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Muddy marvellous as McWilliams lands maiden win at Stirling

SHANE FENTON reports from Stirling Sports Village

Stirling Highland Games once again attracted a multi national crowd to Stirling Sports Village.

The weather in the main was fine and a few short sharp showers didn't detract from some excellent competition from the runners, cyclists, throwers and dancers. Unfortunately the wet weather in the run up to the games had taken it's toll on the track, with some parts, particularly the dance-stage bend very muddy.

The top prize of the day is the £250 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres handicap. In a thrilling finish to the final, victory went to Calum McWilliams, who was landing his first ever big sprint win on the games circuit. The East Kilbride AC man has been in a number of finals including the last two New Year Sprints. This however was the first time he has hit the jackpot. Running from the 9.5 metres mark he got up on the line to collar Cameron Smith[13.25m] Central AC and Rianna Sterricks,Leithenburn[20.5m] in a time of 9.74 seconds.

Despite being in opposition to the Scottish Athletics age-group championships which takes place over the weekend, the Youths' 90 metres still managed to attract five full heats. In an all-Borders final, victory went to Aaron Glendinning[26m]Leithenburn who held on by inches from the rapidly closing Josh Abbot[8.5m] Chirnside with Eve Rathie[26m]Leithenburn in third. Ben Lyall,Kelso,Luke Rathie and Robyn Keddie both Leithenburn filled the minor berths.

Martin Barr[37m] made it an East Kilbride AC double with victory in the Open 200 metres, he stayed on best in the testing conditions to take the tape in 21.15 seconds with David Allan,Balloch[37m] runner up and Calum McWilliams who ran from a 'pulled' mark of 25m in third.
Samantha Turnbull,Peebles turned in one of her best performances of the season to win the Youths' 200 metres, getting the verdict in a four way photo in 24,45, S Nightingale, Leithenburn held on for second with Josh Abbot powering through the mud to take third close home.

David Woods who competes on the pro circuit in Australia but is currently appearing nightly in a show at the Edinburgh Festival looked like he was going to win the Open 400 metres. Running from a start of 55 metres, he hit the front down the back straight, however as they turned for home the attritional conditions took their toll on the Aussie who was caught in the race to the line by David Allan,Balloch[44m], Willie Bates[49m] Tullibody took third.

Edouard Lecrivain,Aberdeen AC has been the outstanding youth middle distance runner on the circuit this season and he proved it again by landing a 400 metres and 800 metres double, both from the backmark. In the 400 metres, running from the 38m mark he stopped the clock at 55.63 seconds to win from Donald McLean,Giffnock North[60m] and Aaron Glendinning,Leithenburn[95m]. 

In the 800metres he was a comfortable winner from his brother Gaspard who beat Donald McLean in a photo fro second place.

One of the most consistent athletes in the Open middle distance races this season has been Rebecca Burns Edinburgh AC. Her fine vein of form was maintained with wins in both the Open 800 metres and 1600 metres handicaps. The gluepot conditions were of no deterrent as she strode out to victory to land the 800 metres in 2:01.11 from the 130 metres mark, runner up was Willie Bates [105m]which was a reversal of placings from Bridge of Allan 2 weeks prior. Matthew McKenna,Cambuslang[82,5m] was third with Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen[77.5m] in fourth
Burns who is a runaway leader in the SHGA Women's league was pulled to the 205m mark in the 1600 metres but was again too good as she gradually reeled in front marker Sam Bates,Tullibody[475m] with Matthew McKenna again third.

The cyclists have had to compete in some desperate conditions this 'summer' but this must have been the worst yet. Paul Anderson,Perth was the victor in the 800 metres, his only other victory came in similar conditions at Loch Lomod last month. Ryan Keir, Newburgh took the 1600 metres with James Melville,Alexandria getting a welcome win in the 3200 metres. The concluding Deil tak the Hindmost was won by Ryan Keir in a race where the riders were glad there was only five of them!

On the eve of the Scottish Championship at Crieff there was some excellent competition in the heavy events. I don't have the full results at time of writing, the throwers in action were Scott Rider,Kyle Randalls, Stuart Anderson and Sebastien and Lukasz Wenta.
The Long Jump was won by Martin Barr,East Kilbride with Dan Chapman,Giffnock North the victor in the Triple Jump.

Published: 2017-08-19 21:52:24