A Relay Special Love Story Part 1

Senior Women ( Photo courtesy of Bobby Gavin )

We love Relay Races at Giffnock North. With a Senior silver medal and ALL the junior teams making it to the junior finals on Sunday 13th Feb – Saint Valentines Eve – the love affair contines to flourish.

As usual the relay champs on Saturday 29th Jan threw up thrills, spills and drama by the bucket load. Our Team Managers have provided reports and photos below per age group, starting with our medal winning Woman’s Senior team.

Don’t forget to tune into the dramatic season finale “A Relay Special Love Story Part 2” on the 13th of Feb where we hope to serve up more blood, sweat and tears of joy.

Senior Relay  Champs (by Anne Stewart and Billy Glasgow)

The Senior Women and Men had both their heats and finals today.

The Giffnock Senior Women’s team of Eve Denholm, Emma Barclay, Caroline MacConnell and Rachel Callan easily won heat 1 with, with Edinburgh winning heat 2 with a time 0.05s faster than us. The Final was going to be a cracker. Reacting to the gun Eve Denholm give us a great start and passed the baton to Emma in first place, ahead of Edinburgh. Emma marginally increased the lead and passed onto Caroline who  maintained that lead. Hold your breath, final leg. Rachel gave it her all and led most of the way but was just pipped at the post by the fast finishing Edinburgh team. It was a very exciting race for both teams, with Giffnock winning Silver in a new Club Record of 1:41.44 ( Previous time was 1.41.70 set in 2017 ) Third place went to Dundee Hawkhill Harriers.

Giffnock had two teams running in the men’s event today. With 7 of our athletes under 20, we were up against teams packed with Scottish Internationalists. Gulp. It was going to be a tough day at the races. Team A, consisting of Khaliq Kelani, Jacob Luc, Daniel Boyle and Ross Veitch, finished heat 1 in third place in a time of 1:34.43 and just missed out on a final spot. Team B consisting of Ross Gourlay, Aidan Cunning, Neil Hutchison and Sam Jarvis finished sixth in their heat in 1:39.37. The ultimate winners were Kilbarchan AC in a new Scottish club team record and Championship Best performance of 1:27.20, a blistering performance. We look forward to see what Giffnocks U20 group can produce this time next year.

U13 Girls Heats ( by Sara Lang)

There is never a dull moment at a relay competition!
For some of our U13s, due to last years lack of events , they had never experienced a relay competition before. That didn’t phase our Supertrooper squad of u13girls . Charlotte Malcolm,Beatrice Nairne,Holly Simpson and Anna Hawthorne ran a stormer to easily clinch their heat and progress to the final. We are always dependent on our reserves and we can’t emphasise enough how important it is for reserve team members to train, drill, warm up with the squad. This is similar to what happens at International level also. For Eve Wilkinson and Cara Heron our u13 reserves they gained lots of experience just being part of the team today and it gives coaches the option of using a slightly different team in the final if needed

U13 Boys Heats (by Jackie Alexander)

A very focussed team of U13B turned up to take part in the relay heats. Angus Weir, Cameron Mitchell, Paul Rolfe, Alistair Gear and Ayden Beard were in fine form as they warmed up, practised and then prepared themselves for the race. In these Covid-impacted times, we had a reserve with us, Ayden, who deserves a special mention. Our second reserve had Covid so having Ayden meant we would be able to have the team run if anyone tested positive or picked up an injury late in the week. The reserves have to warm up, do all the same practice as the team but are not guaranteed a run, and we all appreciated having him there.

The boys ran a superb race, leading at the first change from a very strong leg from Angus. Cameron and Paul increased this on their runs and Alistair extended the lead on the last leg, to finish almost 50m and more than 10 seconds ahead of the team in second place in our heat. The baton changes were good and they remembered the myriad of rules about change overs…..all in all, a great performance.

The final looks like it could be very exciting!!

U15 Girls Heats (by Garry Paterson)

The Under 15 Girls arrived full of enthusiasm, energy, excitment and of course Matching Hairstyles.

Hannah Turnbull got the team off with an explosive start out the Blocks. Madeleine McKenzie then took over and bossed her way round to give Emily Williams the baton in first place. Emily stretched  our lead over the rest of the field, leaving Sarah McNulty to see the team home and cross the line in first place.

At the sidelines in True team Spirit was Maisie Ling and Beth Fyvie. The two girls participated in all the prep leading up to the day, the warm up and practice just before the race and gave it their all when supporting the team

Well Done Girls Bring On the final

U15 Boys

U15 boys had a fantastic day at the relays with a great win in their heat. All the hard work they put in at training has paid off. Rory Taylor-Young blasted us into first place and Zander Summerhill, Euan Armstrong and Aaron Reid maintained that lead for the whole race. Looking forward to the final.

U17 Girls (by Stephen Gourlay)

A dramatic race for the U17 women’s team, but through to the final. Phew! Fantastic runs from Erin Ramsay, Eilidh Hunter and Holly Slater saw the team sitting in 2nd and challenging for the lead as Casey Carr pulled out on the final bend to pass the leader but unfortunately caught the track and fell in dramatic fashion! However, she stoically got back to her feet and completed the race.

In true team spirit the girls all waited with Casey in the First Aid as she was patched up and said it didn’t matter if they didn’t get to the final, as long as Casey was ok. Delighted for the girls that Casey was ok AND the good news they had also qualified for the final. Congratulations to the team and also a huge thank you to super subs Rhuna McCartney, Cara Slater and Niamh Lawson for their support for the team.

The team has now been renamed to “TRUE GRIT”

U17 Boys (by Gerry Duggan

With three first year under 17’s, a first time competitor and a borrowed pair of spikes, the U17 squad secured their place in the final with an emphatic win in their heat. From the gun Edward Joyce put the team into first place and we never surrendered top spot as the baton changed hands through Felix Chan, Ewan Cornfoot and Finlay Chidgey-Carmichael.  Our seasoned pros Edward and Felix lead the team out and our new boys Ewan (2nd ever competition) and Finlay (1st ever competition) ran like they have been doing this forever. Thanks to our reserve Reuben Pirie, who gave the squad the confidence that we had back up should any disaster strike on the day.

It’s going to be a tough old final on the 13th of Feb, but the u17mens relay squad are more than capable of rising to that challenge.

Thanks to all Giffnock North relay squads, runners and reserves, for serving up such an exciting afternoon. As Team Managers – Sara Lang, Jackie Alexander, Garry Paterson, Symon Lipp, Stephen Gourley, Gerry Duggan, Billy Glasgowand Anne Stewart – we are all proud of your performances.

Thanks to all the Giffnock Team Managers for these reports collated by Gerry Duggan and certainly giving a brilliant account of the relays today

Photos courtesy of coaches and Senior Women photo by Bobby Gavin.