impressive performances.
The U11 Girls and U11 Boys races were over a 1200m course and both races saw Seaforth success. In the U11 Girls it was Islay Hubbard who came home in 1st place with a time of 5:05. She was closely followed by Libby White (2nd) 5:06 and Jessica Donnelly (10th) 6:01. In the U11 Boys age group it was Fergus Muir who led Seaforth home to take 1st place and Team Gold in 4:55 with Ben Edwards (4th) 5:21 and Calum Hannah (6th) 5:30.
The U13 age group covered a 2400m course and again it was Seaforth success for the girls with Evie MacKay taking 1st in 11:13 followed by Alexandra Meldrum (3rd) 12:51. In the Boys Blair Gemmell claimed an excellent 2nd place in 11:46 with Max Hay coming 5th in 12:16.
The U15 Girls race had a 3000m course to contend with and the race was won by Charlotte McDowall in 13:10 also taking team Gold followed by team mates Alexandra Smiley (2nd) 13:12 and Kelly Cunningham (4th) 13:29.
The race for the U15 Boys was over a slightly longer 4200m course with the sole Seaforth entrant Aidan Copland winning the bronze medal for his 3rd place finish in 18:26.
With no Seaforth women contesting the U17 Womens race it was then over to the U17 Men with Seaforth having 3 athletes racing over the 6000m course. Bringing the team home for Team Gold was Fraser Stirling (1st) 22:36, Rhys Sim (2nd) 23:46 and Matthew Eadie (4th) 25:59.
In the Senior Women Seaforth again took Team Gold with Gael Riddle and Susie Hubbard running superb races. Gael claiming 2nd place in 26:36, Susie 3rd in 26:59 and team mate Abby Cunningham (10th) 35:43 in her first cross country race.
The Senior Mens race proved to be the race of the day after a battle between Seaforths Kenny Neill and Ayrodynamic Triathlon athlete Greg Turner for the top prize with the Seaforth runner pulling clear on the last lap to become the first Ayr Seaforth athlete in 25 years to take the Senior Mens trophy. Times and places for all Seaforth men were Kenny Neill (1st) 32:21 ; Stephen McDowall (13th) 38:25 ; John Ross (14th) 38:51 ; Alasdair Meldrum (17th) 39:37 ; Stuart McLean (24th) 41:40 ; Iain Pettigrew (25th) 41:45 ; Stuart McColm (29th) 45:16. Seaforth also took Team Bronze in this race which was the first cross country event for John Ross.
Photographs of this event which are shown below are done so with the kind permission of Kenny Girvan Photography.
This years British Cross Challenge race took place on Saturday at a very muddy Sefton Park, Liverpool. The recent heavy rains had ensured very heavy conditions underfoot but thankfully the rains held off for most of the races and the high winds which were forecast held off as well.
A smaller contingent than last year from Seaforth travelled to take part but those who did take part acquitted themselves well.
In the u11 Girls Abbie Chilton got her first taste of competition at a big event and covered the 1.9k course in 9:21 taking 51st place.
In the U13 girls race Seaforths representatives were Morven Hubbard and Rosie Davidson who were both making their first appearance on the Liverpool stage. They had an exceptional introduction to this standard of race with both having a top 20 finish in a race with 118 athletes over a tough 3k course. Morven led them home in 10th place with a time of 11:55 and Rosie in 19th place with a time of 12:07.
The U13 boys also saw a first appearance for Alex Crooks who was accompanied by Lewis Martin, a veteran of the U11 race for the last two years. Alex led the way over the same 3k course as the girls with a 54th place finish in 11:51 and Lewis was 102nd in 13:20.
The next race was the U15 boys where Seaforth had 3 athletes running namely Declan McGhee, Scott Sprang and Greig Oakley. Declan covered the 3k course in 11:03 for 68th place, Scott in 11:12 for 76th and Greig in 12:26 for 117th place.
The u15 girls race was to prove the race of the day for the Seaforth athletes with Emma Frew and Caitlin Chilton competing. Emma won here last year in the U13 age group but has now taken the step up to U15 which she did with ease. Over the same 3k course she ran a superb race to claim 3rd place in 10:55 with Caitlin claiming 76th in 13:16.
