GIFFNOCK NORTH AC/ WEST DISTRICT XC Championships 2019
Report from Croy Thomson & Photos by Bobby Gavin
IT’S RAINING … MEDALS
Giffnock North AC shine amid wet weather at Balloch Castle Country Park in the West District XC Championships.
AND BEHOLD it did rain, and there was darkness on the face of the course at Balloch. Not to mention a hilliness and a muddiness and a slitheriness, as we did gather by Loch Lomond for the West District Championships. Dreich? I’ll give you dreich.
Also, when I say ‘hilliness’, I mean really hilly. After the first pancake-flat 100 metres this course reared up until vertical and quite possibly steeper. Then there was the sequence of hairpin bends on a camber on the way back down … then the zig-zaggy bit by the Lochside before more hairpins on the way back up again, prior to the plummet straight down to the finish. Phew. Bit challenging as they say (in the Royal Marines). Well, if you ran on this course, in this weather, then you can race anywhere. I applaud you bigly.
First into the fray were the U13 Girls and they raced to a hard-earned bronze team medal over 3.2k. Freya Campbell caught the leader with fifty metres to go and hit the front, only for her rival to dredge up a response from the mud and pip our girl with only yards to go. Brilliant individual silver for Freya, ably supported by Hazel O’Donoghue and Caitlin McGeachy, who was one place and one second ahead of team-mate Hannah Sluman.
The U13 Boys have been a joy to watch for ages now and again they did not disappoint. Craig Shennan raced Kilbarchan’s Oliver Patton shoulder to shoulder for almost the whole 3.2k, but had to make do with Giffnock’s second individual silver of the day. The lads proceeded to put another seven athletes into the top 16:
• Alasdair Nugent 3rd
• Cameron Harris 4th
• Calan Chong 5th
• Tristan Robin 8th
• Jack Wallace 10th
• James Mowatt 14th
• Mitchell Scott 16th
At the West it’s only three to count for team prizes though, so this year’s District honour goes to Craig, Alasdair and Cameron, but such an outstanding overall team performance (and that wasn’t the full squad) can be gauged by the fact that had rules allowed, our fourth, fifth and sixth finishers would have taken team silver. But rules is rules is rules.
Hannah Ryding landed the club’s first individual title of the day, in the U15 4k. Hannah was hotly pursued by past age-group champion Valencia Wright in second and Kate Paul in fourth to secure the U15 Girls team crown for the seventh year in a row. Esme Dougal, Melissa McIntosh (who made the journey from Carlisle to turn out for the club) and Tuscany Wright would have been fourth team, claiming 9th, 15th and 21st places.
Reuben Macdonald is now only the second Giffnock North AC U15 boy ever to win the West individual title, after a race-long 4k battle with Fraser Gilmour of VP Glasgow. Just two seconds separated the lads at the end, and the club-crown duel was continuing behind them: Alex Robin outsprinted VPG’s next finisher for fifth, before Matthew Knak delivered an immense effort to come in one spot behind VPG’s third counter … one place either way by any of our boys and the title would have gone northside of the city … but they prevailed by a single point and we retain our title for another season. The previous GN winner of this category is Hamish Armitt, who happened this year to be away in Portugal, running strongly for GB&NI U20s.
Under 17 girl Zoe Flower put in a powerhouse performance over a gruelling 5.5k, as the weather started to deteriorate (darkness at lunchtime: we demand floodlit cross country), coming home a good fourth, leading Helen Chong (12th), Miriam Gilbride (15th) and Kirsten O’Donnell (19th) to team silver behind Garscube. Extra shout for Miriam who fell in the closing stages but got up and fought on to close out in a medal position. There were many fallers on the day, the wet conditions making the downhill cambers and tight bends even more demanding than usual.
Also over 5.5k, U17 Ethan Carolan matched Zoe’s fourth place finish, backed by Ross O’Brien (16th) and Jacob Luc (21st) for team fourth. Charlie Tomkinson, Craig Cameron, Aidan Flynn and Chris Watson-Sweeney all packed into the top 33.
The Under 20 Women’s race saw Giffnock North athletes in two different teams, with McKenna sisters Lynn (2nd overall) and Charlotte (5th) helping their Glasgow University team to gold after an impressive 6.5k effort. Withdrawals through illness meant Giffnock didn’t have a full team, but Clare Wallace and Rhona Mowatt flew the flag: Rhona was rewarded with a hard-earned individual bronze, while Clare raced into 7th place.
Calum Young led the Under 20s to a fine team bronze over 6.5k. Undeterred by two falls – “I was going fine until I slid full length ten metres sideways straight off the course then had to run back up to join in again” – Calum still finished 8th. Andrew Robertson (17th) and Keiran Mooney (19th) joined him on a very muddy podium (okay there was no podium, it had sunk without trace) the trio edging out Law & District on countback.
An excellent team silver came the way of the Senior/ Masters Women in their 8.5k. Yes, five miles and more, of hills, rain and mud, this is the life. Soaking wet hats off to Yvonne McNairn, Jill Smillie, Allie Chong, Nicola McBeath, Frances Lowrie and Sheila Lewis. Masters category third place team went to Allie (2nd V45), Sheila (2nd V50) and Kathleen McLachlan, who was a fighting 10th in the V40 bracket. [Club Photo ]
The course having been well and truly chewed up by seven races, the Senior/ Masters Men were unleashed onto 8.5k of torture, and our gents responded splendidly with a fine seventh place in highly competitive company. Take a bow, Chris Greenhalgh, Crispin Walsh, Oliver Traynor, Jordan Orr, David Shaw and Luke Chamberlain. Chris, Cris and David comprised the third-place Masters’ team, for another feather in the club’s cap (or sou’wester, more like). Applause also to Andy Macdonald for his 15th place in the V40 category and to Rob Crusher, 11th in the V50s.
It’s rumoured that the West District Home Baking Prize 2019 went to Oliver Traynor, but he hid the cake tin from me, so I can’t really comment.
Well done everyone, you were part of a race that will go down in cross country folklore as one of the steepest, wettest, twistiest and turniest ever. Thanks as always to the officials, supporters, coaches, volunteers and our centenary-celebrating hosts, Dumbarton AAC, whose very small membership put on a truly memorable, welcoming show. This is the hard-working grassroots base that helps put athletes on the way to European, World and Olympic appearances.
Thanks Croy for the excellent report from Balloch. More excellent photos fro
Giffnock North U11 left Gourock with the inaugural Tri- club Sportshall Challenge cup, Sunday 8th December.
|GOLD||Leilani Spelman Ikediashi||Matthew Snowden|
|SILVER||Sarah McNulty||Zander Summerhill|
|BRONZE||Maya Johnson||Angus Weir|
|80m||Leilani Spelman Ikediashi||Sarah McNulty||Hannah Brown|
|Long Jump||Leilani Spelman Ikediashi||Isabella Annand||Sarah McNulty|
|Shot Putt||Leilani Spelman Ikediashi||Maya Johnson||Isabella Annand|
|600m||Sarah McNulty||Lilani Spelman Ikediashi||Ahrra Donaldson|
|80m||Angus Weir||Matthew Snowden||Zander Summerhill|
|Long Jump||Angus Weir||Aaron Reid||Zander Summerhill|
|Shot Putt||Zander Summerhill||Jacob Stuffins||Matthew Snowden|
|600m||Matthew Snowden||Patrick Fraser||Zander Summerhill|
After pizza, juice and sweets were consumed and more dancing it was time to go home, the night was summed up by one of the children who said “ that was awesome”. Delighted to hear that everyone had fun and look forward to next year”
This event is open to Juniors 2nd year under 13 and above and all Senior members.
Next Burns night will see the club host their annual joint junior and senior awards celebration at
Carmichael Hall, Eastwood Park, Rouken Glen Rd, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 7JS
Saturday 25th January 7.30-11.00pm.
In keeping with the Burns theme, we have our usual ceilidh band, Clamjafrie, a bar service offering a special Scottish cocktail, and our popular buffet to include haggis pakora!
Tickets available on Entry Central, priced just £15. Please click the link below
It’s Official – Giffnock’s Track and Field Athletes are the best
Giffnock were awarded Track and Field Club of the year at Scottish Athletics’ Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on Saturday evening.
