Fife AC runners travelled south to the British Athletics Cross Country Challenge, incorporating the European Cross Country Championships Trials, at Sefton Park in Liverpool.
The notoriously muddy course was, due to heavy rainfall in recent weeks, exceptionally challenging for everyone taking part.
The club’s performance of the day came in the combined U17 and U20 women’s race as Anna Hedley placed ninth overall and 1st U17.
Her time of 15.59 was 30 seconds ahead of the next U17 and just 10 secs outside the qualifying spots for the European Cross Country Championships despite her being two years too young to make the team.
In the U15 girls’ race, Isla Thoms was first Scot and fifth overall while older sister Esmee Thoms was 57th.
In the U13 girls’ race, Anna Suttie was 60th while Freya Hedley was 72nd.
Three Fife AC women – Annabel Simpson, Jenny Selman and Steph Pennycook – were selected to represent Scotland in the senior women’s race as a result of recent successes over the cross country and road.
Annabel was first Scot home, covering the boggy 8.1km course in 30.34 and placing 35th overall and 12th U23. Jenny, stepping up in distance to make her Scotland cross country debut, placed 53rd overall while Steph unfortunately had to pull out due to sickness.
It was a busy day for Anna Hedley, who rushed back from Liverpool to attend the Scottish Athletics awards dinner.
Anna was awarded the prestigious Eddie Campbell Memorial medal, which is awarded annually to the outstanding junior hill runner of the year.
Fife AC runners took on equally as testing conditions at the second of three East League Cross Country fixtures at Broxburn. There were two victories in the junior races courtesy of U15 Struan bennet and U17 Ben Sandilands.
Struan won the U15 boys’ race in 14.00 while Ben won the U17 men’s race in 19.11.
There were also encouraging performances in the senior races.
In the men’s race, there was a fantastic third place for Lewis Rodgers.
In the women’s race, there was a welcome return to competition for Megan Crawford who placed fourth in her first race after a long period of injury.
Top results: U11 boys: 8 John Barr 5.38. U13 boys: 24 Marti Pennachio Tores 11.04, 49 Rowan Geary 11.57; U15 boys: 1 Struan Bennet 14.00, 31 Guillem Pennachio Torres 16.30, 41 Andrew Gourlay 17.08. U17 men: 1 Ben Sandilands 19.11. U15 girls: 5 Ruby Russel 16.45. U17 girls:
20 Hayley Brown 17.22, 21 Libby Smith 17.27, 31 Jaden Lenny 18.01. U20 and senior women: 4 Megan Crawford 22.02, 14 Jen Cruickshanks 22.45, 26 Amie Watt 23.20, 27 Halina Rees 23.20, 49 Katie Jones 25.38, 50 Kellyanne Muir 25.40, 56 Kerry Gibson 26.25. U20 and senior men: 3 Lewis Rodgers 27.30, 34 Craig Morris 30.25, 45 Rory Scott 30.50, 48 Gavin McWhinnie 31.05, 58 Iain McWhinnie 31.31.