The last Seaforth athlete of the day was Kirstin Oakley who has now taken the step up to U20. Kirstin covered the longer 4.4k course in 16.51 to take 36th place.
The next race for the Seaforth cross country group will be the West District Cross Country Championships which take place next weekend at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.
This years Kilmarnock Cross Country races took place on Sunday at the Scott Ellis playing fields in near perfect conditions with sunshine, no wind and very heavy going underfoot after recent rains although it has to be said it was very cold. The heavy conditions made a tough course even harder although this didn’t stop the contingent from Ayr Seaforth performing well on the day with the Senior Women taking first team place in their race. Results for all Seaforth athletes can be found in the tables below :-
Saturday saw this years National Short Course XC Championships take place at an extremely wet and muddy Bellahouston Park,Glasgow which was so wet the coastguard should have been there.
Seaforth had athletes running in each category which ranged from the u15 age groups up to senior level. There were several notable performances from individual athletes and special mention must go to the u17 Mens team of Rhys Sim, Fraser Stirling and Lewis Ross who took team silver in their age group. Results for all Seaforth athletes can be found in the tables below.
U15 Girls - National Short Course XC 2015 - 2000m
U17 Women - National Short Course XC 2015 - 3000m
U20 / Senior Women - National Short Course XC 2015 - 4000m
21st (5th U20)
U15 Boys - National Short Course XC 2015 - 2000m
U17 Men - National Short Course XC 2015 - 3000m
U20 / Senior Men - National Short Course XC 2015 - 4000m
Saturday saw this seasons National Cross Country Relays take place at Cumbernauld for the 15th year. This is always a tough course but with heavy overnight rain having fallen it was made a lot tougher. For the Junior age groups these races take the form of 3 athletes per team each covering the 2500m course with the first runner being u13, the 2nd runner being either u13 or u15 and the final runner either u15 or u17. The Senior Womens team also comprises of 3 athletes over a 4000m course and the Senior Men have 4 athletes over the same 4000m course.
This year saw record entries and in the Junior Womens race there were 75 complete teams recorded at the finish with 89 in the Junior Mens, 52 in the Senior Womens and 83 in the Senior Mens.
In the Junior Womens section Emma Frew had an excellent run coming home with the 6th fastest leg of the race.
Kirstin Oakley in her first race in the Senior age group at this level ran to 13th place in her leg against GB Internationalists Laura Muir and Freya Ross and she came home with the 23rd fastest leg of her race with the 5th fastest U20 time.
Results for Seaforth teams can be seen below (missing results for some Senior Men will be updated when available)
Junior Women (2500m) - National XC Relays - Cumbernauld - Saturday 24 October 2015
18th (Seaforth A)
32nd (Seaforth B)
51st (Seaforth C)
Incomplete Team (Seaforth D)
Incomplete Team (Seaforth E)
Junior Men (2500m) - National XC Relays - Cumbernauld - Saturday 24 October 2015
20th (Seaforth A)
28th (Seaforth B)
75th (Seaforth C)
79th (Seaforth D)
Incomplete Team Seaforth F
Incomplete Team Seaforth E
Incomplete Team Seaforth H
Senior Women (4000m) - National XC Relays - Cumbernauld - Saturday 24 October 2015
Senior Men (4000m) - National XC Relays - Cumbernauld - Saturday 24 October 2015
Last Saturday saw this seasons Ayrshire Cross Country Relays take place at Kilmarnock with Ayr Seaforth determined to win as many of the age group races as possible. Thanks to a good turnout of athletes across the age groups the club was able to have most races covered with teams winning several of the age group races. All results for Seaforth teams can be seen below:-
U11 Boys - Ayrshire XC Relays 2015 - Saturday 17 October - 1200m
Sunday saw the start of the 2015 cross country season with the West District Cross Country Relays taking place at Hamilton Racecourse. Conditions on the day were unusually warm for a cross country meeting and when coupled with the dry weather we have been enjoying it was certainly not what experienced cross country athletes are used to.
