Match 3 was conducted under a cloudless sky and in high temperatures at Grangemouth Stadium. Corstorphine brought another large team - 18 athletes over 18 events - our biggest team for quite some years. Many people took advantage of taking part in just one or two events. This is a big advantage in ensuring that everyone can concentrate on executing their best performances, rather than spreading their efforts across several contests. Corstorphine began the day at the top of Division 2, having won the first and second matches of the season. Winning today would almost certainly secure promotion to the top division.
Tom Hunt and Jacob Scott began the afternoon with High Jump clearances of 1.5 and 1.6m respectively, commencing a steady trickle of points to our tally. Ryan Kyle and Craig Nolan enjoyed strong winds to take 6th A and 3rd B places before the track programme began at 1pm.
Patrick Millar improved his debut time over 400m Hurdles in Aberdeen by a couple of seconds in a much busier race to take 5th A in 65.48s, with James Harrison coming 4th in the B race in 69.40s.
There had been a lot of attention thrust upon 800m races with the addition of a guest heat. It had been thought (for a short while) that internationalists Chris O'Hare, Neil Gourley and James Bowness might run in the B string heat with Cameron Thores. Fortunately he was spared that distraction posting a great 2:12.57, following Finlay Ross' Men's League debut time of 2:05.29. O'Hare ran 1:48.35 to enhance his chances of selection for the European Championship meet in Berlin next month. It's fantastic to see our young athletes competing on the same programme. This is senior track and field athletics and Scottish athletes are performing well abroad. It's great that Olympians are still coming back to take part in the the best meets available here, outside the National Championships. I look forward to our team competing with the highest calibre of athlete over the next few years.
100m heats took place not long afterwards. All 4 of our athletes completed the distance in under 12 seconds, with Cole Milne quickest in 11.36s (just wind legal: +1.9m/s) for 2nd in the A string race. These quick times added up to further success later in the afternoon too...
As the track programme gathered pace, Tom Hunt and Patrick Millar quietly collected 2nd places in the Javelin, with Patrick improving his personal best by a couple of metres. George Key and Martin Beattie placed well in the Shot and Discus to keep that trickle of points flowing. The stadium announcer reported that Edinburgh AC led the interim standings for the match by just 10 points with a few strong events to come for our team. Sam Cavens and Craig Nolan both triple jumped in excess of 10m. This was Sam's first Men's League meet and I'm sure there's plenty of room to jump further in the sandpit.
James Harrison ran a slower than usual steeplechase which was calculated but sufficient to take the A string win. Iain MacLeod took to the event like a duck to water (though a much quicker through the water jump than the average Aylesbury) to win the B string race. Scott Pilkington and Stephen Addison (also a Men's League debut) contested a busy looking 1500m. 400m races had to be split into two heats to accommodate athletes from all 9 teams in the division. Ryan Kyle reduced his personal best to 51.20s for 3rd A and Patrick Millar ran 55.30s for 4th B. Tom Hunt won the 110m Hurdles again. Cole (22.95s) and Jacob (24.84s) completed the 200m before Calum McKenzie and Aaron Hoyle took to the start line for 5,000m. It had been hoped that we would field more athletes for this race and that our chaps would be able to set some very fast times but illness and injury meant that just 2 took to the start line. Calum ran 14:59, to compliment his 30:48 road 10km the week before and win the race (both divisions) by a comfortable margin. Aaron Hoyle set a track PB of 16:54 in the B string.
The 4x100m was my highlight of the day. It wasn't our fastest time of the season but it was the first national level win our teams have recorded in a long time. It can be quite difficult to see who is winning a sprint relay until the anchor man pick up the baton and it was equally difficult after too. All those sub 12s times and super changeovers (thank you Lewis!) meant that the Corstorphine team (Scott MacKay, Sam Cavens, Ryan Kyle, Cole Milne) crossed the line in 45.06, to win by 0.32s. The oldest member of that team is 25 years old, the youngest just 15, and there's such a big, motivated young sprint squad training at Saughton that the future really is bright for them all. The times they've set in the Men's League this season are the three fastest recorded by Corstorphine AAC in the last 10 years at least.
Events were rounded off with the 4x400m, where we finished 6th. That left us 2nd in the match, some way behind Edinburgh AC for the match, but still top of the league by one league point with one match to go. Corstorphine have effectively been promoted, pending a team travelling to take part in at least one event in Kilmarnock in August. In order to win the division, we must outperform Edinburgh AC in the last match, or come second to them with a deficit of less than 40 match points. Results for the Grangemouth have yet to be finalised and require a little amendment to remove errors. I'll try to post them once available.
We enjoyed the support of a good number of spectators on Sunday and 4 officials. Iain Cumming, Janet Grigor, John Ross and Annette Harrison's help allowed our athletes to take part and each of them can take credit for the success of the club.
The final match of the season is at Kilmarnock on 26th August. Details are, as ever, at scottishleague.org.uk. If you would like to take part, spectate or officiate at the match, please get in touch with Alastair Brockie, James Harrison or Ryan Kyle. Your coach can point you in our direction. Transport for that match is yet to be arranged and will depend on the numbers taking part.