Kilmarnock didn’t look that great when we arrived. There’s a nice track next to the A77. Some of us hadn’t been before and found that the temporary seating offered very little protection from the very visible and palpable elements. It was the last match of the Scottish Athletics Men’s League season and Corstorphine AAC took 15 athletes, 3 officials and a couple of supporters to battle it out with the elements and other athletes.
Some readers may know that the club were well placed in the league table, leading by a single league point from Edinburgh AC and a healthy margin of 8 points over Lasswade in 3rd. The top 2 teams are promoted and there were 9 points available for the match winners, down to 1 point in 9th place. Merely attending would guarantee promotion. Winning the match would guarantee the division title.
There have been lots of successes besides the numerical results this season. Yesterday’s team contained 15 athletes. 8 were under 20 years of age, with the youngest just 15 and already a regular men’s league performer. This young average age means that next season and the season after are likely to produce stronger, wiser performances. The great team ethic and morale means that everyone present is motivated and supported by the athletes around them.
The track programme changes slightly to accommodate one of only 2 10,000m races each year in Scotland at the last match. High jump, long jump and pole vault all commenced simultaneously at noon. We have been unable to enter a pole vaulter for the last few seasons. The club owns poles and now has access to a landing mat. It would be great to have someone competent to compete next season. Please ask your coach if you are interested in learning how to vault. While Edinburgh AC cleared up the points at the vaulting mat, Tom Hunt and Ryan Kyle claimed 2nd place finishes in the long jump, Jacob Scott and Cole Milne took 3rd A string and 2nd B string in the high jump.
An off colour Patrick Millar negotiated 10 hurdles and a lap for 3rd A, while James Harrison claimed 2nd B in the same race. Athletes in seats started to tally up points: CAAC 44, EAC 28 after 4 events. A few call offs and rearrangements to our team in the middle distance races left Scott Pilkington up against a confusing start process and a strong field for 5th A in the 800m, followed by Cameron Thores finishing 7th B. Ryan won his triple jump and Elliott took part in his first triple jump contest, recording a great jump with his 3rd attempt.
Sprinters continued to show improvement, despite more call offs, Ryan taking 1st A (and fastest man in the men’s league today), with a new wind legal club 100m record of 11.06s and Cole Narrowly missing a win in the B race by just a hundredth of a second in 11.30s (PB). George Key picked up another 8 points for his shot put and Tom H. Began his throwing account with a points scoring discus. Points update: CAAC 100, EAC 81
James and Aaron Hoyle ran a delayed steeplechase, starting wet, getting wetter and finishing wet. This was Aaron’s first steeplechase (he says he might do it again) and he was rewarded with a B string win. One of our athletes was denied a steeplechase race on the grounds of youth! This is disappointing and heartening in equal measure. 18 more months to wait...
New Javelins presented us with a welcome transport challenge. How do you transport a javelin?! With a bus or long car, it seems, or on the roof of a car. Again, we’re better prepared for this next season. Tom H. threw his new javelin 44.58m and Patrick’s club javelin flew 29.42m through the rain for 2nd B. Ryan and Patrick picked up 2nd and 4th in the 400m. We were privy to a points score update: CAAC 186, Giffnock 131, EAC 130.
Stephen Addison restrained himself on the first lap of a cagey 1500m to finish 4th A, Scott equalled him in the B string. Both behind EAC though! Cole and Jacob both went close to their respective best times in the 200m, though Cole's time was a wind legal personal best. The rain must have slowed them down with wet vests and footwear! The pace changed down a gear for the 10,000m: Tom Martyn formed a partnership with Aberdeen AAC’s Will MacKay, rattling through laps in an average of 73 seconds each. Tom Ferrington ticked off his laps not far behind on a busy, soggy track. Tom M. And Will took turns to set the pace, running through 15, 20 laps. Occasionally the gap stretched inside the last kilometre but the elastic between them never snapped. Tom M. Delivered the winning blow in the home straight, taking the lead from the division 1 athlete to win by a margin of a single second. Tom F. Kept the points drum beating by navigating his way to 3rd B. George scored a 4th place in the hammer, leaving only relays to go.
The 4x100m was great. There is a video of it on the club's Facebook page which details it perfectly - it's well worth a look. The team was made up by Tom H., Ryan, Elliot and Cole. By the time the 4x400m came round, the team was confident that we had done enough to win the match and the division. That proved to be the case. Ryan jogged round the final 150m in the knowledge that a 6th place finish was secure in the event. CAAC 292, EAC, 269, Giffnock 249. The division is won and the season is complete.
A running total of points per season was published in this year’s CAAC Attack in March:
2015: 515 (+32%)
2016: 591 (+15%)
2017: 797 (+35%)
This season we made it to 855 points after 3 matches and 1147 (+43%) at the conclusion of proceedings yesterday. That’s quite a steady march and one that is unlikely to continue in the presence of fuller, more capable teams in the top division. That said, Corstorphine will no doubt continue to improve and the athletes involved will continue to gain and use competition experience to their advantage and the Club’s. To make sure you are able to take part next year, please speak with Ally, James, Ryan or your coach..
Three of us have become graded officials this year. At each match clubs are required to present a team sheet which names three officials, one of whom must be a qualified official. We have had help from Chris Peggie, Janet Grigor, Iain Cumming, Annette Harrison, John Ross and Ally Brockie this season. It would be great to expand that pool of officials – it’s a different way to enjoy spectating and a helpful way to learn new things about your sport.
Congratulations to all those athletes, officials, coaches, parents, volunteers and anyone else involved in this success. It’s been a satisfying season.