A clean sweep for Giffnock North...

U13 runner Emma Lawton attacking final hill in National Cross Country Championships, en route to 8th place and team gold.
U13 runner Emma Lawton attacking final hill in National Cross Country Championships, en route to 8th place and team gold.

ABSOLUTELY unstoppable was the only way to describe Giffnock North AAC’s junior girls teams last Saturday.

The teams swept all three age group trophies at the National Cross Country Championships in Falkirk.

In perfect, sunny conditions, the southsiders’ Under 13s claimed crown number one over 3.2k with a powerhouse team effort from Erin Wallace, Nikki Miller, Danielle Kelly and Emma Lawton, delivering a breathtaking sequence of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th places. In Fern Conway and Lori Agnew, Giffnock also had athletes in strong 15th and 18th places, for six finishers in the top 20.

Never ones to be outdone, Giffnock’s U15 squad swept to victory over 4k, with Holly Still (3rd), Rebecca Metcalfe (4th), Rebecca Saxby (8th) and Sarah Eunson (10th) doing the honours. Eunson’s performance was all the more remarkable having won her race in the Glasgow Schools Champs the day before.

Next up on the podium in front of the baronial Callander House were Giffnock’s U17 girls Chloe Cowan (5th), Laura Penrice (9th) and - in her first full cross country season - Nicole Scott (15th), having earned their gold medals over a hilly, twisting 4.8 kilometres.

While not matching their team-mates’ success, Giffnock’s boys fought hard in all their races, with notable efforts from Michael Lowrie, seventh in the U13 event, and Chris Stewart, 19th in the U15s, their squads both taking fifth place.

Ruth Joss led home the Senior Womens’ team and Rory Cartwright, having helped coach the junior squad, ended a busy day as first Giffnock North Senior Man home, a commendable 35th in a field of over 500, over seven and a half rollercoaster miles.

Giffnock North’s girls clean sweep of the U13, U15, U17 national cross country trophies was a first since Scottish athletics federation took over in season 92/93.