Athletic Success at Hampden

Ten students from Kirkwall Grammar School (KGS) and 3 from Stromness Academy (SA) returned from a very memorable Scottish Schools Track & Field Championships in Hampden Stadium Glasgow in June 2014. Alongside 183 schools, these athletes were the first to compete in a Championship event within the Commonwealth Stadium. Over 2 days of fierce competition, they ran, jumped and threw their best to secure 2 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals producing personal best and season best performances for their schools and Orkney.

However, the true purpose of this Championships was to give all participating athletes (including their lucky coaches!) the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the Commonwealth Stadium prior to the actual July 2014 games. Many thanks must go to Kirkwall Grammar School, Stromness Academy, Serco Northlink, The Natwest Islands Games Travel Fund, Orkney Athletic Club, The KGS Enrichment Fund and the community councils.

Podium Places for Kirkwall Grammar School were GOLD, for a 4th year in a row for Thora Cant in the O17 with a javelin throw of 32m. Alex Stevenson had a great O17 javelin competition to secure his first Scottish Schools GOLD medal with a javelin throw of 42.29m. Unfortunately injury limited him with performance in the Long Jump and High Jump. Sarah MacPhail took SILVER in the O17 High Jump at 1.55m and an on form Anna Tait took BRONZE in the O17 1500m smashing a further 4 seconds off her recent JIC record with a fantastic time of 4.52 minutes.

Also competing for KGS was Andrew Davis who achieved a PB time of 24.51 secs in the 200m semi-final and a 400m heat time of 54.28 secs. Amy Davis placed a close 4th in the U16 High Jump final at 1.45m. Joe Gregg, in his first Scottish Schools, achieved PBs in both his 200m 25.18 secs and his 400m 55.11 secs  in the O17 heats. Jack Duncan came a tantalising 4th place in his U16 1500m with PB time of 4.23 mins and was so close to a podium place.    Finally, Jodie Drever achieved a season best getting to both finals of the O17 100m and 200m (27.81s).

A podium place came for Stromness Academy with Erin Montgomery in U16 Shot Putt. She left it to her final throw of the competition 9.24m which secured her the BRONZE medal. Balfour Hay, in his first Scottish Schools achieved both the final of the U16 Long Jump with a PB jump of 5.11m and 400m time of 57.65s. Taylah Spence competed through to the semi-finals of U17 100m 11.33s but sadly injury prevented her from competing in the 200m.

These Championships gave all Orkney athletes the experience of what it is like to compete in a top level athletics venue which included use of Lesser Hampden’s warm up track, call rooms and being officiated by Commonwealth Officials in the Commonwealth Stadium.

Kevin Tait and myself (Aly MacPhail) would like to say it was an honour to take this group of deserving athletes who have trained hard to achieve the qualifying standards required to compete at these championships and hope all those who took part will have memories which will last a lifetime.

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