National Short Course XC Championships – Lanark – 06/11/2021

The National Short Course Cross Country Championships took place this weekend at Lanark race course. The event had been held there three years ago in 2018 and the course itself is fast, flat and open.

The first challenge of the day for Linda and I was getting the tent up in very wet and windy conditions which was a struggle with the end result somewhat lopsided but it was better than nothing (I think).

This event is only open to age groups u15 and above and the first event of the day was the U15 girls with three Lasswade AC athletes competing over the one lap 2km course, Freya Mowbray, Bethan Kitchin and Eloise Scott. The girls all ran very well in the challenging conditions with Freya leading them home in 19th place followed by Bethan in 38th and Eloise completing the team in 69th place.

It was the U15 boys next and we had four athletes in this race Andrew McWilliam, Rowan Taylor, Patrick Snowden and Will Heatlie. Running over the same 2km distance Andrew McWilliam was the leading Lasswade athlete running a strong race to finish high up the field in a fine 5th place, not too far behind was team mate Rowan Taylor in 13th place next it was Patrick Snowden who was running his first race and finished 59th with Will Heatlie 78th.

Next to brave the conditions it was the turn of the U17 girls. Lasswade AC only had one runner in this race Olivia Meikle who has been running well over the country so far this season. Olivia had another great run to finish an impressive 5th place.

In the U17 boys Lasswade AC had Alastair Scott and Sam Kitchin. Alastair had a solid run to finish just inside the top 40 in 39th place with Sam in his first race this season in 61st place.

The next two races were the Women and Men with star attractions Laura Muir, Andrew Butchart and Jake Wightman. However, hopes were high that Lasswade AC’s own athletes could finish high up the very strong fields. The women were off first and we had Sarah Tait and Amy Frankland in the race. The race set off at a hard pace with four runners breaking away Laura Muir, Eloise Walker, Megan Keith and Morag Millar, our own athletes Sarah Tait and Amy Frankland were not too far behind very much in top end of the field. Laura Muir was the winner showing her class by moving clear on the second of the two laps to win comfortably. Sarah led the Lasswade athletes home with a fine run finishing in 8th place and Amy also had a great run to finish in 17th place. Its a pity we only had two athletes racing as looking at the team results I definitely think we could have been amongst the medals so hopefully we can get all our top women out at some point this winter.

The final race of the day was the men and we had four athletes racing for Lasswade AC, Christian Graham, David Woods, Greg Louden and Euan Hood with another two, Harry Henriksen and Magnus Tait representing their universities. Andrew Butchart of Central AC led from the gun with team mate Jamie Crow also pushing the pace at the front. Christian Graham who has had a great start to this cross country season was leading the Lasswade AC athletes at the end of the first lap in around 12th place but over the second lap he pushed on to pick off another few athletes to finish an impressive 8th place. Next home was Harry who finished 29th with Magnus only a few seconds behind in 39th. David Woods had a solid run in 173rd with Greg Louden and Euan Hood using this race to do some over distance training to finish 200th and 206th respectively. Similar to the ladies I think if we can get all our Men out together at some point we could have a good chance of finishing high up the field in terms of team places.

A great days cross country with some fine individual performances and hopefully a few athletes selected for the Scotland U23 team for Liverpool Cross Challenge.

Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations on their own individual performances.

All photographs courtesy Will Graham

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