Highland discus thrower Kirsty Law came up with a top performance to score her third successive victory in the Loughborough international track and field meeting.
The Inverness Harriers club member, who was representing Scotland in the match for the 14th time, came within 0.23cm of her best when clearing 58.59 metres with her fourth round throw.
It’s the second occasion this year she has achieved a 2022 Commonwealth Games qualifying mark, having thrown 58.82 at Stretford last month.
Law, who is from the Black Isle and is based in Loughborough, feels further improvement lies ahead.
She said: “I’m happy enough considering the conditions weren’t the best. The wind was swirling all over the place and it was cold.
“I just feel there’s a bigger one to come, but it was good to get another Commonwealth mark chalked up.”
Law’s Inverness clubmate Megan Keith also performed well when making her senior international track debut in the women’s 3,000m.
In a highly competitive race, the 19 year-old battled bravely on the final lap to hold on to sixth place, dipping under the 9min 30secs qualifying standard required for this summer’s European under-20 championships in Tallin.
Welsh athlete Beth Kidger won in 9.21.02, while Keith stopped the clock at 9:29.26.
She said: “I cut that one pretty close, but got the right side of 9:30, so I can’t ask for more in such windy conditions. Definitely a good starting point for the season.”
Another Inverness runner, Stephen Mackay, made a fine international debut in the men’s 3,000m, finishing third in 8:33.73, while Loughborough’s Matthew Stonier sprinted to victory in 8:30.67.
Aberdeen AAC’s Zoey Clark, who was captaining the Scotland side, led by example by winning the women’s 400m. The Olympic hopeful was always in control, leading from start to finish and recording a season’s best of 52.57secs.
She also gave Scotland the lead on the opening leg of the 4x400m relay, while Aberdeen clubmate Kelsey Stewart held on to second position behind England. Stewart also finished sixth in a guest 200m, recording 25.02secs.
Clark said: “I was so proud to be captain for Scotland for the event. It’s about 10 years now that I’ve been running for Scotland through the age group levels and so on and, if I look back, I could never ever have imagined that I’d be team captain for Scotland in the Loughborough International. I feel it is a big honour.”
Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Alisha Rees opened her season by taking second position in the women’s international 200m.
Success Eduan – representing the Great Britain junior team – won in 11.72secs, with Rees close behind in 11.76secs, which is just 0.31 outside the qualifying standard for July’s European under-23 championships in Bergen.
Aberdeen AAC’s Rebecca Matheson came within 0.01secs of her lifetime best when clocking 12.04secs to take fourth position in a guest 100m.
However, there was disappointment for the Keith athlete in the 4x100m as a mix-up at the second changeover led to the Scotland team failing to finish.
Aberdeen NHS physio Hannah Cameron uses 800m-honed turn of pace to power to Monument Mile victory
Hannah Cameron showed outstanding pace judgement when winning the elite women’s race at the Monument Mile classic track meet in Stirling.
The Aberdeen-based NHS physiotherapist was content to sit back from the leaders on the opening three laps and only moved into the lead at the bell.
From that point on she was in total control, relentlessly powering clear of her rivals and going on to stop the clock at 4min 46.86secs. That was more than five secs quicker than she recorded last year when finishing fourth.
Cameron is more used to competing over 800m, a distance in which she was Scottish Student champion four times while studying at Robert Gordon University.
She said: “I was pleased with the performance as I feel I ran at a fairly even pace throughout and was able to use my 800m pace to reel in the others.
“It’s not a result I was expecting as there were a few runners there who are much faster than me over 1500m.”
Edinburgh University’s Rebecca Johnson finished second in 4:49.85, while Aberdeen’s Naomi Lang, who was challenging for a podium position until the final 250m, was fifth in 4:55.33. Another Aberdeen AAC runner, Zoe Bates, finished strongly to take seventh position in 4:56.76.
Michael Ferguson finished eighth in the elite men’s race in 4:09.40, four secs outside the record Aberdeen time he set in 2020.
The Scottish 1500m champion had said beforehand that he’d be happy with a sub 4:10 performance in what was his first race of the year.
Inverclyde’s Ben Potrykus (Inverclyde) won in 4:03.57 with Falkirk’s Kane Elliot second in 4:04.02.
Caithness’ World Cup winner Andy Douglas wins on hill race return
World Cup mountain running champion Andy Douglas scored an emphatic victory when competing in his first hill race for seven months.
The Edinburgh-based Caithness runner was never seriously threatened in the Maddy Moss run promoted by scottishathletics at Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire.
Douglas completed the 10km course, which included 760m of climbing and descent, in 48min 29secs to finish well clear of a restricted field of 56 competitors.
Rory Abernethy (Ochil Hill Runners) took second spot in 50:53 and his clubmate Alasdair Macleod, who comes from Evanton in Ross-shire, was third in 51:29, three secs ahead of John Yells (Lochaber AC).
Douglas said: “I’m happy with the way it went. It’s a long, gruelling climb, but I had a lead of around 30secs at the top then I ran strongly on the descent to finish well ahead.
“So I’m pleased with my speed, but need to keep working on the climbs.”
The North Highland Harriers club member is keeping his fingers crossed that more domestic and international opportunities will open up in the near future.
He said: “I’ll be running in the East District hill championships at Balerno next Wednesday and I’m also hoping to get to the opening Golden Trail Series race in Spain in mid-June.
“The L’Olla de Núria Spanish race is held over a 21k course with 1,940m of elevation gain, but more than 70% of the route is at an altitude of higher than 2,700m, so it’ll be tough.
Catriona Graves (Carnethy) won the Maddy Moss women’s race in 56:56, followed by her clubmate Kirsty Dickson, in 59:29, Kingussie’s Georgia Tindlay (Hunters Bog Trotters), in 65:31, Elizabeth Leason (Carnethy), in 65:31 and Claire Bruce (Metro Aberdeen), in 66:08.