Paula Radcliffe was guest of honour at the event where Callum Hawkins was awarded Athlete of Year and Maria Lyle Para Athlete of the Year
Giffnock were nominated in three categories: Track and Field Club of the Year, Off Track club of the Year and Rueben Nairne was a contender for U17 Athlete of the year. Everyone at Giffnock North congratulates Central on winning Off Track and Isla Calvert (Livingston AC) for U17 Athlete of the Year and remain intensely proud of our Off-Track athletes, coaches, officials and helpers and Rueben for their tremendous achievement in being nominated.
And so to our award….
Jake Wightman, Scotland’s recent 1500m record breaker, took to the stage envelope in hand. “The contenders for Track and Field Club of the Year are (drum roll please): Edinburgh AC, Aberdeen AC, Victoria Park Glasgow AC and Giffnock North AC”. To our genuine surprise and delight, Jake announced Giffnock as the winner. This a tremendous achievement made possible by every single Giffnock athlete, across every single age group, who set foot on a track, throwing pit or jump runway and the coaches, officials, volunteers and family who helped them get there. Congratulations to our fellow contenders
Billy Glasgow, Club CHAIRMAN had the honour of receiving the award on behalf of the club.
Track and Field Club Award criteria:This Award recognises a club that has shown development in track and field; meets the needs of all athletes at every age and stage of their development; has performed well across the year and has shown a strong improvement in performances; and demonstrates an innovative approach to competition, supporting its athletes in gaining experience in track and field athletics.
Thanks to Gerry Duggan for compiling this report of our successful night at the Awards.
Rhona Mowat – Silver Senior Women and GOLD u20
Yvonne McNairn – Bronze Senior Women
Allie Chong – GOLD V40
Hilary Carswell – Bronze V40
Women’s team GOLD (the championees-Rhona Mowat, Yvonne McNairn, Allie Chong)
Ted Gourley Silver V50
Mens team BRONZE (Chris Greenhalgh, Jordan Orr, Chris Walsh, Iain Carroll, Ollie Traynor & John O’Donnell)
Ps. You’re all winners ⭐
Report from Frances Lowrie ! Thanks Frances and Thanks to Greenock Glenpark IAC Stevie McLoone &Cameron Spence snd all the organisers and stewards !
Amended Results :
SOUTH OF THE BORDER, BEST OF THE DAY. The annual raid to the Liverpool Cross Challenge saw Giffnock North enjoy another rewarding day. Numerous highlights include Hamish Armitt claim a fine fourth place and an automatic GB vest for the upcoming Euro Cross in Lisbon.
In the U13s Craig Shennan nailed an excellent third place, with club mates Alasdair Nugent and Calan Chong storming home seventh and eighth. Katy Donnelly ran strongly for tenth. For the U15s Reuben Macdonald and Valencia Wright also both delivered 10th place finishes, while Julia Cash in the U17s produced a great fifth place result.
Further fuller results will follow. Well done to all who travelled, and major thanks to coaches, parents and supporters.
Thanks Croy !
Five of Giffnock North’s seniors headed down to Southport last weekend for the British and Irish Masters XC championships. This annual event has been running since 1988 and sees the best XC runners from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland compete over 6 or 8k, depending on age.
The other home nations allow vets from age 35 so Jill Smylie picked up her first Scotland vest to compete this year. Their W35 team contained the winner of this race, Michelle Sandison from Springburn Harriers, who led a strong Scottish contingent to team silver.
Allie Chong was next up in the W45 category. She ran as well as could be expected following a knee injury, and their team took home the silver behind England and Ireland.
Mary McCutcheon and Shona Donnelly ran in the W50 category. Mary, as always, had a very fast run, coming in 6th in the age group and second Scot behind Ana Richardson who just missed out on an individual bronze. Shona put in a solid performance to help the team to bronze medals.
Ted Gourley had a fantastic run in the M55 race over a gruelling 8k. He finished second Scot and again took home a team bronze medal.
All but one Scottish age group team won team medals in a particularly successful meet for the SVHC team. England again won the overall prizes, but were far less dominant than previous years, especially in the younger age groups.
The races finished with the open event, open to any member of SVHC and Russell Whittington committed himself well over the flat fast course. His support for the earlier races was also much appreciated!
Any Giffnock North members who fancy competing next year should join the SVHC and take part in the trials which take place every September. It’s a chance to race against the very best in a pure age group setting, and to enjoy a real national team atmosphere amongst some top athletes.
Congratulations to all our Super Vets ! And many thanks to Allie for the Report
The Junior Awards Night & Christmas Disco is open to all under 11 & first year under 13 members.
FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER
7.00pm – 9.45pm
GHA Rugby Club, Braidholm Road, Giffnock, G46 6EB
Come along and join the fun!
Award presentations including Star Track Certificates, Cross Country Certificates, Club Championship medals and under 11 Athlete of the Year.
Pizza and juice included in the £7 ticket price. (+ admin. fee)
Click the link below to buy tickets
Note all other age groups (2nd year u13 and above) are invited to the joint Junior/Senior Awards Night which is on 25th January 2020 and will be advertised soon.
The club is in the process of moving to a new online membership scheme (LoveAdmin). So far we have uploaded our Junior Membership to the database.
Please would all parents/guardians of Junior members check their emails to confirm they have received notice of the new electronic administration system and log into their account to update any information that requires updating, in particular email addresses.
For the system to work efficiently it is vital that all members login to their account, setting up a password.
IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN EMAIL, please first check your spam/junk folders in case it hase ended up there, otherwise email Pauline McKay
The gentle rolling flower meadows of Cumbernauld … no, hold on, the scenic flatlands … no, the merciless vertical barricades … that’s more like it … yes we were back at Cumbernauld House Park,to unleash more than sixty of our fine young athletes across the tilting, twisting, turning, slithery hills of the National Cross Country Relay Championships. In near perfect autumn conditions, our junior generation did not flinch and did not disappoint.
See you all at the races.
Thanks Croy for the report !
Some excellent photos available from Bobby Gavin , Video Highlights from Vinco shared by Scottish Athletics as well as photos on related social media from Club photographers .
“Success for Senior Women at National XC Relays (read more…)
Before our sizeable contingent of club athletes head to Cumbernauld for Saturday’s National Age Group and Senior/ Vets XC Relays it is best that we report on last weekend’s Relays at Nether Pollok
Brilliant Success for the Senior Women on a very sunny Sunday, as they took the Gold Medals with Yvonne McNairne , Jill Smylie and Rhonda Mowat . To cap a great win , Rhona and Yvonne recorded the 2nd and 3rd fastest times of the day. They were well backed up by a squad of other senior and vet club athletes, some savouring their first cross country race.
Our Men’s squad most in the photo above took 4th and 5th places.
The U11s Took Gold in the Girls race with Freya Scobie , Lula Neilson & Sarah McNulty and Bronze as well with Emily Jackson, Edie Campbell & Rose Costello.
U11Boys took Silver with Matthew Snowden, Joseph Ottolini and Patrick Fraser
We fielded 20 x U11 Boys and 9 X U11 Girls and many were also taking to cross country for the first time. The experience was definitely enhanced by the sublime Autumn weather.
Following some great results from the U11 squad the rest of the junior endurance athletes showed good form at the Renfrewshire Cross Country Relays.
So a good day all round. And now for Cumbernauld !
‘NORTH TACKLE WEST WITH ZEST. Kilmarnock Field of Dreams, Saturday 12th October
Report from Croy Thomson
A young Senior Mens quartet of Nikolai Gajic, Jack Bell, Calum Young and Andrew Robertson landed a commendable tenth, up against some of the toughest teams in Scotland.
Most of these Photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin & Scottish Athletics
The George Cummings Relay (Incorporating the Renfrewshire Road Relays) took place today in Houston, Renfrewshire around 2.7 miles of country road. The ladies team of Yvonne McNairn, Francis Lowrie and Jill Smylie took Silver in the Renfrewshire Road Relays and Bronze in the George Cummings Relay. The Men’s Vet team took team Gold with Graeme Paterson, Iain Carroll, Chris Greenhalgh and Crispin Walsh . Well done to all Giffnock North Athletes today!
Full results at this link
http://kilbarchanaac.org.uk/2019/10/05/george-cummings-road-relays-results/Thanks to Yvonne McNairn for Report
A merry band of U11 and U13 athletes made their way to Livingston today to take part in the 1st race of their XC series . This was the 1st Cross Country race for some and they all enjoyed it . The conditions were good but they all said it was a real xc race
Patrick Fraser took the Bronze in the U11s and Cameron Mitchell was 4th.
