Inverclyde Athletics Club’s senior women’s team had a day to remember at the West District Cross Country Relays at Alexandra Park in Glasgow, making the podium for the second time in history.
The trio of Nynke Mulholland, Meredith Reid and Aimee Claire Anderson matched Inverclyde’s best result from 2014 at the race with a bronze medal.
It saw a welcome return to form for the squad, which is boasting its best depth since the club’s formation, with seven athletes competing.
Setting up the team with a chance of a medal was Nynke who led out a fast first leg to record the fastest time of the day of 14:51, before passing onto Meredith on the second who extended the lead to second-placed Glasgow University with the fastest under-20 time of the day.
Aimee Claire was competing in the stripes for the first time and crucially held her nerve to give the team the bronze medal by four seconds after being swallowed up by the fast finishing Glasgow Uni and Victoria Park City of Glasgow.
A full B team comprised of Maisie Watson, Rachael Bushfield and Jennifer Lyne competed too, finishing in an impressive eighth place.
Maisie led the team out along with Abi Hammerman, who was running solo in an incomplete C team, and had a good tussle with her team mate. It was Abi who came in just ahead, but the two youngsters will be encouraged by their start to the season.
Rachael showed the form she can be in when keeping injury away, picking up 17 spots on the second leg, and Jennifer moved the team up one more spot.
The men’s team of Sean Fontana, Mark Doherty, Ben Potrykus and Ross Gray finished second in a dramatic three-way scramble for the gold. Sean, off the back of injury and a block of marathon training, finished eighth on the first leg and Mark moved the quartet up a position.
Ben, making his debut on the country for Inverclyde, put in the fastest time in the team and picked up four spots to give them the lead for the first time. Ross successfully caught the leaders Cambuslang Harriers, but would be caught by Giffnock North who won by three seconds.
Another B team made the top 10, with the quartet of Josh Law, Colin Doherty, Dylan Crawford and David Tamburini finishing ninth. Consistency was key as the first three runners were all within 10 seconds of each other; and Josh was the first of these, finishing leg one in 13th. Colin moved them into 12th before Dylan put the top team in the top 10 for the first time, a position that Tamba consolidated.
Lewis Hainey, Jon Hammerman, Paul Friend and Robert Gray placed the C team in 24th – making them the second-highest third team in the race.
Topping off a successful day, the girl’s A team finished impressively in seventh place. Lexie Bremner was 14th on the under-13 leg, and U15 Iris Paterson put them into tenth. Ava Beaton, also under-15 but running on the U17 leg, had one of the fastest times of the day to move the trio in seventh.
Pearl Paterson, Emma Binnie and Grace Barry were all part of incomplete teams, but crucially bring the depth needed in the under-13s that will make them medal prospects when racing together.
Women’s A team: Nynke Mulholland (14:51), Meredith Reid (15:23), Aimee Claire Anderson (16:51)
B team: Maisie Watson (17:17), Rachael Bushfield (15:48), Jennifer Lyne (16:06)
C team: Abi Hammerman (17:01)
Men’s A team: Sean Fontana (13:07), Mark Doherty (13:10), Ben Potrykus (12:17), Ross Gray (12:25)
B team: Josh Law (13:37), Colin Doherty (13:27), Dylan Crawford (13:37), David Tamburini (14:04)
C team: Lewis Hainey (14:26), Jon Hammerman (14:06), Paul Friend (15:01), Robert Gray (16:23)
Girls’ U13: Lexie Bremner (12:55), Emma Binnie (13:09), Pearl Paterson (13:36), Grace Barry (13:51).
U15: Ava Beaton (11:51), Iris Paterson (12:18).