History repeating for Giffnock girls

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GIFFNOCK North coach girls repeat last year’s feat of winning all three junior team titles at the national cross country championships.

In this weekend’s competition in Falkirk, the club enjoyed further success thanks to an individual crown from Erin Wallace.

On a rain-filled day, Giffnock’s Annabel Ballantyne (7th), Emily Crusher (8th), Lisa Miller (13th) and Emma Lawton (16th) raced over Callendar Park’s infamously hilly 3.2 kilometre course .

There, the girls claimed the Under 13 crown, leaving second-place Edinburgh AC for dust.

Erin Wallace (S2), Nikki Miller (S3) and Holly Still (S4) — who all claimed victory in their respective races at the East Renfrewshire schools cross country on Monday (full report on p14) — continued their winning streak.

They helped the Giffnock u15 girls earn gold in the 4k race ultra-low score of 18 points from Erin Wallace (1st) Nikki Miller (4th), Holly Still (5th) and Danielle Kelly (8th).

The next four runners — Rebecca Metcalfe, Sarah Eunson, Megan Kane and Kate Saxon — would have won bronze had the rules allowed one club to take two medals.

Wallace’s achievement adds the national gold to her inter-district title, though rivals from Central AC and Kilbarchan, as well as team-mate Miller, challenged her to the end.

Next up were the u17s squad of Nicole Scott, Rachel Saxon and Rebecca Saxby, who clinched the Giffnock clean sweep, finishing beside one another in 11th, 12th and 13th places.

The trio have now completed the triple crown, beating all comers in the Renfrewshire, West and National cross country titles.

Saxby bravely raced the entire 4.8k after being spiked in the foot on the starting line.

The next day, they competed again, with Mearns Castle pupil Saxton finished third in the senior girls race, behind winner Still and her teammate Nicole Scott, a St Ninian’s High school pupil.

Giffnock’s boys didn’t get among the medals this year, but they battled hard for fifth in the u13s, led home by Hamish Armitt (7th).

They were also fifth in u15s led by Oliver Watson-Sweeney (24th) and seventh in u17s, headed by East Renfrewshire schools senior cross country champion Max Lancaster (19th),

There was further success for the successful southside club as former boys’ individual medallist Grant Muir delivered a solid 11th in the u20 men’s 8k race.

There was, meanwhile, serious success for the seniors in Falkirk.

The senior men’s team — Greg Turner, David Phee, Chris Greenhaugh, Ted Gourley, Luke Chamberlain and Jason Steele — landed one of Giffnock’s best ever team places (10th) in one of the biggest line ups for years with 566 finishers. Ruth Joss and Yvonne Hamilton led home the senior ladies squad over 8k amidst a turnout of 248.