Michael Ferguson has become the fastest Aberdeen miler in history after competing in a high quality race at Stirling University in which the sub-four minute barrier was broken for the first time in Scotland since 2009.
The Monument Mile meeting featured 24 separate races culminating in the men’s elite event, which drew competitors from throughout the UK.
East Sutherland athlete Finlay Murray set an ideal pace, taking the leaders through halfway in 1min 58secs before Reading’s Jonathan Davies moved into pole position.
The Englishman then dominated and went on to win in 3:59.36, with Ian Crowe-Wright (Brighton and Hove) second in 3:59.61, while Mark Pearce (Shaftesbury Barnet) took third spot in 4:02.85.
It was the quickest mile run in this country since Kenya’s Gideon Gathimba clocked 3:57.96 at the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village in 2009.
Perth Strathtay’s Sol Sweeney was first Scot, finishing fourth in 4:04.72, while Ferguson was fifth in 4:05.41. The Aberdeen man’s time bettered the club record of 4:07.60 set by Bill Ewing on a cinder track at Pitreavie in 1966.
Ferguson said: “It worked out well and my time was around what I thought I was capable of doing.
“I’m pleased to get the Aberdeen record, but I have a lot of respect for Bill’s time as he did it on cinders.”
However, there was disappointment for Stephen Mackay (Inverness Harriers) as the British championship 1,500m finalist tripped and fell at the start of the final lap.
He said: “I tried to move out to overtake, but I was caught from behind and went down. It’s annoying; I felt I was ready to run well.”
Aberdeen’s Hannah Cameron was fourth in the elite women’s race, with 4:52.18 behind Cambridge University athlete Louise Shanahan who won in 4.44.87.
Moray athlete Cameron Main had a good win in another mile races He was 20m off the pace with 250 to go, but produced a strong surge over the final 80 to take top spot in 4:12.91.
Strathpeffer’s Hamish Hickey (Central AC) was runner-up in 4:14.28 with long-time leader Chris Maclew (Cambuslang Harriers) third in 4:14.57 and Luke Davidson (Inverness Harriers) fourth in 4:18.19
Edinburgh-based Craig Campbell (Inverness Harriers) won one of the most hotly-contested races of the evening, clocking 4:28.24 to hold off the fast finishing Aberdeen AAC duo, Lewis Watt (4:28.79) and Sam Griffin (4:28.87).
In the younger age groups, Aberdeen AAC’s Finlay McKay won his race in 5:24.19.