Track and field athletics returned to Scottish athletics for the first time since the indoor season was abruptly halted back in February, by the start of Covid-19 lockdown.
Meadowmill Athletics Arena, the home of Team East Lothian AC, was chosen as the perfect venue to host the three-day event, held over Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August. Around 200 athletes and 40 Officials gathered together to participate as Scottish Athletics held the first of the 4J Studios National Open Series.
With a focus on Covid safety, restricted numbers in events, running the 800m in lanes, no spectators, and a variety of East Lothian weather conditions, this was necessarily a competition like no other.
Scottish Athletics Events Manager, Alasdhair Love said, “We had great support from the Scottish Government, East Lothian and Enjoy Leisure in terms of the venue at Meadowmill – and from the athletics community too.”
There were some top names to be found, including Greg Louden who holds the National Record in the Team Scotland 4 x 100m quartet at Hampden in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He told Scottish Athletics ‘I’m so glad the event was on and just to hear a gun go off made a big difference. I looked up and I think there were 40 folk in purple and red trying to put the event on so that the three of us could race. It was so well organised and professionally done. They did a great job.’
East Lothian Para Olympian Maria Lyle (TEL) put in a superb performance, gaining a PB in the 60m Sprint in 9.04 seconds. There were performances from international athletes like Andrew Murphy, Holly McArthur, Kelsey Stewart, Krishawan Aiken, Jenna Wrisberg, Greg Kelly and Declan Gall, which confirm Meadowmill Athletics Arena and East Lothian as a significant athletics competition destination.
Local TEL athletes competing included multi-eventer Adam Hoole M U20 100m H in 15.20s; 60m in 7.53s and Discus with a throw of 29.18m. 800m Mixed Race: Angus Wright 2m25.0s; Flora Henry 2m29.4s; Corey Campbell 2m04.2s Olivia Robbins 2m24.7s; Innes Wright 2.29.6s; Jack Renton 2m34.8s; Maja Thomson 2m27.9s; Jessica Bullen 2m58.6s. In the 60m mixed race: Joanne Welch 9.30s; Jack Renton 8.89s and Layla Magee 9.27s & 150m 23.00s.
Mark Munro, CEO of Scottish Athletics, made particular mention of East Linton firm 4J Studios; “The 4JAthletics National Open Series would not be able to go ahead without the support of our brilliant partners 4JStudios. Not only helping Scottish Athletics but very active in the local athletics community as well at Team East Lothian.”