The Scottish Athletics Men's League kicked off this weekend, and what a day it was for Corstorphine AAC! A sunny day at Grangemouth Athletics stadium saw many a PB and some outstanding performances from all 12 CAAC athletes who took to both the track and the field. Although many of the potential athletes were racing through their exam revision or recovering from the Cramond 5k Champs, there certainly wasn't any lack of motivation and spirit from the attendees. With every athlete competing in multiple events each, often with little or no break between them, there were no doubt some tired eyes and legs come the final event. As the final scores were tallied up and announced, there was a moment of disbelief as the Division 2 standings were concluded with "first place, Corstorphine with 275 points"; needless to say, those tired eyes found a new lease of life at the day's achievements. We currently stand at the top of the now 9-team Division 2, just beating our local rivals Edinburgh AC by 12 points and cruising away from 3rd place by 66 points to stay safely in promotion territory. This was without a doubt an excellent performance to kick off the outdoor season and one of the best ever from the CAAC men. Just looking back at last year, we averaged 199 points per match and so already there are some clear and exciting improvements (2016 average was just 145 points per match!). With many potential athletes absent from the day's activities, there are, without a shred of doubt, more high-standard performances to come to help secure our goal of a promotion to Division 1. However, before we get excited about the next match, here's a run through of how the day progressed:
First up on the field was the long jump and high jump. Ryan Kyle and Cole Milne took to the runway to both secure PBs of 5.29m and 4.74m, respectively, whilst over the high jump Tom Hunt cleared a 1.60m jump for a PB guided by expert Paul Masterton who also cleared in 1.45m. Up next was an unfortunate clash in the javelin and 400m hurdles for Tom, who managed to sneak in a 45m throw for a PB before taking to the start line with James Harrison for the 400m hurdles. Both men cleared them with ease, bringing in some valuable points for the club. There was no resting for Tom, though, as he was straight from the finish line to throw another javelin with an incredible 47.14m PB to put him 4th in Scotland this year! Alongside him at the javelin runway was Patrick Millar, securing yet another massive PB of 35.53m to secure second place. Excellent throwing from the young men indeed. Up next on the track was the 100m, with Cole and Patrick getting into the set position with Elliot MacKay joining as guest 100m. Some speedy running again secured us some good points. Tom was then once again at the start line to clear some hurdles, this time in the 110mH edition to win with 18.58s. Back to the field next with Ryan stepping up to throw some shot puts. Having finished a 52.86s 400m only minutes before, an out-of-breath Ryan secured a slight PB of 8.47m following some advice from Paul to finish 6th; the boots of George Key too big to fill! Up next was the 200m, with Cole and Elliot back on the track. Although with an illegal wind of +2.5m/s, Cole picked up a very nice wind PB of 23.51s whilst Elliot landing a PB too in a legal 24.92s. Great sprinting once again!
Our distance runners preformed fantastically, particularly as many had competed in the Scottish 5km Road Running Championships at Cramond the previous evening. Tom Martyn (5th at Cramond in 14:47) worked in a group of three at the front of the 5000m before making a break during the middle third of the race to win outright, over competitors in both divisions, in 14:51. Forbes Jackson won the B string of the same race. Ewan Brown (4th at Cramond, also in 14:47) set a best in the 800m to take 3rd, also working hard for 3rd in the 1500m. Cameron Thores set a huge 4s PB in the 800m and Ewan Stark came 5th in his 1500m. Jonny Jackson used James Harrison as a pacer for the first kilometre of his debut at 3000m steeplechase, pulling away from James to finish in 10:20 for 2nd and 1st in A and B strings respectively. Jonny went on to win Bishopbriggs Sprint Triathlon the following day.
The day was rounded off in the usual style with the relays. Up first was the 4x100m, with a strong sprint squad out to do their baton business. Tom, Ryan and Cole (members of the 4x200m national bronze medal team) were joined by Elliot, proving himself to be a fully qualified member of the team with his performances earlier. Some smooth changeovers and fast feet (on already tired legs) resulted in what was over 2s faster than any performance the previous year (or the last 8 years for that matter), finishing just behind Lasswade in 44.80s with an outstanding anchor leg from Cole to nearly beat them to the line. Whilst most of the team could relax, Ryan was straight back to battle tactics with Patrick, Ewan Brown and Forbes Jackson in the 4x400m. Unbelievably, Forbes had just finished his massive 16:19.20 PB in the 5,000m only 20 minutes beforehand and when asked to join the team as he crossed the finish line, he replied with "absolutely, let's do it!” Inspirational is a word not strong enough to describe Forbes' commitment! Although I think 'cruel' is a suitable one for putting him on the first leg... After a good start by Forbes maintaining a respectable position, Ewan brought us back up into 5th with a strong run. Patrick managed to chase down another before giving Ryan the chance to hunt down the Clydesdale man in 3rd place from 50m back and take him on the final bend. To finish 3rd in the 4x400m is great achievement and a performance unlike any last season!
We would like to thank everyone who attended, with a particular thanks to the officials who sacrificed their time for the good of the club. Without Ally Brockie, Chris Peggie, John Ross, Janet Grigor and Annette Harrison, the club would not have had such a successful day and we would have literally been unable to finish top; our victory was equally attributable to you. All that is left to say is that Corstorphine look geared up for the best Men's League summer ever, so if you want to help us get that promotion be sure to get your name down for the next one! Email or speak to one of us to take part.
10th June 2018, Aberdeen
24th June 2018, Grangemouth
26th August 2018, Kilmarnock
As ever, full details are available at scottishleague.org.uk
James Harrison, Alastair Brockie and Ryan Kyle
PS. Ryan has a green lightweight jacket that is not his. Please reply if it is yours.