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There was an entry of 113 young athletes at the Argyll final of Sports Hall Athletics at Atlantis Leisure, Oban, last Sunday.
The final was the last in a series of five competitions held in Argyll during the winter promoted by Mid Argyll Athletic Club.
During almost five hours of intense competition, five Argyll age records were broken with young athletes from Oban and Kintyre mainly dominating in the boys events and Mull and Kintyre to the fore in the girls events.
Top performer of the day was, without doubt, Ellen MacRae from Salen on Mull who was the under 9 champion winning four events and breaking the Argyll age record in three events and was only 4cms short of the long standing record in the standing long jump with 1.72metres.
Ellen started an amazing day winning the high jump on countback ahead of Beth Johnstone from Tarbert with both girls clearing 1.13 metres and exceeding the old Argyll age record of 1.10m. Ellen then moved to the two-lap race which she won by a wide margin in 25.9 seconds and more than a second faster than the existing Argyll record.
Ellen was unplaced in the javelin but proceeded to win the four-lap race by almost three seconds, setting a new Argyll record of 58.4 seconds, more than two seconds under the old record. Ellen now holds four age records as she broke the record in the standing triple jump at the Mull competition in February.
The young Salen girl was only just ahead of Kirstie Renton from Campbeltown on overall points as Kirstie won the javelin, triple jump and speed bounce and was placed second in four events. Kirstie broke the Argyll age record in the speed bounce recording 77 jumps in 30 seconds.
Mull girls also dominated in the under 7 age group with Palmo Jones from Bunessan winning a close contest ahead of Sienna Munro from Salen and Alexandra Harris from Oban and another Salen girl Flora Thorne in third place.
Violet Campbell was the under 11 champion winning the long jump, triple jump and javelin gaining enough points to finish ahead of Mia Campbell from St. Columba’s Primary school and Keira Munro from Salen. Violet, from Glenbarr in Kintyre, comes from a sporting family as the previous day older brother Gregor was second in the Under 13 age category at the Scottish Road Race Championships at Greenock and oldest brother Cameron was seventh in the under 15s at the same national competition.
Poppy MacKillop from Oban was outstanding in the under 13s winning six out of the seven events to finish well ahead of Eilidh Cameron from Inveraray and Amy Anderson from Kilmichael Glassary. Poppy impressed in the two-lap race with a time of 24.3 seconds just missing the age record by 0.2 of a second.
The under 15 girls contest was the most competitive with three girls in contention up to the last event. The day ended in a tie for first between Jodie Robertson from Lochgilphead and Abbie Cato from Fionnphort on Mull and Zoe Brown from Oban only a few points behind. Jodie won four events including an excellent high jump of 1.51 metres and attempted to equal the Argyll age record of 1.54m held by Molly Reade from Tobermory who has won national titles in recent years.
Abbie was consistent in all seven events and won the speed bounce with 81 jumps in 30 seconds. Zoe excelled in the running events winning both two-lap and four-lap races. Jenny Semple from Campbeltown Grammar was the under 17 champion.
There was one new record in the boys events and it was set by Jack Green from Dalintober Primary in Campbeltown in the under 7 age group. Jack won three of the five events including a new Argyll age record in the two-lap race recording 27.8 seconds to improve the existing record by almost two seconds.
Jack was watched by his proud mum Laura, then Laura Paterson from Carradale, who was the Under 9 Argyll champion in January 1995 which was the first winter the indoor competitions were held. In the same contest Cameron Gilmour from Ardrishaig was second overall thanks to a fine win in the four-lap race in 66.1 seconds and Ruraidh Dalgleish from Salen was third. Isiah Doxsey from Drumlemble Primary in Kintyre won the under 7s javelin throwing 11.75 metres.
James Muir from Rockfield primary was the under 9 champion ahead of Roan McVicar from Tighnabruaich and Keiran Blair from Tarbert in third place. James won five events with some style and was not too far off the age records in the two-lap and four-lap races and also the javelin and speed bounce. Runner-up Roan won the triple jump watched by his mother Nicola who, then Nicola Irvine, was placed third in the under 13s at the first Argyll final in 1995. Third placed Keiran Blair won the high jump clearing 1.08 metres.
George Pagan from Rockfield won the under 11 contest just ahead of Murray MacDonald from Lochgilphead. George impressed in winning the two-lap in 24.7 and four-lap in 56.3 and also the high jump clearing 1.21m. Murray was placed highly in all seven events in addition to winning the long jump. Ruaraidh Campbell from Glenbarr and Ewan Dowd from Park primary tied for third on overall points with Ruaraidh winning the javelin with 17.25m and Ewan the speed bounce.
Lochlain Ellis from Campbeltown was the under 13 champion winning six of the seven events. Logan Allan from Ardrishaig was runner-up and Finlay MacLean from Rockfield primary was in third place.
Jake Gillespie from Lochgilphead won a competitive under 15 contest just two points ahead of Sam Coates from Kilmore.
Jake won the four-lap race, triple jump and shot putt while Sam won the two-lap race and speed bounce with 83 jumps the highest score of the day from all age groups. Shaun Doy from Lochgilphead won the high jump and long jump.
Stewart Inglis from Oban was the under 17 winner.
Oban High School won the girls schools trophy with Lochgilphead High School second and Salen Primary third. In the boys contest, Rockfield Primary were winners ahead of Lochgilphead High School and Dalintober Primary third.
The organisers thank all the young athletes and parents for supporting the competition.