North’s winter of success

GIFFNOCK NORTH AAC’s junior distance running squads polished off a memorable winter last weekend.

Nikki Miller, Erin Wallace and Holly Still

At the testing tarmac of Heriot Watt university in Edinburgh, the team won two team golds, a team silver and a bronze.

There were also individual prizes a-plenty with two golds and one silver.

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In perfect, sunny conditions, Emily Crusher won the u13 girls event over 2.6k, adding the national road crown to her Scottish Schools cross country gold. She led Annabel Ballantyne and Lisa Miller to the team title.

Giffnock’s u13 boys fought hard for fourth, with Hamish Armitt first home in sixth, well backed by Jack Bell and Max MacDonald.

Next up were the u15 girls, and winner Erin Wallace, silver medalist Holly Still and Nikki Walker (fourth) blitzed to the title.

Only Kilbarchan’s Laura Stark prevented the sweep of podium places after 4.3k of high-calibre racing. Wallace now holds the four premier national trophies over country and road.

Making their mark for the boys were u15s Oliver Watson-Sweeney, Michael Lowrie and Joseph Lowrie, who nailed a solid team bronze, with team-mate Harry Nimmo pushing the counting trio all the way to the line.

Ross Gray and Euan Brodie flew the flag for a depleted u17 Men’s team over 5.2k.

Rebecca Saxby, Rachel Saxon and Nicole Scott raced to silver, edged only by Fife AC.

Scott’s race had its ups and downs — she fell more than once on uneven paving, as did several others during the day, but each time got back up to help her team onto the podium.

The first six finishers in the two older age groups are invited to Scotland at the London Mini Marathon next month, immediately prior to the London Marathon.

The increasing numbers of runners, especially in the inexperienced u13 category, are forcing the event organisers to consider a return next year to Rouken Glen Park.

There, start and finish straights especially are wider and safer, and the course is more spectator friendly.

Earlier this month, there was success at The National Indoor Championships this weekend with Holly Still taking the gold medal at the under 18 3K race.

At the same distance the Gold medal position in the under 18 event at 3000 metres, Luke Traynor earned silver at the same distance.

The Senior 4x200m relay team took bronze in a club record.

MEARNS Castle pupils Holly Still and Nikki Mill are set to be in action for Scotland on Saturday.

They are among the Giffnock North runners who will compete in the forthcoming home international in Bolton.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Giffnock North athletes will be fundraising for the club with a charity bag pack at Whole Foods in Giffnock.