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Athletics: Millie McClelland-Brooks is north’s shining light at Scottish short course cross country championships

Millie McClelland-Brooks.
Millie McClelland-Brooks.

Millie McClelland-Brooks was the north-east’s stand-out youngster in the Scottish short course cross country championships at Lanark racecourse.

The Midmar athlete, who represents Glasgow School of Sport, surged to an impressive victory in the under-15 girls’ 2k to become the first local athlete to win a title since the younger age group races were added to the championship programme in 2013.

Until now, the only north-east female to have collected a medal in this competition was Aberdeen AAC’s Naomi Lang, who pocketed silver in the 2016 under-17’s race.

On a wet and windy day, McClelland-Brooks showed her class by sprinting home four secs clear of Freya Campbell (Giffnock North) to win in 6min 44sec.

It was a fine performance which was almost matched by Aberdeen AAC’s Rhys Crawford in the under-15 boys’ 2k, which produced the closest finish of the day.

Rhys Crawford, Lanark XC races.

The Albyn school student came within inches of winning the title, only to be pipped by Kilbarchan’s Oliver Patton, who won by a single second in 5:57.

Crawford did, however, double his medal tally by leading his club to team gold with Thomas Reynolds, ninth (6:16), and Oscar Chirnside, 14th (6:29), completing the scoring.

There was more success for Aberdeen AAC when the under-17 women’s team finished third behind Giffnock North and Falkirk Victoria Harriers in the 3k championship.

Hannah Taylor led the way by placing eighth (12:02), followed by Grace MacDonald, 12th (12:10), and Aimee Tawse, 16th (12:21).

Aviemore 10k champion Caiden Thom was the leading north runner in the under-17 boys’ 3k, finishing 25th in 10:45, while Giffnock North’s Reuben Macdonald won in 9:42.

Caiden Thom, right.

Thom led Metro Aberdeen to ninth position in the team competition with the scoring completed by Liam Proctor, 52nd (11:35), and Murray Scott, 53rd (11:38).

The next major competition for the north-east youngsters is the East District championships at Stirling on December 4.

Aberdeen teacher Sean Chalmers finishes well ahead of Olympic finalist

Aberdeen PE teacher Sean Chalmers performed well to take seventh position in a classy Scottish men’s 4k cross country championship race won by Central AC’s Tokyo Olympic Games 5,000m track finalist Andy Butchart.

Sean Chalmers competing in the Lanark XC races.

The Inverness Harriers club member completed the Lanark course in 12min 8secs, while Butchart clocked 11:47.

The depth of quality in the field of 421 runners was emphasised by the fact Olympic 1500m finalist Jake Wightman (Edinburgh AC) was relegated to 14th position in 12:22.

Chalmers said: “I’m happy with it given the high standard of the field. It’s also a bit short for me.

“The pace was so fast at the start and after the first  400m I was lying about 25th. After that I was gradually picking people off and eventually got myself up into the top 10.

“My main target is the European cross trials at Liverpool at the end of the month, where the course will be double the distance. This was a good sharpener for that.”

Chalmers has also revealed he might tune-up for the Liverpool race by having a run out in the Fraserburgh half marathon six days beforehand.

He said: “I’ve entered, but I’ll see how I feel closer to the day. I don’t want to go flat out as that would be counterproductive. I’d just be looking for a steady run.”

Metro Aberdeen’s Jim Tole was a history-maker when winning the men’s 40-44 age group title at Lanark, finishing 55th overall (13:04).

It’s the first time an Aberdeen athlete has struck gold in any of the masters age groups at these championships.

Tole also helped his club take 13th position in the men’s team competition with Scotland 100k international Jason Kelly, 32nd (12:46), Martin Mueller, 99th (13:46), and Jordan Cruickshank, 154th (14:18).

Aberdeen AAC were ninth thanks to the efforts of Aaron Odentz, 42nd (12:53), Adam Brown, 44th (12:54), Fearghas Thomson, 63rd (13:21), and Ben Nelson, 75th (13:30). Fraserburgh’s Max Abernethy was 30th (12:45).

Olympic Games 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) powered to a clear victory in the women’s 4k in 13:09, while Hannah Cameron, 14:43, was 20th from a field of 220 to lead Aberdeen AAC to eighth position in the team competition. Zoe Bates, 31st (15:06), Jade Maclaren, (49th) 15:27, and Victoria Brown, 142nd (17:59), were the other scorers.

Second Proms win is the target for Edwards

Myles Edwards (Aberdeen AAC) is aiming for another win when he takes part in tomorrow’s Metro Proms 3k road race at Aberdeen beach.

The former Scotland 1500m champion won the opening round of the competition last month when he set a course record time of 8min 35secs.

The Metro Aberdeen duo who finished immediately behind him that day, Martin Mueller and Tom Martin, are also competing.

Fraserburgh’s Max Abernethy will also be in the mix as he tunes up for the following weekend’s Scottish Students cross country championships.

Michael Barker, who was fourth in round one, won the men’s over-40 age group competition and he’ll be aiming to repeat that result.

Kayleigh Jarrett (Shettleston Harriers) is favourite to notch a second victory in the women’s division of the race, in which Aberdeen AAC teenagers Aimee Tawse and Hannah Taylor will again battle for the other podium positions.

Gillian Cardno-Strachan (Fraserburgh) attempts to score another win in the women’s over-40’s division.

A capacity field of 140 will take part.

The remaining races in the series are on December 3, January 7, February 4 and March 4.