Zoey Clark impresses with two medals at Scottish Indoors

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SCOTTISH ATHLETICS STORIES ONLY. FPSG Scottish Athletics Senior & U17 Indoor Championships, January 26th 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

GB international Zoey Clark claimed a gold and silver medal double at the FPSG Scottish Seniors and U17s Champs (full results here) – and insisted a return to the Emirates Arena for the European Indoors would be her dream ticket.

The double World Relay medallist clocked 7.42 in the 60m final to take silver behind visiting Portuguese athlete Tamiris de Liz (7.37), with the Aberdeen AAC athlete’s time taking her fifth on the Scottish all-time list for that distance, even though she is essentially a 400m runner.

In the 200m final, the last event of a whole programme and Clark’s fifth race of a hectic day, she raced home in 23.60 – just two hundredths of a second adrift of the National Record she herself had set in the same event and venue back in January 2018.

‘ When I ran that 23.58 last year, it was only my second race that day so to get so close to that time and win gold this year in 23.60 in my sixth race of the day is really pleasing,’ said Zoey, with silver and bronze for Blackpool’s Katy Wyper and Chloe Lambert (VP-Glasgow) in that race.

‘I was happy with the 60m time, too. It was good to get a competitive women’s race like that.

‘So these should set me up well for a return to 400m in the British Champs and Euro Trials in a couple of weeks in Birmingham. Making the GB and NI team for the European Indoors is such a big goal because I’d just love to come back here and compete in front of a Scottish crowd.

‘You don’t get too many chances like that in your career and a full house with Scots cheering me on at the Emirates would be a fantastic experience.’

As Clark impressed, it was a younger brigade of Scottish names who came to the fore to take Seniors medals.

There was drama in the field with the Men’s long jump final delivering a super head-to-head which led to gold medallist Alessandro Schenini of Giffnock North and silver medallist, Stephen McKenzie of Pitreavie AAC, both breaking the existing U20 indoor long jump record.

Schenini, the reigning champion, went into the event with his PB at 7.31m from the previous year at this event.

He trailed rival McKenzie of Pitreavie from the opening round – as the Ullapool-based athlete reached 7.51m. Schenini did make it to 7.37m but it was only in his final jump that he over-hauled McKenzie to win by one centimetre with 7.52m.

‘If there is a best way to win a long jump competition then I guess that is probably it, ‘ grinned Alessandro, who is coached by David Watson and Ryan McAllister.

‘I’ve managed it with a PB and I’ve manged with a last round jump to win by one centimetre. Stephen had set the target with that first round jump but my rounds were quite consistent around the 7.37m from the first round.

‘But it was great to pull out a new PB in the final round. I would think that will get me into the British Champs indoors and that’s an event I will really relish and enjoy – I was accepted into it last year and Greg Rutherford was still jumping so it was a great experience.’

Kane Elliott, at 17, was one of those as the Falkirk Vics prospect completed a fine solo run win at 1500m with his 3.50.98 winning time very close to the U20 indoor record.

Fraser Angus, a sprinter with Giffnock North, was another young man in form as he took gold in the men’s 200m final in a run of 21.67. Michael Olsen of Edinburgh AC took the men’s 60m title in 6.81.

GB international Cameron Chalmers flew in from Guernsey to win the 400m gold in 47.84 to win from his brother Alastair, with Lewis Brown top Scot in third in 48.31. Mhairi Patience won the Women’s 400m gold with 56.85 seconds.

Hannah Lawler of Edinburgh AC took gold in the pole vault with 3.63m clearance as club-mate Gillian Cooke took silver. Sarah Warnock, also Edinburgh AC, collected silver in the long jump with 6.13m as English athlete Lucy Hadaway won at 6.26m.

Jax Thoirs claimed another Scottish pole vault title with a 4.91m clearance; Katy Brown won the women’s 1500m gold and Philippa Millage took the 800m crown in2.07.15. The men’s 800m final produced a tight finish with Pitreavie’s Ewan Dyer taking the title in 1.55.52.

Jane Davidson raced to gold in the 60m Women’s hurdles final with 8.80m in her first event as a Senior.

There were other Scottish title wins for Henry Clarkson (Lasswade) and Carolyn Harvey (Ayr Seaforth) in the Triple Jump and Lewis McGuire (VP-Glasgow) and Emma Nuttall (Edinburgh AC) in the High Jump. Mhairi Porterfield (VP-Glasgow) won the shot with 13.28m.

*At the FPSG U17 Champs there were Scottish National U17 Indoor records for Ellie O’Hara of Edinburgh AC in the long jump and triple jump and for Reuben Nairne of Giffnock North AC in the pole vault. Further Championship Bests were achieved by Giffnock 200m duo, Finlay Waught and Alyson Bell.