U13’s at Livingston XC. Charlie McAllister 4th. Great runs too from Martin Rolfe, Ella McWilliams, Isla Munro & Lexi Martin..Well done all the athletes ! Much more to come from all these keen XC runners
Thanks to Coach Andy Munro , for Photos & supporting all the Athletes !
Awards made last night by East Renfrewshire Culture &Leisure Trust to Anne Stewart, Dudley Walker and Rachel Callan.
Many congratulations to all 3 for well deserved rewards in their category.
Anne received the Lifetime Coaching Award , Dudley the Development Coach of the Year Award and the Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Rachel.
Happening on the very same night as Neil Gourley made the 1500m Final at the World Athletics Championships, the club has a lot to celebrate just now and it’s appropriate that those who contribute to the success of our athletes, week in week out are recognised.
We made other nominations too so maybe next year for them.
Neil travelled to Dubai to the GB Training Camp and before his Walk and Talk with Athletics Weekly, he responded to a request from the Club to take part in a Q&A. This was held at Eastwood High School on the evening of 5th September 2019 after the Middle Distance Squad had trained .
Question & Answer with Neil Gourley, Giffnock North AC, Scotland and GB&NI 1500m runner
A thoroughly informative and entertaining Q&A was held at Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns, chaired by Dudley Walker and well attended by athletes and coaches. In a full classroom, Neil gave us the benefit of his middle-distance learning to date; insights into his experiences in training and racing in the UK and USA; tips on dealing with pre and post-race emotions; balancing studies and sports; and much more besides.
Q: What was the start line?
NG: “Age nine at a school fun run I was spotted by one of the teachers who suggested I go along to Giffnock North. At Under 11 I was coached by Clare Stevenson, so really it’s all her fault.”
Q: Did you take part in other sporting activities?
NG: “Yes – football, rugby, table tennis, golf and tennis. A bit of everything, I was naturally competitive … but I wasn’t great at any of them.”
Q: What made you stay in the club?
NG: “Great club culture. Good bunch of competitive guys, coached by Gordon Lockie. I loved cross country, and trying to help the team. And the thing was, the more I worked at it, the better I got. Work was always or nearly always rewarded. I put in the effort and it paid off.”
Q: What was the attraction in cross country?
NG: “When everyone’s on the start line, hundreds of you, at a cross country race, everyone has the same right to be there, trying to win.”
Q: Were you always good?
NG: “I was never the most talented boy. I always had someone to chase and I like that.” (Note – Neil’s training group included Grant Muir, who holds the current Scottish U17 3000m outdoor record of eight minutes 34.06 seconds set in September 2010. Grant, Neil and Jack Walker together hold the Scottish U20 3×800 record of five minutes 47.21 seconds, set in June 2012.)
Q: What’s the most important part of your training?
NG: “The most important contribution to your sport isn’t the training. It’s the time away from the track that counts, for example get eight to ten hours sleep. Have a good snack after sessions – I prefer chocolate milk, for the sugar kick plus protein.”
Q: How did you prioritise among your different sports?
NG: “I saw a potential in myself in running. And I realised I had to eventually drop other sports. It was difficult – my dad is a big rugby fan, so giving that up was difficult. There were big conversations and I was upset at giving up football and rugby. But it had to be done.”
Q: Did you make quick progress in running?
NG: “It was a steady progression. Let’s just say that as an Under 11 I ran a three minute 17 seconds 800m time trial and was mortified at being beaten by the girl from next door. She was ten seconds ahead of me.” (Note: Neil’s results in the National Cross Country Champs are: 2007 26th; 2010 16th; 2011 3rd; 2012 U17 Champion.)
Q: How did you deal with stress?
NG: “Badly! One time I missed selection for a West District team and I cried. It’s a big deal when you’re young, but it’s important to feel nervous, it means you care. Before a race I think about my brother, my parents, & all the people who want you to do well. During the race ,it’s you. You’re the one who matters .
“If you dwell 24/7 on your sport it’s not helpful. It’s good to have distractions. If you have trained hard and done a lot of work, then that’s all you can do. Don’t dwell on it. Just work out what to do better next time.”
“I have a 24-hour Rule – well, sometimes it’s a 48-hour Rule. The Rule is, after a good race, then I can be as happy as I like for 24/48 hours, then get back to work, that race is over. The same Rule applies when you’ve had a bad race – for a day I can be unhappy, go in a sulk, get upset, but after 24 hours, that’s enough, that’s okay, you care, but ultimately, it’s a waste of time, get back to work. Look forward.”
Q: Who was your inspiration to go to the USA? (Neil took a sports and engineering scholarship at Virginia Tech, for whom he competed over country and track, and indoors. He is now signed with Oregon Track Club.)
NG: “Chris O’Hare. He did it, with no support.” (Note: Chris O’Hare was a stand-out Scottish junior and remains a world-class athlete, based in the US.)
“I sent twenty, fifty, letters to universities in the States. Some didn’t reply, so they were scratched off the list. I looked at the coaches and facilities. Virginia Tech is good for engineering, which I wanted to study. And they were improving as a track and field outfit. NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) experience varies across the US, I sought advice and did a lot of research.
“I was seeking a balance between academics and sport, and the Professors in the US are more understanding than here when it comes to achieving that balance.
“Travel around the States is ridiculously well supported and the US College track and field set-up is phenomenal … funded by American football and basketball.”
“It’s difficult to do the trans-Atlantic competitions. My coach was and is very understanding about letting me adapt preparation for big GB Trials and so on.
Q: Doesn’t the US system demand a lot from its athletes?
NG: “Yes. You’re not just there to train but to compete and earn points for the college team. I was lucky to be given the right kind of support and wasn’t pushed to compete all the time. I was given scope to recover. The NCAA is great for learning how to race tactically in intense situations.”
Q: You were young when you went to the States. How was that experience?
NG: “I was 18 when I went to the US. I had a rocky first year –I had glandular fever and I ran rubbish in cross country – I didn’t know I had glandular fever. But training was going okay and in second year I started to break through.”
Q: How did you cope with studies, plus training and competing?
NG: “I admit it was hell at first, but good to learn the disciplines of time management and working out strategies. Time management is key in balancing studies, training, racing and life. An average sort of day would be:
• Train a.m. before studies
• 4 or 5 classes
• Train p.m.
• Study in the evening
• Sleep – very important, sleep.
Q: 800 or 1500?
NG: “I enjoy the 800 though it hurts more … but my 1500s give better results.”
Q: You still hold the club U15 3k record … oh, hold on … (Note: at this point Reuben Macdonald pointed out that he now holds the Giffnock North AC U15 Boys record, which he took from Ethan Carolan. How times fly.)
NG (laughing): “I was never one of the top guys in the club – be patient, this sport often doesn’t come to you quickly.”
Q: Were you academic as well as sporty?
NG: “I studied quite hard for results. Mostly I was a good boy, quite boring.”
Q: Did you always focus on middle distance and country?
NG: “At under 17 I thought 3k or steeplechase were my events, though I tried a bit of everything. I’d say test your limits on everything. It wasn’t until I was 18 or 19 that I settled on 15s – my ‘chase was a disaster!”
Q: Tell us who you’re running for now – apart from Giffnock North of course.
NG: “I run for Oregon Track Club, based in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Eugene is sometimes called ‘Tracktown’, so that tells you something about the importance of athletics there. I ran a good 1500 and was approached by my now coach Mark Rowland (Olympic bronze steeplechase 1988, still GB men’s record holder in the ‘chase) and by coincidence my college coach at Virginia Tech was moving to OTC. So when the college coach moved, so did I! Eugene is an incredible place to train and the World Championships will be held there in 2021. It’s at sea level, not altitude – and it’s the hay fever capital of the world!”
Q: How do you deal with disappointment?
NG: “The lows make the highs higher. At Glasgow not so long ago, on the morning of the European Indoor Championships 1500 Final, I woke up sick and dizzy … I couldn’t race the final of my favourite event in my home town, in front of a home crowd. Terrible moment, terrible feeling. But the disappointment fuels determination to succeed.
“Never take success for granted, seize your opportunities, you don’t get many.”
Q: You achieved your 1500 metre goal at the recent GB Trials for the Word Championships.
