Junior Inter-Regional Championships 2016 Event Report
The Scotland team converged on Cambus O’May near Ballater on Saturday 24th September ready to take on the 9 regions from England, plus Wales and Northern Ireland.
It soon became clear that the courses planned by Jon Musgrave would be a tough physical and technical challenge but our athletes were equal to the task and the local wi-fi meant we were able to enjoy (!) nail-biting moments waiting for anticipated runners to appear within the finish times already posted.
Notable results from the Individual day:
M14 1st Matthew Gooch (MAROC), 3rd Peter Molloy (FVO) 4th Louis Macmillan
M16 1st Jake Chapman (MAROC), 3rd Alistair Chapman (MAROC), 6th Joe Wright (MAROC)
M18 1st Finlay Todd (INVOC)
W14 1st Megan Keith (INVOC), 2nd Lizzie Stansfield
W16 4th Eilidh Campbell (MAROC)
W18 4th Clare Stansfield (FVO), 5th Lindsay Robertson (CLYDE)
After all the scores were counted Scotland emerged the winners of the Individual Trophy, some 20 points ahead of the North West Squad and 40 ahead of Yorkshire& Humberside.
The overnight accommodation was at Cults Academy, Aberdeen which certainly raised the bar in terms of what future organisers should aim for: plenty of parking, lots of showers, 2 large gym halls to sleep in, space to socialise and canteen staff who understood how much active teenagers could eat. There were many appreciative comments from other regions. To top it all, a group of ScotJOS parents from MAROC bought and organised all the food for the 220 packed lunches the next day, which included having to be at the school for 0645.
On Sunday morning we were off to Forvie for the Relays. Whilst our points from Saturday were some comfort, we knew that NW and YH would be out to chase us down. “Keep focus, simplify and beware of gaffling” were the watch words. The relay teams run in a fixed order of 16 – 14 – 18 with teams for boys and girls and with four of each we had plenty to cheer on. However, with no spectator control, we had to make do with standing on a very windswept rise to glimpse athletes as they dived in and out of the final couple of controls before appearing at the run-in; fortunately someone had binoculars and could identify different O tops for us.
We know that relays, especially with different age classes on each leg, can be unpredictable but it was hard to keep the nerves at bay when the first 3 boys back were all from the North West squad… where were we? It must be the gaffling, we said. They’ll be here soon, we said. And, phew, Jake raced in to view with Joe and Alistair a couple of minutes later. The 14s were off. No rest for us though as the girls’ teams started to come in – it was Jenny neck and neck with a NW girl, with Mairi and Eilidh C not far behind!
We were just speculating as to when we could expect the M14s back when Matthew popped up along the run in – he had gone out 3mins 22sec down and it was another 1min 41 sec before the next runner appeared. Amazing! Peter and Louis had the 2nd and 3rd fastest leg times so we were all much happier now.
Meanwhile the girls were not to be outdone. Lizzie came back in 1st place and Rachel had the fastest leg split to bring her team up to 2nd. There was now a wait for the M18s to begin to appear on the horizon. We had one false alarm when the binoculars’ owner misreported a Scotland top but there was joy a few minutes later when Finlay really did appear and ran in accompanied by Jake and Matthew draped in the team flag. Second place was North West with Scotland 3rd and 4th taking our points total very much in the right direction
The W18s had a tough battle with Kathryn and Lindsay leading the way and taking the gaffles in their stride, only to be overtaken by the two very strong Yorkshire& Humberside girls in the last gaffle. Their 3rd and 5th places were enough though and so we began to relax.
At the prize-giving the results were confirmed with Scotland claiming the Boys’ Relay Trophy, runners up in the Girls’ Relay and retaining the Overall Trophy. In addition, Matthew Gooch (MAROC) was awarded the trophy for Best Individual Performance having won M14 on Saturday by 5 mins 25sec as well as his storming run in the relays.
Congratulations to everyone in the team; it was a great effort by everyone.
Thanks go to MAROC and GRAMP, the organising clubs; to Marsela McLeod (SOA Performance Director), Ross Lilley, Judy Bell and Max Carcas (parents) for driving and general support; to MAROC parents for the packed lunch and finally Iain McLeod (GRAMP) must be congratulated for co-ordinating the whole weekend.
The Scotland team selections
Daniel Campbell MOR
Matthew Gooch MAROC
Louis Macmillan ECKO
Peter Molloy FVO
Non-travelling reserve: Pierre Lardet FVO
Rachel Brown ESOC
Megan Keith INVOC
Lizzie Stansfield FVO
Alice Wilson CLYDE
*Reserve: Amber Graham MAROC
Alistair Chapman MAROC
Jake Chapman MAROC
Benjamin Parkinson FVO
Joe Wright MAROC
Non-travelling reserve: Alasdair Lilley ECKO
Jenny Blackwood INVOC
Eilidh Campbell MAROC
Grace Molloy FVO
Eilidh Shearer ECKO
Non-travelling reserve: Mairi Weir MOR
James Ackland INT
Tom Lines ECKO
Ewan McMillan MAROC
Finlay Todd INVOC
Non-travelling reserve: Callum Hunter ECKO
Abi Mason MAROC
Lindsay Robertson CLYDE
Clare Stansfield FVO
Emma Wilson CLYDE
*Reserve: Kathryn Barr MOR
The JIRCs rules allow for juniors who have gained a championship standard at JK (Days 2 or 3), British Long Champs or Scottish Champs, to be invited to run as non-scoring extras. Therefore, the following are also invited to the weekend:
*W14 Amber Graham (MAROC), *W18 Kathryn Barr (MOR), Roanne Lilley (ECKO), M16 Luke Graham (MAROC), M18 Freddie Carcas (INT), Sam Galloway (INT)
Elizabeth Furness (ScotJOS Manager)
Marsela McLeod (SOA Performance Director)
Marjorie Mason (ScotJOS Treasurer)