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Athletics: Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter Kathryn Christie pulls on Scotland vest for the first time in seven years

Aberdeen AAC's Roisin Harrison (190) and Kathryn Christie (181) running the 400m in Glasgow in 2022. Image: Bobby Gavin.
Aberdeen AAC's Roisin Harrison (190) and Kathryn Christie (181) running the 400m in Glasgow in 2022. Image: Bobby Gavin.

Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Kathryn Christie will pull on a Scotland vest for the first time in seven years when she competes in Saturday’s novel Dynamic New Athletics international meeting at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

The 27-year-old sprinter’s last representative appearance was at the same venue in 2015 when she competed in the 60m in a match against Great Britain, France and Germany.

This weekend she’ll line-up against teams from England, Wales, Ireland, Spain and in a mixed 2x200m relay.

Christie said: “I’ve done a couple of indoor 400m races this year to see how my training has been going and I’ve been happy with them. But it’s a bonus to get a Scotland vest as a result. It was definitely a surprise to be selected.”

It has been a long and painful road back to the international stage for the Finzean athlete, who underwent surgery on both feet in 2016.

As a teenager, she won the women’s 100m and 200m double at the Scottish senior championships on two occasions – in 2012 and 2014 – and narrowly missed selection for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

But problems with the navicular bone in both feet in 2015 halted her progress and since then she has been battling back towards full fitness.

She said: “The foot problems seem to be fine, although I have to rein things back from time to time.

“As I’ve been focusing on more endurance training rather than flat-out speed work, that seems to have helped.”

Kathryn Christie is a double Scottish champion over the 100m and 200m.

Christie is excited about getting back into top level competition this weekend.

She said: “It’s an interesting event.

“I’m taking part in the mixed 200m relay with one of the guys. We each run two legs, so it will be 400m in total with a short recovery between each of the 200m runs.

“I’m not sure whether I’ll be on the first and third legs or the second and fourth.”

Coincidentally, Aberdeen AAC’s Roisin Harrison is also returning to the international fold in Glasgow after a seven-year absence.

It will be the first time the 25-year-old, from Limerick, will have pulled on the green vest of Ireland since competing in the 4x100m relay at the 2015 European under-20 championships in Sweden.

Harrison will compete in the final event of the DNA meeting – The Hunt.

She said: “It’s slightly terrifying. It’s a handicap relay.

“Throughout the two hours, teams compete for points in a variety of events. Points are translated into a time advantage and, in The Hunt, the team with the most points starts off first.

“Whichever team finishes first in the Hunt wins the overall match. So, the Hunt is a relay, starting with a women’s 800, a men’s 600, a women’s 400, then a men’s 200.

“I’ll be doing the 400m leg.”

Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Alisha Rees also represents Scotland in the 60m.

Can Inverness’ Megan Keith add British uni title to her collection?

Inverness athlete Megan Keith will attempt to add to her growing list of honours when she competes in the British universities and colleges cross country championships at Horsenden Hill, Middlesex.

The Edinburgh University student, who won the European under-20 title in December, is among the favourites to win the 8k race.

Great Britain’s Megan Keith celebrates winning the Ladies Under 20 event during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships 2021 at Fingal-Dublin in Ireland.

Strathpeffer’s Hamish Hickey, a student at Stirling University, should be among the leading contenders in the men’s 10k, in which North District champion Max Abernethy leads the Aberdeen University team.

Meanwhile, Jim Tole bids for a golden day at the Scottish masters cross country championships at Aberdeen University’s Balgownie playing fields tomorrow.

The 46-year-old Metro Aberdeen runner is favourite for the age 45-49 title, but he’s keen to be the overall race winner.

He said: “I’ve been aiming for this race for the past year.

“I was in good shape 12 months ago, but the championships were cancelled because of lockdown.

“This is definitely the one I want to win.”

Elsewhere, Rebecca Matheson is one of a number of top athletes taking part in Sunday’s Aberdeen Sports Village indoor open graded track and field meeting.

The Aberdeen AAC runner, who picked up bronze medals in the 60m and 200m at last month’s Scottish championships in Glasgow, is to compete in the shorter sprint.

Former Aberdeen athlete Stephen Dunlop, the Scottish championship men’s 60m bronze medallist, faces Aberdeen AAC’s Struan Linton over that distance.

Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Ellen MacLeod, the Scottish under-17 high jump champion, is to test herself in the long jump and shot.

North cross country league prizes hang in the balance

Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) and John Newsom (Inverness Harriers) aren’t fighting only for individual honours when the North District cross country league enters its fourth round at Nairn on Saturday.

The duo are locked in a three-way contest, along with Gordon Lennox (Highland Hill Runners), for the men’s title, but they will also be key players as their respective clubs slug it out for the team title.

Moray Road Runners currently lead Inverness Harriers by just six points and it looks as though the title will ultimately go to one or the other. Highland Hill Runners are a further 72 points behind in third spot and cannot be completely ruled out of the reckoning just yet.

The battle for supremacy in the women’s division is equally enthralling with Catriona Fraser-Lennox (Inverness Harriers) holding a single-point lead over Kirstie Rogan (Highland Hill Runners).

Fraser-Lennox won the first two races, but Rogan turned the tables in round three. Another win for the Highland athlete this weekend would set up an intriguing final contest when the league season is brought to a close at Forres later in the month.

Highland Hill Runners hold a healthy points advantage in the team competition, but Forres Harriers are lying in wait should the leaders slip up.

Bruce Evans (Forres Harriers) is top of the under-17 men’s table, but Roy Taylor (Elgin AAC) can still leap ahead if he can repeat the win he achieved in round three at Lyne of Skene last month.

Katie Slimon (Highland Hill Runners) is in a strong position to secure the under-17 women’s title unless Beth Urquhart (Moray Road Runners) can launch a late bid for top spot.