The men's team travelled to Aberdeen on Sunday the 6th of May for the first of the four Scottish Athletics League meetings of the season with only eight scoring athletes, but came away with an encouraging 4th place out of 8 in Division 1.
We have a new star in decathlete Gordon Belch, who did the permitted maximum of six events and scored 66 of our total of 208 points, setting four new PBs in the process. Starting off at noon in the Javelin, he broke 40 metres for the first time with 41.54 for 4th place, then zipped over to the Pole Vault, where he cracked 3 metres for the first time with a brilliant 3.30 for 1st in the B event. He astounded us and maybe himself with victory in the 110 Hurdles in his first ever attempt at the distance, posting 17.97secs with wind assistance of +3.8mps. He rounded off the day by breaking another barrier in the Discus with 30.48m for 1st B. He also scored in the Long Jump and Shot.
Not to be outdone, U17 debutant Adam Orr posted PBs in both his events, taking 3rd in the Pole Vault with 3.60m, and improvement of 5cm. He is definitely on the way up. He was pleasantly surprised by his new PB in the Triple Jump, 3rd with 12.24m (legal wind of +2.0mps), his first time over 12metres.
A strong wind favoured the sprinters, with some impressive times. Our young men took full advantage to set new PBs, albeit with illegal readings. U20 debutant Ewan McArthur was 5th A 100m in 11.25 (+5.3) and 5th A 200m in 22.81 (+4.4). Ramesh Sapkota was 3rd B 100m in 11.41 (+4.2) and 2nd B 200m in 23.37 (+2.8).
Another league debutant, U20 James Stewart, took 4th in High Jump with 1.75m, a bit short of his best, but he ensured a good placing in the 4x100 relay, taking over from Ramesh and Ewan and passing on to the experienced David Clark, who held on the cross the line 3rd in 46.15s.
Callum Heirs was our only middle distance competitor, bravely doubling up in 800 and 1500metres and delivering 4th and 3rd places respectively with well judged performances in windy conditions.
M50 Gerry Farrell has been scoring reliably for us for many a season and still delivers the goods. He was our second top scorer with 32 points in the throws, his best effort being his 33.41m for 2nd A Discus. Long may he continue!
The first match is always difficult, not only for our club, with exams and in this case a clash with a BAL match taking precedence and depriving us of many of our stars. But the 'Magnificent Eight' rose to the challenge to secure a solid start to the campaign, one on which we shall build as the season progresses.
Thanks as usual to those who supported the team in Aberdeen, Sheila (Field Referee) and Hugh Baillie, who were our all important officials, and Adam Orr's dad for transport and encouragement.