NG: “The GB Trials were also the GB outdoor track championships, so there was a title and medals up for grabs, and a lot of good athletes competing. After the disappointment of the Euros in Glasgow, I worked really hard. Only two automatic selection places were available at the Trials, and I’ve missed out previously, very narrowly, so I worked really hard in training. I was not missing out again if I could help it. And in the GB Final, with 600 metres to go, I knew Josh Kerr would take it out and he’d move well for the last lap. I knew what he’d do and I thought something would open up in the last 100. And it did.” (Neil won the GB 1500 title in three minutes 44.76 seconds, ahead of two other Scots, Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman.)
“You’ve got to have a Plan A, B and C. Stay awake and if possible stay in lane one as much as you can.”
Q: Who will you be rooming with in Doha?
NG: “Ah, well, good question, that’s interesting, because I don’t actually know. The system is you hand in a list of three people you’d like to room with, in order of preference, and the team officials do their best to match you up with them if they can. The thing is, none of those three people may not put you on their lists!
Oh, here’s a tip on an athlete who’ll be in Doha and could do well – Hannah Greene, in the 800. Watch out for her.”
Q: Why is Scottish middle-distance running doing so well at the moment?
NG: “Laura Muir proved it can be done. People here have realised it can be done. With so many good Scots, you know you have to work hard every day.”
Q: How do big races in the US compare against the GB World Trials?
NG: “The relays in the States were a shared experience. Probably those are my favourites, the team ones are more memorable. The GB Trials by contrast are for yourself and your family and friends.”
Q What’s next, after Doha?
NG: “Tokyo 2020 is what I’m gearing up for. The Olympics hold more meaning than even the Worlds.”
Dudley Walker: “Thank you Neil, for taking the time to chat to us. I know everyone at the club will be cheering you on in your efforts in Doha … and beyond!”
NG: “Thank you, everybody, it’s always nice to be able to give something back to the club that got me started and has always given me so much encouragement. One last thing – one of the big secrets in this athletics game is what my coach often tells me: ‘Just keep turning up’.”
In thanking Neil for taking time out from a busy schedule before returning to Oregon, the club and Michael from Migo Sports gave him that most treasured of athletic items: a brand new Giffnock North hoody, presented by U17 distance athlete Zoe Flower.
Many thanks to Croy Thomson for recording and reporting on this important occasion .
Neil Gourley PBs: 1500m 3:35.95 and 800m 1:46.12. Neil is scheduled to go in the World Championship 1500 heats in Doha, Qatar, 8:00 pm UK time Thursday 3rd October.
For more Background information on Neil see our previous post on his breakthrough Season in 2018 which continued in 2019 to the present date and World Athletics Champs in Doha !
Neil Gourley’s Road to Doha
The Life and Fast Times of a Giffnock North athlete
New 600m PB 1.19.16 (Giffnock North AC club record)
New 800m PB 1.47.04 (3rd in 2018 Scottish rankings; 12th in all time Scottish rankings; 4th in all time Scottish indoor 800m rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)
New 1500m PB 3.35.98 (4th in 2018 Scottish rankings; 7th in Scottish all time rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)
New mile PB 3.57.11 (3rd in 2018 Scottish rankings; 12th in Scottish all time rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) 800m champion.
Member of the Virginia Tech National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Distance Medley Relay championship winning team. (First national track title for VT.)
British Athletics Championships (including European trials) 3rd place
Athletics World Cup (first senior vest for GB) 3rd place
IAAF Diamond League Anniversary Games 8th place (Diamond League debut)
Scottish Athletics 1500m National Champion (1st senior national championship)
IAAF Diamond League (Emsley Carr Mile) 8th place
Long Island Mile 3rd Place
5th Avenue Mile 3rd place
As can be seen from the above, 2018 was a breakthrough year for Neil. He completed his college running career where he competed for five years for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) by anchoring his DMR team to victory in the NCAA championships. The DMR is a unique event in which the four team members run legs of 1200m, 400m. 800m and one mile. It’s very highly regarded and this was not only the first time that Virginia Tech had won it but was also the first national track title ever secured by the University.
With his outdoor eligibility finished Neil was able to concentrate on achieving the times and places he needed to gain a place in the British team for the European Championships – his biggest target for the season. To do so he had to bring his 1500m PB down from 3.39.92 to under the qualifying standard of 3.37.5 and, to guarantee selection, finish first or second in the trials. Having not managed to achieve the qualifying time in the lead up to the trials he first had to concentrate on placing there.
Scots again dominated the final, taking all the medals, with Neil missing out on the second-place spot and automatic qualifying position by .01 of a second to Jake Wightman, who subsequently went on to win the bronze medal in the Euro Champs. Neil finishing third left the decision up to the selectors even if he managed to secure the qualifying time which he duly did in the exotically named Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, running 3.36.54 on 11 July. The selectors, however decided to pick the athlete who had finished fourth in the trials for the Euro Championships.
Racing back from disappointment
Missing out on Berlin, although a huge disappointment, gave Neil the opportunity to compete in the Scottish Championships where he won his first national title, just holding off a strong challenge from one of the next generation of Scottish middle-distance runners, Sol Sweeney.
Neil was selected to represent GB&NI in the first ever staging of the Athletics World Cup, held in London’s magnificent Olympic Stadium. Neil finished a very creditable third, earning a bronze medal and helping the GB team to an overall third place in the competition.
Neil’s performance also saw him selected to compete in his first Diamond League event which was held just a week later in the same venue. In a world class field, Neil finished eighth, improving his PB to 3.35.98.
Having graduated in Mechanical Engineering, Neil moved to Eugene, Oregon or ‘Tracktown USA’ as it’s known, to join the Oregon Track Club Elite where he is teammates with the likes of Nijel Amos, Hassan Mead and Francine Nyonsaba.
2019: To Glasgow – and Beyond!
At the start of 2019, his first big target for was to qualify for the British Team to compete in the 2019 European Championships being held in Glasgow. With the same selection rules in place the stakes were high, at the British Championships in Birmingham in early February with a top two finish again required to guarantee a place on the team. Neil timed his run perfectly in the final to overtake Elliot Giles to become British 1500m Champion and book his place on the team. The article below from the Oregon Track Club Elite’s website gives some further detail on his season to date.
EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Neil Gourley couldn’t have asked for a better start to his professional career.
In just five indoor races, the 24-year-old native of Scotland has lowered his indoor personal best in the 1,500 meters by more than six seconds, claimed his first British Indoor national title in that event, and secured a berth in the European Athletics Indoor Championships, March 1-3, in his hometown of Glasgow.
He couldn’t wait to compete on the global stage in front of his most ardent supporters.
“It’s difficult to put into words how special it will be to compete in these Championships in Glasgow,” Gourley said. “It will be my first time competing in a senior international championship, and I have the privilege of doing so on a track I have trained at countless times. I’ll also be running in front of many of my friends and family, so I’m determined to defend the house against Europe’s best milers.”
The former standout at Virginia Tech tuned up for the European Championships by posting an indoor 1,500m PR of 3 minutes, 38.32 seconds at the Muller Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix last Saturday (Feb. 16). He set his previous best of 3:44.76 in winning the 1,500m title at the British Indoor Championships.
Still, Gourley was far from satisfied with his eighth-place performance in an epic indoor race that featured a world record of 3:31.04 by Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera; the third-fastest time in history by Ethiopian runner-up Yomif Kejelcha at 3:31.58; an Australian national record; and 10 personal bests among the 14 finishers.
“I’m sure at some point I’ll look back on this race and be glad that I was a part of such a historic occasion,” Gourley said.
“But to be completely honest, my initial reaction was that I couldn’t believe that I’d just lost by seven seconds. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that far behind over 1,500m! Time trial style races have never been a strength of mine but I am determined to improve on this and being involved in this level of competition will allow me to do so.”
In March 2019 Neil was just savouring this chance to compete in the Emirates before a home crowd in the GB Euro Team. He qualified for the final with an absolutely commanding performance. He looked, to all those watching, to be in line for a medal before the cruellest of blows as he was struck down with a virus which meant he was unable to take his place in that final. If Neil’s family, friends and supporters from all over were hugely disappointed we could only begin to imagine how Neil felt then and continued to feel subsequently.
It’s the measure of Neil that he returned to his US Training base and track club and settled down to training hard again and set himself the task of qualifying for selection for the GB Team in the 1500m for the World Athletics Champs in September 2019 in Doha.