The first race of the day was the Young Females race where each team comprises of 3 athletes taking on the 2.5km course with the first runner being in the u13 age group, the next either u13 or u15 and the third runner u15 or u17. Seaforth had 3 teams in this race with the ‘A’ team finishing in 7th place, the ‘B’ team in 23rd place and the ‘C’ team in 36th place from 60 teams.
Next up was the Young Males race where Seaforth had 4 teams entered. The Seaforth ‘A’ team finished in 9th place only a mere 5 seconds from 8th place, the ‘B’ team in 20th place, the ‘C’ team in 36th place and the ‘D’ team in 47th place from 57 teams.
This was followed by the Senior Females race which saw each of the 3 athletes making up the team complete a 4km course. Seaforth had a solo team entered and after a valiant display they finished in 4th place from 34 teams on the start line.
The Senior males race saw teams of 4 athletes take on the 4km course, Seaforth had a single complete team participate and a team of 2 athletes in an incomplete team. The complete team finished in 33rd place from 57 teams.
Saturday 7 March saw the final race in this seasons British Cross Challenge take place as usual at Cofton Park, Birmingham. This is a series of cross country races that culminates in the race at Birmingham which is also the Inter Counties Cross Country Championship as well as the World Cross Country trials. As a result the number of runners in each age group is enormous which adds to the difficulty athletes experience. After the first 3 races which were in Liverpool, Cardiff and Milton Keynes the Seaforth trio of Scott Sprang(U13), Emma Frew(U13) and Kirstin Oakley(U17) each qualified for the final owing to their respective placings in the series which saw Scott placed 6th, Emma 1st and Kirstin 3rd. Unfortunately this years race yet again clashed with the date chosen by Scottish Schools to hold their Cross Country Championship which meant Scott Sprang had to miss a trip to Birmingham to compete for his school at Irvine where weather conditions were completely different to that in Birmingham.
The race in Birmingham took place in unusually high temperatures of 16°C with a slight wind and fairly firm conditions underfoot. The first race featuring a Seaforth athlete was the u17 womens race featuring Kirstin Oakley which took place over a very testing 5km course. In a race consisting of 272 competitors Kirstin fought back from a difficult start which saw placed her around 100th after the first few hundred metres to finish in 36th place with the points gained resulting in her achieving the runner up place in the Cross Challenge series. Emma Frew was next and again she had an equally tough course to contest with although slightly shorter at 3km. The race had 305 starters and Emma fought back from a fall when placed 4th to claim a magnificent 3rd place on the day giving her victory overall in the Cross Challenge series.
Congratulations must also go to Head Coach Alan Sprang as without his commitment to both athletes these results would not be possible.
This race brought to an end this seasons cross country races with the National Junior Road Race Championships which is held on Sunday 15 March in Greenock the only race of the winter calendar remaining.
The Scottish National Cross Country Championships took place today at Callendar Park, Falkirk for the 10th year. Although the venue hadn’t changed the course used had and it was a new route around the park for the record 2213 entries which actually equated to 25% of the total entries for the up and coming English Championships. Weather conditions were favorable an hour or so before the first race with temperatures hovering just above freezing, no wind and a very light rain falling although this didn’t last. As the day progressed this was to change to heavy rain and much stronger winds which allied with the already muddy conditions underfoot made the new course a real challenge. There were several good performances from Seaforth athletes with an impressive haul of 3 medals for their efforts. In the boys u13 race Scott Sprang put in a real gutsy shift to make sure of 3rd position. In the u17 womens race it was Kirstin Oakley who fought hard to also take the bronze medal meaning she has medaled in 4 of the last 6 years at this competition. The performance of the day though went to the star of this winter season Emma Frew who dominated her race from early on pushing ever further clear from those behind her.
A special mention must go to coach Alan Sprang and his team as these performances would not be possible without the dedication they show to the middle distance club athletes, a great winning team indeed.
A highlights video of the day can be found below with links to all age group races.
Full results for Seaforth athletes are shown below:-