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Inverness and Nairn athletes compete at Scottish Athletics first competition of the summer held by Knockando Athletics Group ends coronavirus shutdown


By Craig Christie

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A TINY Moray village hosted the very first event of Scottish Athletics' summer season.

Kyle Wilkinson (Elgin AAC).
Kyle Wilkinson (Elgin AAC).

Knockando Athletics Group, an offshoot of Elgin Amateur Athletics Club, held an open graded meeting at their competition-standard long jump pit and all-weather runway.

The club was asked by the country's governing body for athletics to stage the opening competition of their shortened summer programme, which required additional measures to be put in place to ensure compliance with Scottish Athletics guidance around the risks associated with Covid-19.

Social distancing was observed and competitors from the home club as well as Inverness, Ross County, Banchory Stonehaven and Nairn put in some good performances.

Margery Swinton, coach and manager of Knockando Athletics Group, said: ”It was both a delight and a challenge to arrange this competition, with the extra requirements that were necessary to ensure a safe competition for everyone who attended.

"Our team of helpers worked hard to achieve this and gave the young athletes their first opportunity this season to compete.

"Our facilities are ideally situated for these events, boasting the only certified, all-weather runway between Aberdeen and Inverness."

The triple jump events took place in the morning with home hopeful Kyle Wilkinson going head-to-head with William Hodi (Nairn) in the under-17s competition, both jumping 12.97 metres.

William Hodi (Nairn AAAC).
William Hodi (Nairn AAAC).

The women's under-17 event was almost as close, with just 24cm separating the three competitors and Abbie Crawford (Banchory Stonehaven) coming out on top with 10.03 metres.

Stroma Fraser (Inverness Harriers). Phil Downie Photography
Stroma Fraser (Inverness Harriers). Phil Downie Photography

Two Ross County athletes fought out the under-15 girls contest, Ruby Wittka-Jezewski coming out on top with 9.12m.

Elgin under-15 boy Tom Palmer had only been able to do one triple jump training session since lockdown but still managed to claim two personal best jumps to take him to 8.54 metres.

In total there were seven PB performances across the triple jump competitions.

Three long jump groups produced the excitement in the afternoon with Nairn under-15s Matthew Saunders and Ryan Curran both jumping beyond expectations.

Ryan Curran (Nairn AAAC) Phil Downie Photography.
Ryan Curran (Nairn AAAC) Phil Downie Photography.

"Matthew was wearing brand new shoes because since lockdown his feet had gone from a size six to size nine," Marjory said. "I joked with him about them having springs in them because he improved from a previous best of 4.08 to 4.51m."

Matthew Saunders. Phil Downie Photography
Matthew Saunders. Phil Downie Photography

Ryan Curran also had two PBs to go from 3.77m to 4.25m.

Aaron Kerr (Inverness Harriers). Phil Downie Photography
Aaron Kerr (Inverness Harriers). Phil Downie Photography

Inverness athletes Alister MacKay (6.06m) and Aaron Kerr (5.37m) both had PBs as did Elgin’s M45 Andrew Whittaker (4.58m).

Andrew Whittaker leaps for Elgin in the M45 age group. Phil Downie Photography
Andrew Whittaker leaps for Elgin in the M45 age group. Phil Downie Photography

Knockando's next meet is a long jump event on Saturday, September 5.


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