Having achieved the qualifying time in Seattle in June, he then needed to take 1st or second place at the British Trials in Birmingham on 25th August. This he duly did in a thrilling, sensational win taking the title, gold medal and earning that spot in the company of what must be the most talented band of Scottish 1500m athletes ever. A just reward for years of dedication, commitment, hard work on the track and a huge amount of talent which he modestly seeks to downplay in interviews constantly extolling the virtues and talents of his competitors and their contribution to his success.
The entire body at Giffnock North Athletes, Coaches, Officials Parents and Board salute Neil’s enormous achievements and wish him the very best in Doha. Go Neil!
He was the British Champion in the years 1948, 1949,1950 and 1952 right up to Roger Bannister’s historic breaking of the 4 minute mile. It had been intended that Bill would have presented the card in person but he had suffered a fall and was unable to be present. The card was therefore presented on his behalf by Mike Fleet.
Thanks to Bill Nankeville and to Mike Fleet for this historic addition to the recognition of Neil’s success and achievement.
This report is compiled from various sources, but mostly with the input of Neil’s very proud dad Ronnie Gourley. We recognise fully ,as does Neil frequently in his comments, the input and support required from his parents, his brother Rob, previous coaches at Giffnock North ,especially Gordon Lockie and other supporters over the years which has assisted Neil along with his new back up Team on this journey.
England Athletics u15/u17 T&F Championships, Bedford
A number of club athletes made the long trek down to Bedford. Reuben Nairne took the under 17 men’s pole vault title increasing his Scottish record by a further two centimeters with a fantastic leap of 4.72m.. Also under 17, Murray Fotheringham brought home two medals, a silver in the long jump with a 7.22m performance and a bronze in the high jump, clearing 1.99m. Other Giffnock performances saw under 17 Finlay Waugh, 5th in the final of the 200m in a time of 21.79. Isla Fotheringham was 8th in pool 2 of the under 15 girls Pole Vault with a club record jump of 2.61m. Zoe Flower came in 7th in the u15 girls 1500m final.
In Falkland, Fife, Miriam Gilbride gained a National title when she won the under 17 Scottish Mid-Trail Championships in a time of 22.13.
In the under 13 event, Calum Chong was second. In the Senior Men’s event, Jordan Orr was 26th, Michael Cross 30th, and Ted Gouley 39th from the 112 finishers.
Scottish Athletics T&F League
At the last match in Grangemouth of the Scottish Men’s League the Giffnock team put in some stella performances to win the match and gain promotion back to Division 1. The final league points total put us second just one point behind Lasswade. Maximum points were gained in the Javelin with David Lees throwing 47.37m and Neil Hutchison, 39.51m. Long jumpers Joseph Connelly and Adam Deverill also put maximum points on the board, jumping 6.60m and 5.57m respectively. Many thanks to all the athletes, officials and team managers who have supported the team over the season.
Simon Wake Comrie Hill Relays
Congratulations to the Giffnock Gals team of Yvonne McNairne, Jill Smyllie, Allie Chong and Mary McCutcheon who took 2nd place at the Comrie Hill Relays. The race, run in four stages is 42k long and climbs 2,110m. It takes place in Laggan Park, Comrie, Perth.
Copies of Full Timetables will be in Programmes on Entry.
Pools for U13 Girls will be posted at the Arena.
Remember the programmes will have Lucky Numbers for the Prize Draw.
Giffnock North AC Joint Annual Awards Bash
Save the date!!
Our Annual Awards night will take place on Saturday 25th January 2020 at Carmichael Hall, 7.30pm.
Ceilidh band Clamjafrie will be there to entertain and we have a fantastic buffet and bar service.
We have secured this date and venue for the club to have a Joint Awards Night and yes its on Burns Night. Hence the Ceilidh band .
The Junior Xmas Disco will take place at GHA on Friday December 6th for all U11s and U13s where U11 Awards and Star Track Awards will be presented.
All set for Sunday for Club Champs
Ayrshire Athletics Arena in Kilmarnock
Diana Davidson leading on the Catering requesting donations of Homebaking and wrapped & labelled sandwiches to feed everyone if you can help with that
Lynda Scott & Tracey Davie still looking for some donations of Raffle prizes if baking is not up your street
Admission will be by Programme at the entrance gates. As you know we have kept the cost of the Entry fees very low.
There is limited seating and shelter at Kilmarnock and Parents/ Carers Supporters can bring folding chairs etc & umbrellas although currently the Weather reports look favourable .
U 11 Age Groups will have coaches and parent helpers supporting them on the day.
Declarations will be inside the Arena usually in the Indoor area. Spike length is 6/7mm and no Christmas tree spikes allowed.The grounds around the track are very wet as a result of recent flooding and the ground staff are unable to cut the Grass as this makes matters worse . For officials and parent Field Helpers you may need your wellies or waterproof shoes, be really careful specially if you have had a bunion surgery in the past, we suggest to wear the best shoes after foot surgery.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday . If you missed the Entry date sorry about that . Next year !!
We usually have some more of our Senior athletes supporting the event and presenting AAA Awards for those meeting certain standards in their events. This year however, we will be trying to follow their exploits at the British Championships while Athletes in Kilmarnock are breaking a sweat
Best of luck to all our athletes this weekend!!
Following hard on the heels of last weeks u13,15,20 Championships the Senior and Under 17 Track and Field Championships took place at Grangemouth 17th-18th August.
Giffnock athletes were again to the fore taking no less than eleven National Titles in a total medal haul of fifteen. Four of our athletes were double gold medalists. Fresh from their triumphs last week at under 20 level, under 17’s Alyson Bell and Finlay Waugh both took titles in both 100m and 200m. Reuben Nairne took Pole Vault and 100m Hurdles titles, his hurdles title in a Championship Best Performance of 13.18. Senior Nikki Mason added the Javelin title to her Saturday High Jump title. Her leap of 1.87m giving her a share of the £2000 prize money at stake having reached the standard set by Scottish Athletics. There were further titles won by under 17 Rachel Callan in the 300m hurdles, u17 Murray Fotheringham in the long jump and Neil Gouley in the senior 800m.
A full ist of medalists below.
All photographs courtesy of Bobby Gavin, That One Moment
3 Days to Go ! Countdown to Club Championships ! Get your entries in now !
The Club Junior Committee are requesting donations of items for the Raffle on the day . Please give to any coaches at training especially John Davie at Sprints and Lynda Scott at Middle Distance .
Diana Davidson leading on the catering is also needing your donations of Home baking and wrapped labelled sandwiches to feed the officials all the troops the stewards and the spectators. We’ll be extremely grateful for all your help to make the day a success .
Final Timetable and more details and information re arrangements for the day will be posted as soon as we complete the entries .
Any more offers of help with the running of the event on the day to
Another excellent weekend for Giffnock North athletes at the Scottish u13,u15,u20 Track & Field Championships which took place at Grangemouth over the weekend (11th-12th Aug). The medal total was 18, 5 of which were Gold.
Two remarkable performances to note were from under 17 athletes competing in the under 20 age group. Firstly Murray Fotheringham jumped a massive 7.21m to take third place in the under 20 long jump, breaking the current Scottish record last set in 1980.
Alyson Bell, also an under 17 took the under 20 100m title in a time of 12.22. Massive congratulations to both athletes.
Rachel Callan, also an under 17 took a silver medal in the under 20 400m Hurdles.
Many congratulations to all who competed in the Giffnock vest at these championships.
All photographs courtesy of Bobby Gavin, That One Moment
A full list of medalists is detailed below.
