Arran off to a flying start in cross country league

Each race was fiercely contested by as much as 60 entrants in each category.

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Arran primary and secondary school athletes have made a huge impact at the North Ayrshire Schools Cross Country League by bringing home a number of gold, silver and bronze medals at the first meeting of the year.

The league series consists of four race meetings which are spaced out between January and May with the overall league result depending on each athlete’s best three results.

Participants need to take part in at least three out of the four races to be in contention of an overall placing however any young runner (usually P5 and above) who wishes to take part in either one or all three of the next meetings can contact their primary school for further details.

The first event took place in Saltcoats where, once again, all abilities were catered for and every young athlete received loud encouragement from the many supporters as they ran by.

Each race started on the running track and ventured out across the nearby playing fields before finishing with a final lap of the track and a sprint finish in front of the crowds of supporters. Arran was well represented with 33 runners from the island’s primaries and high school.

In the P5 and P6 races, almost 60 athletes per race competed over a 1000m course. Arran’s Freddie Lucas claimed the bronze medal in the P5 boys race, with Reece Popplewell, Harry Popplewell and Matthew Lindsay-Smith all gaining top 20 spots. Conor McGarrie also ran a great race to come in the top 30. In the P5 girls race, Julieta Gray and Isla McKinnon came in fourth and fifth respectively, with Sera Bibin and Alyssa Simpson also running fantastic races.

Jake Early took second place with Ewan Southwhick third in the P6 boys race while Alfie Gilmour came in the top 10 with Gregor Gunaydi and Brandon Kane close behind. Grace Popplewell took home the bronze medal in the P6 girls race while Shaila Campbell ran into a top 10 placing.

The P7 races were run over 1,500m with Myles Lindsay-Smith taking fourth place and Logan Park fifth in the boy’s race. Luke Goatley, Ben McCarthy and Jamie Worthington gained top 20 places, followed closely by Filip Dybalski and Andrew Currie. Kirsty Hume took home Arran’s first gold medal in the P7 girls race when she led the field of 36 runners from the outset. Rhea Webster finished in the top 15 while Faye Godwin, Caylyn Miller and Emma Henderson also put in fantastic performances.

The high school athletes ran their races over 2,000m with Ruby Wright claiming third place for S1 girls, closely followed by Harriet Lucas in fourth. Beth McCarthy brought home a silver medal for Arran in the S2 girls race while Ruaridh Lindsay Smith brought home Arran’s second gold medal with Archie Gunaydi finishing second in the S2 boys race.

All of these results and medals bode well for the Arran runners who will be looking to continue their success at the next race meeting in Saltcoats on Saturday February 22.

Any other young runners, or would be runners, interested in attending the next meeting should speak to their relevant teacher at school to be included in the league.

Each race was fiercely contested by as much as 60 entrants in each category. No_B06NASCCL01

Isla McKinnon powers towards the finish line just behind Julieta Gray in the P5 girls race. No_B06NASCCL02

Freddie Lucas (left) claimed the bronze medal in the P5 boys race. No_B06NASCCL03

Beth McCarthy (right) with her silver medal from the S2 girls race. No_B06NASCCL04

Ruaridh Lindsay Smith with his gold medal for his performance in the boys S2 race. No_B06NASCCL05

Grace Popplewell took home the bronze medal in the P6 girls race. No_B06NASCCL06

Jake Early took second place with Ewan Southwhick coming third in the P6 boys race. No_B06NASCCL07

Kirsty Hume won Arran’s first gold medal in the P7 girls race against 36 runners. No_B06NASCCL08