Dec 14 2012 by David Wren, Kilmarnock Standard
Top athletes from the west coast of Scotland competed in the West Districts Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
The event took place at the Inverkip near Greenock for the first time.
Among the hundreds of runners taking part were some of Kilmarnock Harrier’s finest and as the day commenced at Under 13 Level it was clear that the mainly flat course by the Firth of Clyde was tough.
With athletes knee deep in muck a lot of the time, coupled with hard rutty parts in places, there was many a casualty with young Michael Dollard twisting his ankle in a pothole.
There were some good performances among the junior athletes from - Caitlin McClounie, 14th in the under-13 girls;Aiden Hesset, Jamie Neilson in the under 13 boys; Ben O’Neill, Angus Kerr in the under 15 boys; Clair Orr, Shona McBean, Lauren Park in the under 15 Girls; Bronagh Wishart, Lorne Kerr in the under 17 Ladies; Amanda Humes, Bethany Ross, Christine Irvine in the under 20 Ladies; Cameron Mackie, Murray McDonald in the under 20 men.
Soon after these races, the senior events took place. In the ladies field Kara Tait was top performer, finishing in 7th with a time of 24.22.
Elite athlete Elspeth Curran of Kilbarchan was clear favourite for the title and this was justified as she took the honours fairly convincingly from Lesley Chisolm of Garscube.
Paula Wilson has had injury woes of late and she too ran, securing an impressive top 30 finish and a time of 27.39.
In the last event of the day, senior men had to run additional parts of the course more than once with Derek Hawkins, of Kilbarchan, taking the title.
Derek led from the gun and secured the title by a winning 22 second margin from Cambuslang athlete Wegene Tefese.
Kilmarnock’s Scott Martin ran fairly well and finished inside the top 50 in the high quality field.
Clubmates Stewart Ferguson and Connell Drummond battled in the poor conditions while Les McDerment showed a decent return to form on a course which didn’t suit him.
Senior men’s times were : 44th Scott Martin 40.51; 103rd Stewart Ferguson 45.00; 110th Connell Drummond 45.16; 139th Leslie McDerment 47.56; 165th Tony Rodden 50.34.
Congratulations must go to Harrier Tony Rodden who completed his first Cross Country event at this level and certainly did himself justice with many athletes behind him.
Well done to all athletes who competed in the event in terrible conditions.
For more Harriers news, visit the club’s upgraded website at www.kilmarnockharriers.com.