It was a difficult decision for the event organizer but after a further lengthy delay and meeting of all team manager’s it was agreed the 1500m events would go ahead but as the outside lanes were flooded the longer sprint events & relays would be canceled and one of the two remaining field events, the U13 girls high would be held indoors. All our athletes gave their all and a full set of results is attached but some of the highlight’s are as follows;
U13 Girls HJ Cara Weir was equal 1st in the A string with a height of 1.45 ably backed up by Cara Slater who won the B string with 1.40m. Katy Donnelly had a fine win in the 1200m with a time of 4.05.61 despite the horrendous conditions. The U13 boys were not to be outdone by the girls and Ryan Davie & Ellis Nairne both finished second A & B with each clearing a height of 1.40. In the distance events Craig Shennan & Jack Wallace both won their respect 800m races in times of 2.18.29 & 2.28.10 and Alastair Nugent was second in the A 1500m with a time of 4.51.48 with Oliver Bryers 1st in the B string with 4.55.80. In the U15 girls Angelica Mayer finished 2nd in the A string of the 100 & 200m’s with times of 13.15 & 26.75. In the distance events Isla Scott was 2nd in the A 800m with a time of 2.27. 43 & in the B string, Kirsty Wylie was 3rd with 2.36.01. In the 1500m’s Hannah Ryding was 1st A in 4.48.06 & Kate Paul finished second in the B string with 5.05.56. Rachel Miler had a fine run in the B string hurdles finishing in a time of 14.47. Imogen Maher set a new club record and finished 3rd in the hammer with a distance of 26.04. In theU15 boys Ross Gourley did very well winning the A string of the hurdles with a time 13.68. Mark Herbert-Ruiz won the pole vault with a height of 2.40m. In the distance events both Reuben MacDonald & Michael Nolan won their respective 1500m races in times of 4.22.97 & 4.53.15.
All in all, it was a very great team effort in very difficult weather conditions.
Report by Billy Glasgow
Giffnock’s U 17 team were the worthy winners of the Scottish U17 Youth Development League Trophy in an event that at times looked more like a swimming gala than a Track and Field event.
In a stunning display, Giffnock’s U17s were first in 12 out of the 20 events and finished Top 3 in 18 out of the twenty events.
The meeting, on Sunday 4rth August, got off to a marvellous (and dry) start with three victories in the hurdles. Rachel Callen took the prize for the girls and Rueben Nairne and Murray Fotheringham secured first place in both the A and B event, each setting new PBs in the process.
In the boys LJ, Murray Fotheringham sailed to his best outdoor distance this season for first in the A event and sprinter Khaliq Kelani showed hidden LJ abilities to secure the B event.
We nearly had a clean sweep in the 200m too. Alyson Bell, Katie Foss and Finlay Waugh landed wins, and in a very close race Khaliq Kelani come home second.
The 800m was the first of two middle distance events. Jacob Luc was third in the Boys A race and Harris Paterson had a brilliant win in the B race, setting a new PB in the process. Not to be outdone Zoe Flowers and Abbey Thomson both set PBs coming fourth and second in their respective races.
At this point the meeting switched sports and turned into a swimming gala. Alyson Bell (1st) and Caroline McConnell (2nd) both ran their 100m races just as the rain started. You might want to check the best Action Sports WA a passionate group of sports enthusiasts. But when Finlay Waugh and Khaliq Kelani took to the track for their short sprint, the heavens opened, and the boys could have done with a set of flippers and aqualungs. Despite the atrocious weather, both boys secured A and B victories.
With a full-scale monsoon unleashed on Grangemouth, the meeting was suspended while the officials considered if it was safe to continue in such dangerous conditions. Could an athlete be struck by lighting while carrying a metal relay baton? Was the athlete at the tail of the 1500m pack at risk of a shark attack?
After a pause in events the torrent relented a little. It was decided that the 1500m races would proceed and the girls LJ would move indoors. Alas, the relays had to be cancelled. This was a blow because at Giffnock we LOVE relays. (Don’t forget to mark your diary for Sunday 15th Sept – National Relays at Pitreavie).
Bravely, our 1500m athletes took to the track. Despite the conditions, Julia Cash won the A race in a time that was just a fraction outside her PB (how did you do that?) and Emma Chamberlain mopped up third place in the B race. For the boys, Ethan Carolan ran away with the A race and Tom Stewart set a new PB coming 2nd in the B race (in those conditions, wow!).
The final event of the day was the girls Long Jump, which followed the Top 3 theme with Rachel Callen securing victory and Lauren Agnew 3rd place in their respective A and B events.
After some rapid adding up by the officials (although the result was never in doubt), Alyson Bell and Khaliq Kelani accepted the U17 challenge trophy on behalf of the team.
So well done to all our U17 team. It was an outstanding team, with an outstanding set of performances.
While we all congratulate ourselves on such a brilliant result, it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the officials who run these events. Colin Saxby, Garry Paterson, Graham Dunn, Neil Deerey, Danny O’Donnell, Catriona Gourley and Anne Stewart were Giffnock’s designated officials on the day and they had to cope with horrendous conditions and an ever changing schedule. We are grateful for your support and contribution to this great event.
Let’s hope the U17’s can take this victory forward into the National Champs in the coming weeks.
(NB we have advised the YDL admin team that the boys LJ results need to be amended to show the Murray’s winning jump was 6.95m).
Report from Gerry Duggan
Results attached are unscrutinised as yet
Entries close on the 16th August. Please get you entries in as early as possible.
You can download a provisional timetable below. Please note this will probably change once we have your entries, so check back for the final version.
Europen Under 20 Championships, Boras, Sweden
A massive well done to the three Giffnock North athletes competing for GB at the under 20 European Championships in Sweden at the weekend. Alessandro Schenini qualified for the long jump final and finished in 11th place just one place below compatriot Stephen Mackenzie. Erin Wallace easily qualified for her 1500m final in a slow second heat. In Sunday’s final Erin was placed 7th. Fraser Angus competing as part of the men’s 4x100m team was unlucky not to get a medal as the team was edged into second place by Germany, but were later disqualified for a change over violation.
Scottish Men’s T&F League, Aberdeen
Despite wholescale withdrawals and numerous changes to our team on the day and not filling 10 team slots we managed to finish in runner up position on the day and are now in second place overall with the final match to come on 31st.August in Grangemouth.
Giffnock got woff to a flyer in the opening event of the day in the high jump where David Smith only started jumping after everyone else had bowed out. He won the competition with a leap of 2.10m. Nassir Salim heading the B event with a leap of 1.85m.
In the short sprints Scott Wylie and Kyle McLean shared the spoils with Scott winning the 100 and Kyle taking the tape in the 200m. They followed each other home to take maximum points for the club.
In the 400m Ross Veitch took 4th in the A race with Eoghan O’Donnell placing first in the B race. The 800s saw superb efforts from Eoghan and Donald Mclean gather very valuable points for the Giffnock cause.
Blayne Wright, still suffering from jet lag following his recent transatlantic trip and Kian McConville were our men in the 1500m event and both worked their socks off to add to the club points total.
The 5000m proved a real test for our distance guys, Andrew Love and Kieran Killen had very warm conditions to contend with in the 5000m but they both stuck to their tasks to augment the points tally.
Nick Boyle just offered a wry smile when asked to race 3K over a few barriers and some water jumps. Massive applause to Nick who performed with style.
In the field Neil Hutchison was our main man as he worked his socks off in the Long jump,Shot and Discus.
I can’t compliment the boys enough with their fantastic attitude and willingness to do their very best for the club. With one match to come at Grangemouth on 31st.August we must turn our the numbers and the quality to ensure we achieve promotion to Division 1.
Report by Dudley Walker
Run the Blades Half Marathon
Many congratulations to Jill Smyllie who took second place at the Run the Blades Half Marathon, which took place at Europes largest onshore wind farm, Whitelee Wind Farm near Eaglesham. Jill came home in a time of 1.30.12 behind winner Olympian, Freya Ross.
On arrival at Gothenburg airport we collected all our bag’s and boarded the bus for the half hour trip into the city center where we quickly located our hotel and after checking everyone in, we headed to the restaurant for our evening meal, then a bit of relaxation before heading off to bed as the competition started early on Friday morning. Those athletes who were not competing on the
Friday either went on a boat trip around the canals & harbour or went to the very good theme park, which was only a 10-minute walk from the stadium. As you can imagine these trips proved very successful with both athletes and coaches alike and were replicated on the Saturday & Sunday so that all the athletes had a bit of relaxation when not competing.
While in Gothenburg we were also blessed with good sunny weather over the three days. Which was ideal for the sprinters but not so pleasant for those running over 800m’s as it was very hot at times. There was a lot of laughs along the way and everyone seemed to have a great time. However, when it came to competing the athletes really raised their game and gave it their all, (despite a few nerves) and the foregoing reflects just how successful they were. The team spirit was also great to witness as the athletes really got right behind one another when they were competing and I’m sure their encouragement was greatly appreciated by those who were competing.
It was a very well planned and organized trip and a huge vote of thanks is due to Jackie Alexander, the organizing & sponsorship committees, Pia Kilpatrick and all the coaches who put a lot of time and effort into ensuring the kids had a lot of laughs, and a lasting experience but also ensured they were able to perform at their very best when it came to competing. The athletes were also a great credit to the club and their parents.
