Banchory Stonehaven AC at their best in East Districts

Claire McGarvey from Banchory won the open graded U20/senior high jump in the East District Championships at Grangemouth recently.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 3:10 pm
Banchory Stonehaven AC coach Willy Russell gets BEM at Alexander Park, Banchory. Pictured: Sandra Russell, Willy Russell and Carol Kinghorn, the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire.

Claire jumped a new personal best of 1.74m as she repeated her success of last year.

Medals were not awarded in the U20/senior events but at U13 level, Millie Mclelland Brooks from Midmar ran a storming 1500m, knocking 12 seconds off her previous best to win the race in 5min 06.69sec, taking her to the top of the U13 girls Scottish rankings.

Competing for the first time at the Championships, Luc McLeod from Banchory also had a great day, running a PB and reaching the final of the U13B 100m with 14.18sec, before claiming bronze with a great run of 2.23.82 in the 800m, also a huge PB.

Claire, Millie and Luc were among several young athletes from Banchory Stonehaven AC who travelled to Grangemouth over the weekend of May 11/12 to compete in the first major competitive event of the Scottish Athletics summer calendar.

The East District Championships offer a really good level of competition between all clubs in the eastern area of the country, and a newer and more competitive format has been introduced this year by Scottish Athletics for U20 and senior age groups.

The Banchory Stonehaven athletes, all of whom are now placed in the top 10 of the Scottish rankings in various age groups and events, returned home with a total of two gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

The club’s U15 girls were out in force at the championships, with Cara Davie from Stonehaven winning a bronze medal in the U15 75m hurdles with a new PB of 12.26sec, and Ella Creamer of Stonehaven just behind in fourth place with 12.45, having set a new PB in her heat with 12.31.

Cara also ran a PB in the 200m and Ella won a silver medal in the triple jump with a distance of 9.99m.

Rosie Meyer of Durris won gold in the U15 javelin with a great new PB distance of 21.96m, and Abbie Crawford of Stonehaven won bronze in the same event with a throw of 21.20m, also a PB.

Success at the East Districts shows that all the hard work the athletes and their volunteer coaches put in, both in Banchory and Stonehaven, is paying off and that Scottish Athletics’ mantra ‘competition – it’s what you train for’ is definitely filtering through and making a difference.

Meanwhile, Banchory Stonehaven’s long-standing coach Willy Russell, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, was presented with the honour on Tuesday May 14 by Carol Kinghorn, the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire.

On a perfect summer evening, a large number of current and former athletes, parents, coaches, family and friends gathered at Alexander Park in Banchory to see Willy receive his medal.

The honour was bestowed in recognition of Willy’s services to athletics in north-east Scotland.

In accepting the honour, Willy paid tribute to all those who had been involved in the development of the club since its beginnings in 1979, and to all the athletes who have made the club the success it is.

With the Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist Robbie Simpson looking on, as well as former Scottish senior 100m champion Kathryn Christie, Willy encouraged all the young athletes to work hard, and be inspired by those who have achieved success with the club.