The year has begun well for Banchory Stonehaven AC, with athletes competing across the country and locally in cross-country and indoor events.
Millie McLelland Brooks from Midmar has shown consistent form all winter and deserved her place in the U13 Girls East District team, who competed in the Inter District Championships as part of the Great Stirling Castle Run in January.
With the East girls team winning a gold medal, and athletes such as Laura Muir competing in the main mixed relay event, this was a great experience for Millie.
Locally, teams have been competing in the Winter XC series, and in the last event at Haddo House there were age group wins for Shannon Brown (Stonehaven), Millie McLelland Brooks, Wyn Mardall, Kirk Hutchison, (both Crathie), Kane Noble and Luc McLeod (both Banchory), along with others running strongly.
A bit warmer indoors, the Scottish Athletics Indoor Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow kicked off with the senior and U17 event at the end of January with Claire McGarvey, 17, from Banchory winning a silver medal in the senior high jump with 1.68m. This was just 2cm off her personal best and took her to the top of the U20 Scottish rankings.
The U20/U15/U13 Championships took place over the weekend of February 2-3 at the same venue and again, Banchory Stonehaven club athletes competed well, achieving semi-final places.
Craig Strachan, 17, from Finzean, won a silver medal in the U20 200 metres with a time of 22.64sec, just off his personal best indoor time, ensuring the rivalry with winner Max Leslie of Edinburgh (22.56) will continue from last year in to 2019.
Maddy Silcock of Aboyne competed in the U20 60m and reached the semi-final with a season’s best time of 8.05.
Cara Davie and Ella Creamer, both from Stonehaven, reached the semi-final of the U15 girls 60m hurdles, achieving PBs of 9.73 and 9.91 respectively in the process, with Cara also competing in the 300m.
Abbie Crawford (Stonehaven) achieved a PB in the high jump, 1.43m, and Luc McLeod, competing for the first time at an indoor championship event as an U13, competed well in the 200m to reach the semi-final and run a PB of 29.28, followed up by a fine run in the 1500m to come fourth with a PB of 5min 10.68.
The National Indoor Championships have huge numbers of entries and are of a very high standard, so all athletes should be congratulated on their achievements and showing that their winter training is paying off.
The highlight of the cross- country season, the National Championships, will be held at Falkirk on Saturday February 23. It is an event with a huge amount of entries and a great competition for all ages of athlete.