Medal Winners Göteborg, Ullevi 28/6 – 30/6
|Angelica||Mayer||U15 60m 1st 7.87 PB New Club Record 29/6|
|Angelica||Mayer||U15 200m 1st 26.06 PB 30/6|
|Alyson||Bell||U17 100m 2nd 11.90 PB New Club Record Ranked No1 uk.|
|Alyson||Bell||U17 200m 2nd 24.54 PB New Club Record Ranked 2nd uk|
|Harris||Paterson||U15 800m 2nd 2.03.14 29/6|
|Harris||Paterson||U15 2000m 2nd 5.51.67n PB New Club Record 30/6|
|Finlay||Waugh||U17 200m 3rd 22.02 PB 30/6|
|Katie||Foss||U17 400m 3rd 57.53 29/6|
|Ross||O’Brien||U15 2000m 3rd 5.52.10 PB 30/6|
Further Giffnock North AC Club Records
Brooke Moran U17 80m 10.80 PB New Club Record Göteborg, Ullevi 29/6
Frankie Bradley U15 60m 8.31 PB New Club Record Göteborg, Ullevi 29/6
In total 29 athletes achieved PB’s with 14 of them actually each obtaining 2 PB’s for their two events. A full set of results are also available at http://trackandfield.se/resultat/2019/190629.htm
Report by Billy Glasgow
So while our athletes are competing all over the place it seems this weekend – Sweden/ Gothenburg Germany / Mannheim,East Kilbride/ Caldergen Trail Race/ CSSAL John Wright Centre , Scotstoun Sprint Gala and Team Glasgow competing South of the border we bring you another alert for the Club Track & Field Championships !!!
DATE is Sunday 25th AUGUST
VENUE is Ayrshire Athletics Arena in Kilmarnock
TIME is 10.00 Am to 4.00pm Aprox
Hope you have it in the Diary already
All ages — U11s to Seniors and Veterans or do you prefer being called Masters
Allie Chong says she would “not ever miss taking part in the Club Champs”
you can Run [ Enter a Sprint and a Distance Event ] Jump and Throw with the best
If you can’t enter as a competitor we need your help to run the event successfully
Anne Stewart and Doleen Galbraith organising the officials
Graham Dunn sorting the online Entries which will be available soon
Great catering as usual with Diana Davidson leading the charge this time around
Dudley Walker’s impeccable announcing.Lynda Scott and Tracey Davie plus doing their usual much appreciated efforts.
Come and be part of a great club day taking part or supporting the athletes
Offers now to firstname.lastname@example.org
As our athletes arrive to compete at The World Youth Games, in Gothenburg Sweden,I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in pulling this together. I’m sure you will all agree that this is an amazing opportunity and a fantastic experience for them to compete at an international event.
Firstly our 2 amazing coaches, Jackie Alexander & Sara Lang who have run around like headless chickens for the past year organising the whole trip and also heading out to Gothenburg with the Team. I now know why it’s only organised every 2 years !! Also to the other Coaches/Leaders, Billy Glasgow, Symon Lipp, Gerry Duggan, Duncan Robertson, Jim Coyle, Pia Kirkpatrick & Colin Saxby, for giving up their free time and using annual leave to head out to Gothenburg. I’m sure they will all be invaluable in supporting our athletes out there.
To our main kit sponsors for providing our 41 athletes and 9 coaches with:
3/4 zip outer tops – Executive Benefits Consultancy
3 T-shirt’s. – Thomson Residential Lettings
T-shirt. – Scotec Lifts Ltd
And grateful thanks also to Michael at Migo Sports our Kit Supplier for all his help and input .
We were also able to provide all our coaches and athletes with rucksacks, holdalls & spending money with the help of James Turnbull Photography, Murray TV, Waitrose Community Matters, Trish McGregor’s Calamity Jane Sing Along, and David Marks at Entertainment Tonight, Racenightsuk. I would never have been able to pull the race night off without all of Davids advice and help which raised an astonishing £1,600.
To Brian McGowan, John the bus driver and all at Whitestar Coaches for sponsoring us and providing free transport to the airport.
To Tanya Cooper at Thomas Cook for arranging a preferential currency exchange rate.
To Derek Young at hdc for designing and compiling a memories book on the athletes return which they will be able to cherish for years to come.
Last but not least to all the parents and businesses for providing us with amazing prizes for the raffle which was held at our race night – IBIS Styles, Quiz Clothing, GB Kit kindly donated by Erin Wallace, Sartis, CATCH, Eaglesham Hotel, Pollok House, Distinction Spa, Ash Hair Salon, Sainsbury’s, The Salon, Giffnock Dry Cleaners, Gifted, Abientot and the many donated bottles of whiskey, champagne, rum, wine etc which were greatly received by the winning ticket holders.
I’m sure each and everyone of our athletes appreciate how much effort, fundraising and organising went into this trip. Hopefully there will be plenty of news over the next few days of the achievements, PB’s, medals etc but most importantly I hope each and every athlete thoroughly enjoys the whole experience gaining a little confidence and wisdom along the way.
Thank you for all your help in this fundraising Venture.
My Job is Done!!
Gothenburg Fundraising CommitteeOn behalf of all the Coaches , Committee and club as a whole , our grateful thanks to Sharon for the role she has played in a fantastic Fundraising effort .
Giffnock’s Men Denied Top Spot…by a Toaster!
Giffnock’s Men put in an awesome effort on Sunday to secure second spot in Scottish League Division 2 at Grangemouth, our highest position in years.
We had brilliant league debuts from our U17 Speed King Finlay Waugh, 1-lap expert Kyle Alexander, High-Jumper Nassor Salim, sprinter Russell Lawson and Blayne Wright, who seems to set a PB every time he sets foot on the track. There was also a welcome return to the League Team for Andrew Love (nice 1500 PB) and Nicola Gajic with a brilliant victory following long term injury.
Teeth-grittingly gutsy runs came from Jack “28 laps” Bell and Colin “bring your step-ladders” Wylie in the Steeplechase. And we had the usual absolute rock solid performances from our regulars – Ethan Carolan, Eoghan O’Donnell sneeking in a 400m PB before his Gothenburg trip, Neil Hutchison busy all day in the field and Calum William so close to a sub- 11s 100m.
As league event are all about the points, the Giffnock North man-of-the-match by a country-1500m was Donald MacLean. Expecting only to run as a guest in the 800m, due to injuries, Donald found himself promoted to the 800M B race, catapulted into both horizontal jumps and thrust into the 4×100 relay. Without plugging these gaps, we would have been pushed into third place. Well done Donald!
And the Toaster? In a bizarre Saturday night culinary catastrophe, pole-vaulter Fraser O’Rourke managed to toast his hand, not the bread and regrettably had to withdraw before the competition started. If Fraser had been able to vault, his points would have leap-frogged into first place. Next time just have a piece and jam.
A big thank you to Danny O’Donnell, Anne Stewart and Philip Hutchison, our officials, who had to put up with 4 seasons in 1 hour.
While this was Giffnock’s best performance in years, and the team had a ball…. I want us to do better, and I need your help. We had a great turnout on Sunday, but we still didn’t fill every team slot. We need more steeplechasers and 10,000 metre runners, and we could do with more guest runners in all the events to give us cover when injury strikes on the day. Donald is an excellent example of how a guest can save the day. So look out for the call-up call emails for Match 3 (21st July) and Match 4 (31st Aug), and we’ll hoover up every point get Giffnock promoted back into Division 1 where we belong.
