Disability Sport Fife (DSF) considers the East Series Cross Country programme organised by scottishathletics and Scottish Disability Sport as one of the major successes in the development of athletics in the east of Scotland. DSF member organisation schools entered over 90 athletes for Round 3 of the East Series at the Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy and for round 4 at Peffermill in Edinburgh on 21st February, around 50 athletes from Bell Baxter HS, Woodmill HS, Balwearie HS and Lochgelly HS made the journey across the Forth. Athletes are awarded points over the four rounds of the East Series to determine the overall year group champions. In round 4 there were once again many fine Fife athlete performances.
The introduction of the 500 metres race has encouraged a number of novice performers to take up the sport. Eilidh Lennox (S2) and Richy Stacey (S2) from Bell Baxter HS fell in to this category and they recorded winning performances in the girls and boys S2 races.
In the girls 1K, Fife schools produced all but one of the fastest year group times. Sophie Coughlin Bell Baxter HS S1 – 5:58; Amy Dignan Lochgelly HS S2 – 7:39; Megan Wilson Woodmill HS S3 – 6:45; Kerry Kotlewski Bell Baxter HS S4 – 7:23; Taylor McDowall Balwearie HS S6 – 8.58. Sophie is only a first year pupil yet she ran the fastest time of all the year group winners.
Once again in the boys 1K races it was a similar story. There were year group winners from Fife schools from first year through to sixth year. Nathan Smith Woodmill HS S1 – 7:21; Edwin Barron Woodmill HS S2 – 4:58; Owen Handley Woodmill HS S3 – 5:55; Arran Howe Bell Baxter HS S4 – 4:41; Reece Dickson Balwearie HS S5 – 5:08; Cameron Healy Balwearie HS S6 – 6:22. Connor Brown S3 Woodmill HS recorded the fastest time of the day for an athlete with a physical impairment and the seventh fastest overall time of any 1K athlete – 5:18. Well done to Arran Howe S4 who recorded the fastest 1K time of the day.
Twins Louise and Michelle Harley from Lochgelly HS S4 finished first and second in the girls 2K race with Louise crossing the line first in 14:56. In the equivalent event for boys Mathew Blair Woodmill HS S5 ran the fastest overall 2K time of 10:32 and Alex Evans from Balwearie HS the fastest S4 time.
All the Fife athletes then waited anxiously to find out the overall results for the 2017 East Series Cross Country. Team Fife headed back to the kingdom reflecting on another successful east Series and looking forward to the Fife cross Country Championships at the Beveridge Park and the Scottish Championships at Bellahouston Park later in the year.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife