North District X-Country League – Forres – 11/02/2017

Forres played host to the final fixture of the 2016/17 North District XC League, and, with individual and team prizes still up for grabs, there was an excellent turnout from the Club. Conditions on the day were good with the course once again providing a stern test for the athletes. Snow and ice in places as well as long climbs, steep short climbs, tricky descents and plenty of fast stretches kept concentration levels high throughout with many of our runners putting in fine performances.

As always the U11 girls started proceedings with twins Aaliyah and Mica McCloud and Nicole Taylor capping off a fine season with strong runs to secure 3rd place in the overall team standings. Similarly, Thomas Reynolds, Roy Taylor, Archie Bain, Ellis Wright, Lewis Paterson and Ben Gault featured prominently throughout to claim 2nd overall in the League. Great experience for our U11s which will stand them in good stead for the upcoming track season.

The U13 girls race proved to be a close run thing with our own Ellyn Smith giving everything to try and capture Gold in the League. Alas, it was to be Silver in the end as Ellyn finished just 1 second behind her HHR rival in a fantastic finish. Well done Ellyn and, also, Grace Jenkins, Megan McKay, Harriet Whelan and Hannah Stephen who all helped the team claim 3rd overall. Bruce Newlands and Liam Paterson once again flew the flag for the U13 boys, rounding off the League season with strong runs to secure 3rd team in the league.

At U15 level it was great to see Morven Ross and Niamh Whelan battling it out over the tough course with Morven just pulling away in the last 100m. 3rd team overall was a great effort from the pair. In the boys’ race Blair Milne, Joshua Milne, James Newlands and Oliver Reynolds took 1st team on the day and 3rd overall in the league. If only they had been able to field full teams at more fixtures then Gold would have been a distinct possibility. As it was, well done to Blair Milne on securing an individual Silver.

Grace Whelan and Morgan Lewis were our 2 U17 representatives this season and it was great to see Grace, at long last free from injury, storming round the course to win the race. Unfortunately she was unable to complete enough races to figure in the overall league standings. Morgan once again ran consistently and the season will surely pay great dividends as his focus turns towards the track.

At senior level our Ladies ran strongly to secure 3rd team overall. Louise Cartmell was 4th on the day with Maria McCloud, Amanda Strang, Linda Smith, Clare Bufton, Kimberley Clark and Debbie McWilliam pushing hard over the punishing course. Well done Ladies.

It was still up for grabs in the senior men’s league and Kenny Wilson did not disappoint as he rounded off the league with a victory to take the overall Gold – only the 2nd MRR to ever claim the senior men’s title. Well done Kenny on a superb season. Gareth Jenkins, Blair Laird, Colin Green, Ally Campbell, Stephen Carmichael, Simon Dobbs, Martin Bain, Jason James, Kevin Morice, Kevin Morrison, Phil Reynolds, Simon Macdonald, Toks Osinrunade and Paul Jamieson were our other finishers and 2nd team overall was just reward for a great effort all season.

Thank you to everyone who competed for the team this season. Next season will be here before you know it!

All roads now lead to Falkirk with the climax of the XC Season – the National XC Champs. 26 MRRs will be on the start line with a Female team entered for the first time. Best of luck to everyone and do the Club proud.

Report by:  Gareth Jenkins
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