Gerry Duggan, Men’s League Team Manager
Scottish Schools GNAC Medal winners
Girls 75 Metre Hurdles Girls D
2 Emily Watson Mearns Castle HS 12.43
Girls 800 Metre Girls C Final
3 Isla Scott 14 St Ninian’s 2:24.21B
Girls Pole Vault Girls C
1 Isla Fotheringham Glasgow Academy 2.60m New Club Record
Girls 100 Metre Girls B Final
1 Alyson Bell 15 Eastwood HS 12.30B winning the George Aithie trophy for her Outstanding performance.
Girls 200 Metre Girls B
1 Alyson Bell Eastwood HS 24.56 New Club Record
Girls 300 Metre Girls B
1 Katie Foss 16 Biggar HS 41.08B
Girls B 1500m Steeplechase
2 Helen Chong Eastwood HS 5.31.85
Girls 3000 Metre Girls B
Section 1 1 Julia Cash 15 Hutchesons’ 10:15.29B
Girls 1500 Metre Girls A
3 Clare Wallace 17 Eastwood HS 5:11.80
Girls Shot Putt Girls A
2 Ellie Lonergan-Black 17 Hutchesons’ 9.95mB
Boys 80 Metre Hurdles Boys D
1 Daniel Martin St Aloysius College 12.23
Boys 1500 Metre Boys C
2 Reuben Macdonald Hillpark Sec 4:20.60
Boys 100 Metre Boys B
1 Finlay Waugh 16 Annan Academy 11.25B
Boys 200 Metre Boys B
1 Finlay Waugh Annan Academy 22.29
Boys 1500 Metre Boys B
3 Harris Paterson 15 Mearns Castle HS 4:13.06
Boys 3000 Metre Boys B
2 Ethan Carolan 16 Shawlands Academy 9:23.52
Boys 100 Metre Hurdles Boys B
1 Reuben Nairne 16 Williamwood HS 13.83B
Boys Pole Vault Boys B
1 Reuben Nairne Williamwood HS 4.05m
Boys High Jump Boys B
1 Murray Fotheringham 16 Glasgow Academy 1.90mB
Boys Long Jump Boys B
2 Murray Fotheringham Glasgow Academy 6.36m -0.3
Boys 3000 Metre Boys A
3 Ben Shaw 18 Mearns Castle HS 8:58.59.
THE EVER POPULAR Giffnock North AC Festival of Running returned for its 27th edition in leafy Rouken Glen Park last Thursday, and in almost perfect weather 527 entrants completed the testing 10k event. Cambuslang Harriers’ Iain Reid was first home, claiming a fourth victory in a row in a rapid 33 minutes and 15 seconds, ahead of unattached U20 runner Keiran Cooper and Cambuslang team-mate Michael Healy.
First Giffnock North runner over the line was Niall Fraser in fourth overall. With the two Cambuslang men ahead of him being veterans over 40, Fraser duly claimed the Senior Men’s crown and led clubmates Michael Cross and Ruairidh Maclean to the senior men’s team award for the host club.
First female was Rhona Mowatt in a commendable 39 minutes and three seconds, the Giffnock North teenager and international hill runner taking the U20 prize into the bargain, she got in contact with abby wambach agent to give her a motivational talk and prepare her for the race at hand. First Senior Lady was Amy Ritchie of Glasgow Triathlon Club in second place overall, followed by Migo Sports’ Jenny Brown. We were honoured to have GB Olympian Lee McConnell starting the early-evening Primary School races and awarding prizes in the Secondary School Races in the sunshine.
The “To The Pond and Beyond” 2.5k charity races for secondary school students attracted well over 100 runners, all vying for the £500 cheque for the school with most finishers, the money going to the charity of the school’s choice. Hillpark Secondary were triumphant, lining up more than half the starters, including the winner of the boys’ race, Reuben Macdonald. St Ninian’s High School’s Esme Dougall won the girls’ race.
A Hillpark Secondary spokesperson said, “Many thanks to Giffnock North for organising this event, the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly and are delighted to put the £500 towards our efforts for charity work in Malawi.”
For Giffnock North AC a spokesperson said, “Hats off to all the runners – 527 finishers is one of our best ever totals in the 10k, and the schools charity turn-out sets a great new standard too. Thanks go to our major sponsors Specsavers and C Hanlon, and to our hard-working officials and volunteers, and the ever-helpful East Ren Parks Department, without whom this event could not happ
Report by James Turnbull
Success at u12s 4xFun Invitational
Giffnock North had a 30 strong squad of athletes competing in the second annual tri-club invitational event hosted this year by our friends at Kilbarchan AC.
4 girls teams and 3 boys teams took part in 4 events (75m, Long Jump, Javelin and 4x100m Relay).
This event is the first opportunity for some of our younger athletes to experience competition in a relaxed setting and despite the miserable bank holiday weekend weather there were lots of smiling faces to brighten the day.
Gold was taken by our girls team of Leilani Spelman Ikedashi,Maya Johnson,Isla Ross and Hannah Turnbull and our boys teams of Alfie Bradley,Oliver Bryers,Max McKie,Martin Rolfe achieved the gold team prize with silver medals for Daniel Cree, Keiran Mahindru, Aaron Reid & Mathew Snowden.
Congratulations to all who took part!
Many,many thanks to Margaret Ann McLachlan, Jeni Thomson, the entire team at Kilbarchan AAC, & Janice Hendrie from Inverclyde for organising this great competition and of course our Coach team led by James Turnbull,of Gillian Pollock, Patricia Gallagher, Caroline Bradley and parent helpers.
Report from Ryan McAllister
Sunday 19th May saw the annual Loughborough International Athletics Meeting take place, where teams from England, Wales, Loughborough, GB Juniors, British Universities and Scotland compete against one another. This year, Giffnock North had three athletes selected to compete. Alessandro Schenini gained selection for GB Juniors whilst Fraser Angus and Adam Clayton both gained selection for the Scotland team.
In his first competition of the outdoor season, Alessandro remained calm and composed to jump 7.37m; his best outdoor jump to date. This was an excellent start to the season for Alessandro and sets himself up well for the season ahead. This was all the more positive following Alessandro’s hamstring tear at the end of the indoor season. A dramatic conclusion to the 4x200m indoor relay at the British University Championships saw Alessandro claim the silver medal for Strathclyde University tearing his hamstring with 15m to go. Following successful rehab, prescribed by physio Eilidh Dorrian (a former Giffnock North athlete), this past weekend’s performance shows that he is back on form.
Alessandro’s two training partners; Fraser Angus and Adam Clayton started their day off competing in the 4x100m relay for Scotland. As members of the 2022 Commonwealth Development squad, the two athletes competed on legs 1 and 2 positioning the Scottish team in the mix at the end of the changeover of leg 2. The team finished a respectable fourth place, which builds momentum looking towards relay races later in the season. Following the relay, both athletes competed in the 100m races where, coincidently, they both ran 10.76 in different races.
The three athletes now have their sights fixed firmly on the England Championships in Bedford at the end of June where they will all look to gain selection for the European Junior Championships which take place in July.
Photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin, can be seen of the athletes in action.
Apologies for the delay in posting this and well done to Alessandro Adam and Fraser, all members of Ryan’s Training squad.
Report and request from Sharon Veitch. Get your tickets now
🇸🇪Gothenburg, Sweden 🇸🇪
Thank you everyone for supporting us through Waitrose Matters Scheme. We collected enough tokens to raise £190 which we will receive a cheque for in the next few weeks.
Additionally we have succeeded in gaining a few major sponsors resulting in us being able to provide all 41 athletes and 9 coaches with 1/4 Zip outer top and 4 T-shirt’s all displaying sponsor logos for the upcoming trip.
The last push for fundraising is a Charity Race Night at the GHA.
We will also be holding a raffle on the night with some fantastic prizes including lunch vouchers, shopping vouchers, spa treatments, overnight hotel stay and even some Erin Wallace GB Kit up for grabs!!
If you would like to buy a ticket and support our athletes in this amazing opportunity to compete at an international event please contact me at
Your support is much appreciated.
Gothenburg Fundraising Committee.
|Gold Medals||Amber Wade||u13G||800m|
|Ryan Davie||u13B||High Jump|
|Isla Fotheringham||u15G||Pole Vault|
|Daniel Martin||u15B||Pole Vault|
|Daniel Martin||u15B||80m Hurdles|
|Racel Callan||u17W||300m Hurdles|
|Reuben Nairne||u17M||100m Hurdles|
|Sam Young (?)||u20M||High Jump|
|Rachel Alexander||Sen. Women||Long Jump|
|Nikki Manson||Sen. Women||Javelin|
|Silver Medals||Katy Donnelly||u13G||1200m|
|Cara Weir||u13G||High Jump|
|Ryan Davie||u13B||Long Jump|
|Angelica Mayer||u15G||Long Jump|
|Mark Herbert-Ruiz||u15B||Pole Vault|
|Ross Gourlay||u15B||80m Hurdles|
|Rachal Callan||u17G||Triple Jump|
|Oliver Maher||u17B||Shot Putt|
||Cara Slater||u13G||High Jump|
|Imogen Maher||u15G||Triple Jump|