SHANE FENTON reports from the JOHNSTONE PARK
Johnstone Park was bathed in glorious sunshine as the 161st Alva Games once again lived up to their title of being 'Famous'! One of the biggest crowds for a number of years were packed in around the arena to cheer on the competitors. Former top Scottish sprinter Bert Hutchison who lives locally was Guest of Honour for the day.
New Year Sprint winner Greg Kelly East Kilbride AC claimed his second big sprint win of the campaign by racing to victory in the Open 90 metres handicap which carried a first prize of £400.
Running from the backmark of 2.5 metres Kelly stormed through the field to snap the worsted in 10.08 seconds pipping his clubmate Colin Campbell who was second, with veteran Colin Christie,Livingston in third. The previous weekend Kelly won the 90 metres at Cupar.
Former Scottish hurdles champion Francis Smith,Woodford Green turned in a fine performance to win the 200 metres handicap in 22.40 seconds, local Willie Bates,Tullibody and Ramsay Sloss, East Kilbride filled the minor berths. It was a good day for Smith who also claimed the 90 Metres Invitation Sprint.
Father and son Donald and Ewan Bradley, Inverness landed a middle distance double, both have been in tremendous form this season. They were both following up wins at Thornton the previous week. Running from the 85 metres mark Donald led home a field of 10 runners breaking the tape in 1:59.71 seconds, Tyler White,Aberdeen AC finished strongly to take second with Wallace McGown Sauchie in third.
Ewan who currently leads the SHGA points league for middle distance events once again produced a strong performance to win the Open 400 metres, coming home ahead of Willie Bates and Craig Bell,Forfar in 51.23 seconds.There was a good tussle between Tyler White and Scott McDonald, Central AC in the 1600 metres where the former emeged victorious in 4:28.95 seconds, Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC stayed on well to claim third place.
The same trio of athletes occupied the finishing position in the Open 3200 metres Handicap, this time, Scott McDonald who was making his seasonal debut on the circuit conjured up his best run of the day to work his way through from the backmark to win in 9;57.06 seconds. Rebecca finished second on this occasion with Tyler in third. The latter was awarded the trophy for Athlete of the Day, with Scott McDonald the local athlete of the day.
There was local success in the Youths' 90 metres handicap with cousins Sean and Steven Bates, Tullibody finishing 1st and 3rd. Zoe Wilson,VP Glasgow who was making her games debut finished runner up. The latter also finished runner up in the Youths' 200 metres handicap where victory went to Hannah Steel Lothian RC who stopped the clock at 23.87, Lucy Nuttall Fife AC finished third in what was an all-girls final.
There was an English clean sweep in the Youths' 400 metres, Emily Swarbrick,Cumbria was the victor in 55.77, Sam Smith,Keighley and Liberty Thomson,Burnley filled the minor berths. The Youths' 800 metres handicap was won by Under-12 hill race runner up Dexta Thomson,Burnley who came home ahead of Hannah Steel,Lothian RC and Caleb McLeod,Pitreavie AC in 2:12.83. The latter then put a win on the board for Fife when managing to get the better of Alice Jones,Lothersdale following an exciting last lap duel, Sam Smith,Keighley finished third. Caleb's winning time was 4:51.02. The Junior athlete of the day award went to Hannah Steel,Lothian RC.
The throwing events were dominated by Lukasz Wenta,East Kilbride who won six of the seven disciplines 16lb shot putt[55'4''],22lb shot putt[45'],16lb hammer[131'4''],28lb weight for distance[80'1''],56lb for height[15'] and Caber. Kyle Randalls,Falkirk thwarted the clean sweep with victory in the 22lb hammer with a throw of 112'7''. Dan Carlin,Renfrew picked up four second places.
The British Championship Hill Race was won for the second time by Ted Mason Appletreewick who came home in 20 minutes 13 seconds ahead of Ben Mounsay,Elland who had been first round the flag at the top. Ben Proctor,Ulverston a previous winner of the Under-12,under-14 and under-17 races finished in third place. This years under-12 winner was William Hall, Calder Valley with the under-14 title going to Joel Taylor,Rossendale Harriers.
There was a good field of 10 bikers for the four cycle events on the cards. The opening 800 metres handicap was a thriller with Lewis Oliphant,Edinburgh getting the verdict in a three-way photo with Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy and Stevie Jackson,Glasgow. The same three occupied the top placings in the 1600 metres with victory this time going to Jackson from Oliphant and Gallacher. The main event of the day for the bikers was the SHGA Scottish 3200 metres Championship which saw Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey retain his title in fine style from Steve Jackson and Lewis Oliphant. The placings were replicated in the final race of the day the Deil tak the Hindmost. Steve Jackson picked up the Cyclist of the Day prize.
Published: 2017-07-09 12:30:50