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Inverness athletes aim for Great Britain selection in Liverpool

By Will Clark

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Mhairi Maclennan and Megan Keith bid for places in the Great Britain squad for next month’s European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon.

Mhairi Maclennan head shot
Mhairi Maclennan head shot

Both women are in the Scotland squad in tomorrow’s trials at the UK Cross Challenge in Liverpool.

Kirkhill athlete Maclennan contests the senior race after a three month lay off and only returned to competition two weeks ago, finishing second in an event in Belfast.

Last year she contested the world cross country championships and in 2017 won under-23 European team gold.

As double European junior orienteering champion, Millburn Acadmy pupil Keith is no stranger to continental competition. She will run in the under-20 race having won Scottish under-20 short course gold and senior bronze, and produced the fastest time at the national cross country relays.

Also competing for Scotland at under-20 level is Strathpeffer athlete Hamish Hickey.

The 19-year-old University of Stirling student won silver at the Scottish Short Course Cross Country Championships in Kirkcaldy.

He also won bronze at the Scottish Student Cross Country Championships in Dundee.

In the junior open events, Fortrose runner Lucas Cairns runs at under-17 level while his sister Anna competes in the under-15 race.

Anna claimed gold in the under-15 girls’ title at the Scottish Short Course Cross Country Championship at Kirkcaldy.

The siblings head their age groups in the North Cross Country League but miss tomorrow’s race at Forres.

Before next month’s North District Championships at Dores, the league is experimenting with shorter, faster, more runnable courses, with both men and women covering just 8k.

Inverness Harriers lead several team contests including men’s and women’s and in the previous match at Evanton produced a women’s 1-2-3. This leaves the Inverness women strongly placed to regain the overall team title, recently conceded to Forres and Moray.

Fortrose Academy pupil Stroma Fraser will make her international debut next week for Scottish Schools in the under-16 British Schools indoor pentathlon at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. The 13-year-old has been selected following Scottish Schools pentathlon silver at last summer’s championships which she almost had to miss after a serious ankle break.

In 2018 she set a new Scottish under-13 pentathlon record of 2805 points and is also a former Scottish under-13 800 metres champion.

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