SCOTTISH ATHLETICS LEAGUE: BEST EVER RESULT FOR VPG MEN
The Club's men achieved a great result at the last meeting of the season at Meadowbank on 30 Aug 2015, coming second in the match, securing second overall for the season behind runaway champions Aberdeen and ahead of Central, Shettleston and Kilbarchan. This is our best finish in Division 1 since the League reformed way back in 1972. Having just been promoted from 2nd in Div 2 last season, we should be in strong contention for the Most Improved award at the League AGM - but we'll have to wait and see.
Once again our sprinters were supreme, despite several missing, scoring a near perfect maximum. Kade Thomas missed 1st A 100m by just 0.01 sec in 11.12 (wind +2.4), while League debutant Ashim Burungu waltzed away with the B in a pb equalling 11.02 (+3.5). Kade then took the A 200m in a legal 22.40 (+1.4) for a new pb by 0.01sec. Stephen Murphy took advantage of his first individual sprint outing in the league with a B victory by the smallest of margins in 23.51 (+1.7). Stephen and Kade joined with Euan Urquhart and David Martin to take the 4x100 in fine style in 43.78. Though we didn't field anyone in the 400m, we fielded a strong 4x400 team of 800 runners and hurdlers; Robbie Barr, 50.66, Chris Boyle 51.66, Nathan Merchant 51.75 and David Martin 49.41 combined for 3:23.48, tailing the mighty Kilbarchan Scottish champions team all the way for second.
Robbie Barr was only 0.02 outside his best with 1:54.40 for 3rd A 800 in his first start at this event in the league. David Martin , reliable as ever, took the 400 hurdles in 52.67 after a ding dong with Kilbarchan's Martin Lipton, then he had a rare start in the 110 hurdles, 3rd A in 15.71 (+2.0). He looks to have secured the SAL Div 1 Track Athlete of the Season title with his 400H effort. Well done David!
High jumper Marcus Morton again showed his reliability in taking the A event with 1.95m. There was some surprisingly high scoring in the throws, pride of place going to Alexander Lewis for his A Javelin victory, 42.05m. Durable veteran Gerry Farrell took third in the A Discus, 35.33m, with young understudy Paul Wishart winning the B, 32.24m.
Good to see athletes filling up the slots to earn valuable points for the club. Tribute should be given to others not mentioned above - Max Ralston, Andrew O'Donnell, and Captain Martin Hayes - hope you recover from that argument with a steeplechase barrier which ended your race, Martin. Also hoping Sam Adams gets over the overnight tummy bug that put paid to his participation in the pole vault. Thankfully, these setbacks didn't affect the result, as we managed to stay ahead of Edinburgh by 6 points!
Once again the youth of the team was remarkable - only 5 seniors, but 9 U20s and one U17. Thanks to our volunteer officials, Sheila Baillie (Field Ref), Hugh Baillie, Jacquie O'Donnell and Jim Harvie , without whom we could not contest the match. Also to the good number of parents, coaches, girlfriends and other club members who gave vocal support. Great to have something to cheer about, and we hope to build on this next year
Hugh Stevenson, Men's Team Manager