Aberdeen’s Rhys Crawford overcame a tricky qualifying procedure to set a record time when winning the under-16 boys’ 800m title at the Scottish schools indoor championships.
There were six heats of nine runners at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, with only the fastest six progressing to the final.
Crawford was drawn in the first heat, so had no option other than to put down a fast time to be sure of progressing, while those in the later heats knew exactly what was required and could keep something in reserve.
The Albyn pupil completed his race in 2min 4.85sec, which was six secs quicker than the winner of any other heat. Not surprisingly, three of the quickest times came in that opening heat.
But the north-east runner wasn’t to be denied in the final as he engaged in a pulsating battle with Kieran Fulton (Peebles High), which ended with the duo being separated by just 0.01secs.
Crawford held on to win in 1:59.90 to shave 0.10 off the championship record set by Jedburgh’s Michael Combe in 1994.
Ellon’s Hannah Taylor impresses in girls’ 800m
Ellon Academy’s Hannah Taylor was also in excellent form as she won a tactical over-16 girls’ 800m in which less than one sec separated the top three finishers.
The Aberdeenshire athlete held her nerve to take the gold medal in 2:19.91, while Maja Thomson (North Berwick High) was runner-up in 2:20.17, with Edinburgh’s Ani Macaulay Orr (George Heriot’s School) third in 2:20.80.
It completed a notable double for the Aberdeen AAC member, who last month won the national under-17 age group 800m title.
Taylor had, earlier in the schools championships, set a personal best of 4:47.24 when finishing fourth in the 1500m – a significant improvement on her previous best time of 4:50.05 from last July.
Orkney’s Max Linaker hit peak form to win the under-16 boys’ high jump. The Stromness Academy teenager cleared 1.75m to improve on his previous best of 1.68 set at Inverness last September.
There was also gold for Aberdeen’s Finn Bryce in the under-16 boys’ pole vault. The Albyn pupil cleared 2.70 to improve on his previous best of 2.67 set when finishing fourth in the national under-17 heptathlon championships last month.
Another Albyn student, Scottish under-17 pole vault champion Rosie Meyer, was second in her event, clearing 2.60, which is just outside her best.
Banchory Academy’s Ellen Macleod collected silver in the under-16 girls’ high jump, clearing a PB 1.55 to surpass by 1cm the mark she achieved when winning the national under-17 title earlier in the year.
And another Banchory athlete, Luc Macleod, picked up silver when clocking 9.53 in the under-16 boys’ 60m hurdles.
Aberdeenshire runner Millie McLelland-Brooks (Glasgow School of Sport) scythed almost eight secs off her previous best time when recording 4:47.69
to collect silver in the under-16 girls’ 1500m.
Double gold for Barclay in Glasgow
Huntly athlete Emma Barclay won two gold medals when competing in the Scottish Student indoor championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
The 19-year-old former Scottish schools international, who is now studying at Strathclyde University, won the women’s 200m in a personal best 25.72secs.
Along with Aberdeen AAC clubmate Georgia Morrison, she also helped Strathclyde win the 4x200m relay. Morrison was bronze medallist in the 400m in 59.04.
Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Claire McGarvey (Glasgow University) was the north-east’s only other gold medallist. The Scottish championship silver medallist won the high jump when clearing 1.65m.
Aberdeen University’s Jane Davidson shared joint second position with team-mate Briagha Cook in the long jump, both clearing 5.31m.
Davidson added another silver in the 60m hurdles in 8.67 and completed a busy day with a fourth placing in the 60m in 7.87. Cook was fourth in the hurdles, 9.07.
Aberdeen AAC’s Stewart Millar, who recently returned from a training trip to South Africa, was pipped for gold in the 800m when clocking 1:54.86, while his Glasgow University team-mate Magnus Tait won in 1:54.60.
A few days earlier Millar had recorded a PB 1:53.84 at a British Milers Club meeting at London’s Lee Valley stadium.
There were also silver medals for Aberdeen University’s Imogen Lewis, who cleared 10.64 in the triple jump and Margarita Radeva who recorded 11:17.12 in the 3,000m.
The Aberdeen medal haul was boosted when bronze went to Grace Brennan at the end of an exciting pole vault competition in which the top three all shared the same height.
Frankie Duncan-Morris also took bronze in the women’s 800m, 2:28.21.
Personal best for Graham-Marr in London
Aberdeen University student Tom Graham-Marr set an impressive personal best time of 14min 18secs at the Battersea Park Under The Lights 5k road race in London.
The third-year psychology undergraduate finished 28th in an exceptionally high quality domestic field in which 110 runners broke the 15min barrier.
Great Britain track and cross country international Jack Rowe (Aldershot, Farnham and District) won in 13:42, while Graham-Marr, Scottish championship bronze medallist at this distance on the track last year, was the leading Scot.
Moray’s Great Britain triathlon international Cameron Main was 73rd in 14:42.
His partner and Moray clubmate Sophia Green was just four secs outside her best time when finishing 10th in the women’s race in 16:17. American Allison Keiffer won in 15:52.
Claire Bruce won the top women’s prize in Edinburgh’s Valentine’s 10k when finishing seventh overall from a field of 116 in a personal best time of 35:28.
Lothian’s Joshua Dack won in 33:41 with Aberdeen AAC’s Fearghas Thomson setting a PB when sharing the same time in second position. Metro Aberdeen’s Scott Adams also achieved a PB when finishing fifth in 35:12.
Aberdeenshire athlete Alix Still showed solid form when representing the University of Virginia in the Tiger Paw invitational meeting at Clemson, South Carolina.
The multi-events specialist equalled her season’s best when clearing 5.86m in the long jump. She completed the 60m hurdles in 8.70 and cleared 1.62 in the high jump.
Still’s next big test comes later in the month when she competes in the pentathlon at the Atlantic Conference Championships.