Medal haul at East District Champs

The East District Championships are one of the most prominent features in the cross country calendar. They take place the same day as the North and West District Championships, with the event a selection process for the Inter Districts Cross Country to be held In January 2022 in Irvine. There were a record number of athletes entered for the three events, with a combined number of over 1,000 runners, and there were record performances for East Lothian athletes, with Team East Lothian enjoying their most successful East District event ever. The East District event took place in the undulating grounds of Stirling University.

The Girls Under 13 race was the first event, with the girls battling through the pouring rain, freezing cold and muddy route for 3.2k. Cerys Wright had a fantastic run and finished in 2nd place, to win an individual silver medal. Team mate Freya Brown was close behind in 4th place, and together with Sula Russell’s position of 18th, the trio won Team silver. Robyn Lupton from Haddington also had a good run.

The Under 13 Boys were next out to brave the conditions, with Howie Allison from TEL having a superb run and putting in a sprint finish and get an impressive 4th place. Jake Page, (TEL) had a solid run to hold on to 10th place, with Joe Smith, Musselburgh (11th), Thomas Gornall, TEL (26th),  Ben Krievs, TEL (31st) and Ben Anderson, Musselburgh (51st), running well.

There was another 4th place for TEL in the girls Under 15 category with Olivia Robbins running strongly over the 4.2k route. Team mates Rachel Stevens and Eily Sinclair finished in 16th and 18th to secure the team a brilliant bronze medal. Lois Thomson (Haddington) was 37th and Cristina Elliot (TEL) was 48th.

There was strong representation from East Lothian in the under 15 boys, with a total of nine runners competing. Innes Wright from TEL had a fantastic run to finish in 6th place, while Jim Henry from Musselburgh was the next East Lothian athlete over the line, in 17th place. Charlie Copp, TEL (27th), Fraser Lupton, TEL (30th), Sandy Henry, TEL (43rd), Isaac Stevenson, TEL (48th), Cameron Hepburn, Musselburgh (50th), David Morton, Musselburgh (51st) and Daniel Barnard, Musselburgh (61st) all braved the elements to tackle the 4.2k course.  

It was a long 5.7k run for the Under 17 athletes. In the Women’s race, Maja Thomson (TEL) paced it perfectly to finish with ease in 1st place and take the gold, with the 2nd runner 24 seconds behind. Ella Nicolson  (17th) and Jessica Bullen (24th) from TEL, both put in a superb effort to achieve a team position of 5th place.

In the U17 Men’s race it was victory again for Team East Lothian – winning the race overall and the team gold.  Corey Campbell made light work of the 5.7k route and blitzed round the course to win by a clear 12 seconds. Strong performances from team mates Angus Wright (8th) and Aidan Page (14th) secured team victory for Team East Lothian.  Also completing gritty runs in gruelling conditions from TEL were Theo Cunningham (24th) and Jamie Smith (27th).

In the U20 women’s race Flora Henry had a brilliant run to secure a top ten finish, finishing in 9th place over the 6.4k distance.

The Seniors races were a real endurance challenge, with the athletes running 8.6k over cross country terrain. Rhona Anderson from Dunbar RC had a great race to finish 4th in her age category.  In the Men’s race there was good  East Lothian representation with Rob Henry, Musselburgh (19th), Craig O’Donnell, Dunbar (20th), Mark Keast, Musselburgh (26th) and Mike Malcolm-Smith Musselburgh (30th). The numbers refer to their respective age category positions.

Congratulations to the athletes for their outstanding performances, to those that will earn selection for the Inter Districts cross country event as a result, and for the huge medal haul!  Well done to all runners, organisers, coaches and spectators for showing such support and encouragement for the event.