Lochaber athletes enjoy team spirit at Gordonstoun

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Junior and senior Lochaber Athletic Club members were out in numbers  for the first time in many years on Saturday at the North District Cross Country Championships.

The course at Gordonstoun School was heavy and muddy but scenic with a small loch and trails through woodland.

The early rainfall did not dampen the spirits of the juniors who were placed in the under 13 girls, with Maddison Macmillan in 12th in the 3k race and Isla Cant 14th.

Angus Davies and Osian Bellshaw were 16th and 17th respectively in the under 13 boys’ race.

Fraser Anderson and Dylan Martin ran well in the under 17 age group, taking eighth and 13th places.

All of the Lochaber athletes are in the younger end of their age groups and should progress further next year.

LAC ladies with their bronze medals.

Lochaber women came from under the radar to take bronze in the team race. The counters in the challenging 8km event were Isla Mackay, Lisette Walter, Grianne Shaw, Sam Potter and Zoe Douglas. The race was won by Catriona Fraser of Inverness Harriers in 31:11 mins. Isla was ninth overall in 33:50 and third in the senior woman category.

A team of Lochaber men, largely with experience in hill running, competed in a field of almost 100. Finlay Wild stayed in touch with the leaders on the first lap and pushed winner, Fraserburgh athlete Max Abernethy (25:40) and Scottish international Kenny
Wilson of Moray Road Runners (25.57), for much of the race before finishing third in 26:08.

It was a tight competition for the team title with the Lochaber men splitting the pre-race favourites to take the silver medals. Team placings were Finlay Wild, with Liam Hutson 11th in 27:47, then Alan Ross 28:50, former under 17 district champion Callum Fraser 29:24, Es Tressider 29:32, Alfie Bentley 29:58, Simon Drysdale 30:40, Louis Waterman-Evans 30:56, Nick Sedgwick 31:00, Ruaraidh MacKenzie 31:27, Fraser Mackenzie 32:04, Matt Bradley 32:05, Donald Lamont 32:44 and Connor Gamble
33:06. Alan Ross 28:50 and Es Tresidder 29:32 were second and third veterans respectively.

After a difficult two years with few racing opportunities, this was the lift Lochaber needed to kickstart a busy winter league programme and team hill and road races in the coming year.

Thanks to everyone for their support, club, coaches, and to the two drivers Alan Ross and Sara Bellshaw.

Runners set off along the forest track at Erracht, Spean Bridge. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

On Sunday, attention turned back to the local league with a big turnout for the Beinn Bhan Bash over the Erracht course – the hilliest race in the league.

LAC took the top three spots – and nine of the top 10 – with just Javi from HHR interrupting the flow with a fourth place. George Fisher was the winner with Alan Ross and Ruaraidh Mackenzie in second and third respectively.

HHR’s Caroline Marwick won the ladies section with Amanda Blackhall first LAC and first in category, followed by Hannah Ward-Penny then Edie Moynihan and Eilidh Moynihan.

Main photograph (NO_F50_LACDistrictCrossCountryGroup2): LAC athletes were full of team spirit at Gordonstoun on Saturday.