Athletics: Stewarts strike gold at Scottish Cross Country 4k

The Capital’s “Running Stewarts” duly brought home a crock of gold from the Scottish 4K Cross Country Championships at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

Though the eldest, Emily, confessed to being “a little disappointed” with her bronze for third in the senior race behind Morag MacLarty (Central) and Rosie Smith (Hunter’s Bog Trotters), she did lead Edinburgh AC to team gold and picked up the individual gold for winning the under-20 title.

For good measure her younger sister Louisa, though still only 16, also struck gold as second scorer for the senior team in sixth place overall, four seconds faster than Jennifer Maclean, who was eighth and the third scorer.

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“I’m happy with a medal as it’s my first senior medal (I was fourth last year) and pleased to win the Under-20 title but quite disappointed with the way the race went,” said Emily.

“The first lap went past so quickly and I took the lead earlier than I meant to,” she explained. “The course was very boggy and I struggled a bit at the end.”

MacLarty and Smith were on her tail for most of the final lap and it was MacLarty, a former European Junior 1500 metres champion and Commonwealth Youth games champion, who had been out for 15 months through injury, who pounced in the closing stages to win by three seconds from Smith with Stewart 12 seconds behind.

Best Capital performance in the men’s race came from Corstorphine’s Dermot Cummins who was ninth, though Edinburgh University’s Michael Gillespie, whose younger brother Matthew won the race, was fifth in Shettleston colours.