Fife athletes make their mark as they mix with the very best

Fife's Jen Spence at the cross country meet.Fife's Jen Spence at the cross country meet.
Fife's Jen Spence at the cross country meet.
Fife AC cross country runners got the year off to a successful start at the Scottish Inter District Cross Country Championships.

The event, which has traditionally been held at the iconic Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, made its debut at Kings Park in Stirling with beautiful views of Stirling Castle as a backdrop.

It sees the country’s top cross country runners across all the age groups represent their District and battle it out for the prestigious Inter District crown.

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Anna Hedley dominated the U15 girls race, taking advantage of the dry, firm underfoot conditions and winning by 42 seconds from East of Scotland team mate Katie Johnston of Edinburgh AC.

It has been a hugely successful winter for Anna so far, with the Inter District cross country, East District cross country, East District cross country relay and Scottish cross country relay tiles to her name.

Anna Dalglish and younger sister Isla Hedley both ran well to place 10th and 14th respectively, ensuring that the East of Scotland team claimed team silver.

Another junior girl who has enjoyed a fantastic cross country season, which has included a victory at the most recent British Athletics Cross Country Challenge event, is Isla Thoms.

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Isla placed sixth in the U13 girls race and help the East District team to team gold. Close behind was Ruby Russell who ran well to place 17th.

Full Fife AC results were as follows:

U13 boys: 31 Guillem Pennacio Torres

U13 girls: 6 Isla Thoms (team gold); 17 Ruby Russell

U15 girls: 1 Anna Hedley; 10 Anna Dalglish; 14 Isla Hedley (all team silver)

U15 boys: 23 Struan Bennett

U17 boys: 10 Ben Sandilands (team silver); 17 Iain McWhinnie; 24 Gavin McWhinnie

Senior women: 35 Jen Spence

The Inter Districts took place alongside the Great Stirling International Cross Country, which saw teams from Great Britain, Europe and the USA battle it out in a 6k women’s race, 8k men’s race and cross country relay. Edinburgh University student Steph Pennycook represented the Scotland Senior team in the 4 x 1.5k cross country relay.

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In a competitive field, which featured 1500m world number one Laura Muir and Commonwealth Games 800m finalist Alexandra Bell, the Scottish team placed eighth.

It has also been a successful start to the year for multi-talented Fife AC junior Holly Ovens, who broke three personal bests in the space of four days.

On Wednesday she ran 9.10 for 60m at the Grangemouth Open Graded and then at the weekend she ran 29.36 for 200m and 2.36.96 for 800m at the Scottish Athletics National Open at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.