HELENSBURGH Amateur Athletics Club’s young runners put in another strong showing at the recent West District cross-country championships in Kilmarnock.

The event was held over a reasonably flat but very muddy route, with some short sharp hills and lots of loops and twists to challenge the runners’ cross-country techniques.

The first event was the U13 girls, who should have raced over 3.2km, but unfortunately due to a marshalling mistake the racers were misdirected, resulting in only 1.2km being covered.

This threw out most of the racers’ pacing, but after much discussion by the organisers it was decided that the results over the shorter distance would stand, with Maddie Rooney finishing in 26th place and Rowan Mair in 51st.

The boys’ U13 race was much less eventful, with the boys covering the full 3.2km course: William Scott continues to show the benefits from regular training, building his stamina and strength to finish 41st in 14m 24sec, while Cameron Williams was not far behind him in 62nd place in just over 15 minutes.

Matthew Cameron was the only Team HAAC runner in the boys’ U15 race over 4km, and after some time away from training due to injury, he finished in 44th position in the middle of the pack.

Matthew posted a time just under 19 minutes, but there will be more to come from him when he gets back to full fitness.

In the U15 girls’ race both Iona Wilson and Jenny Scott put in excellent efforts, with Iona finishing 12th over the 4km course in a time of 17.58 and gaining automatic selection for the West District team for the inter-district cross-country championships this month, while Jenny, who finished 14th, faced an anxious wait to hear if she had been chosen for the squad.

This event will be held alongside the international XC races where stars such as European champion and double world indoor medallist Laura Muir compete.

The last race of the day featuring Helensburgh runners was the combined U17/U20 women 5.5/6.5k race which included the Commonwealth Games athlete Erin Wallace. In rapidly deteriorating weather conditions, Katie Flett was 27th in the U17 field, but Chloe Murphy had to pull out of the U20 running during the race due to injury.