A TREMENDOUS 44-point victory was recorded by a determined Shetland athletics team last Thursday. Although they were continually drenched throughout the day, the spirits of the team soared as an early lead gradually increased with every event.
The event began with the boys’ 1500 metres, with Joshua Morrison and Bobby Bristow representing Shetland. Both took advantage of the rare absence of wind, finishing first and second respectively, with Joshua’s time of four minutes 12.42 seconds smashing the county record and knocking 0.03 seconds off the senior men’s Shetland record which he set last month. Bobby’s time of four minutes 33.63 seconds was a new personal best for the distance.
The girls’ 1500m got off to a quick start with Shetland’s Katie Bristow and Sadie Younger leading the field. An excellent run by both saw eventual finishes of first and third, with a time of five minutes 10.44 seconds for Katie and five minutes 32.9 seconds for Sadie.
The field events got under way with Jordan Morrison and Scott Jeromson in the javelin.
Both threw very well in the wet conditions, with Jordan finishing second with 36.26m. Scott was unlucky, as having sat in a comfortable third place, he was forced to watch Orkney’s captain pull out a fast throw in the final round to beat him by three centimetres.
Victoria Duthie and Lois Gray were meanwhile putting the shot against some tough competition from Orkney. They competed well with Victoria taking second place and Lois fourth.
The scores at this point showed Shetland in an early lead with 21 points to Orkney’s 19.
Next on the track was the 200m, with Gareth Robertson and Scott Lawson competing for Shetland. An exciting race followed with Gareth pulling away from the field to finish first in 23.2 seconds. Scott was hot on the heels of both Gareth and the second-placed Orkney competitor, finishing third in 23.8.
Faye Richardson and Inga Woods lined up in the girls’ race and, after a tense start, Faye blew the field away in 25.68 seconds and Inga finished a decisive second in 27.48.
After discussion between both teams due to safety concerns, the decision was made to take both high jump competitions indoors.
The girls’ competition got under way first with the Shetland girls, Emma Leask and Karen Bannister, taking first and second respectively with 1.49m and 1.46. The boys’ competition saw Maurice Williamson take second place with 1.68 and Paul Hibbert fourth with 1.59.
Following the high jump competitions the overall point score stood at Shetland 45, Orkney 35.
The 800m races were scheduled next with Joshua and Bobby running for Shetland. Both went off very fast with Joshua leading the way. With the crowd roaring him on Joshua broke the two-minute barrier for the
first time, recording a new county record of one minute 58.9 seconds and breaking the senior men’s Shetland record. Orkney’s captain was not far behind Joshua, finishing in two minutes 0.54 seconds, while Bobby was third place in two minutes 14.23 seconds.
The girls’ race was just as exciting as the boys’, with Katie Bristow sprinting past the leading Orkney competitor to take first in two minutes 31.56 seconds. Jenny Richardson was third in two minutes 38.45 seconds.
The 100m races followed with a growing crowd braving the weather to cheer the competitors on. Gareth and Stuart Donald got off to an excellent start and took a convincing first and second respectively in 11.2 and 11.32 seconds to huge applause. With the crowd warmed up they were not disappointed when Faye and Inga also took first and second, with times of 12.17 and 12.67 seconds respectively.
The points score now saw Shetland well ahead at 71-49.
The long jumps saw Shetland’s Scott Lawson and Sean Maver taking first and second respectively. Not to be outdone Eilidh Peterson and Victoria did likewise, increasing Shetland’s lead to 30 points.
The 400m races followed and it was personal bests all round with Scott Lawson and Lewis King competing for Shetland.
An unlucky dip on the line saw Scott finish second place in a personal best of 52.75 seconds. Lewis followed him home in a PB of 54.04 seconds.
Shetland’s Emma Leask continued the form she demonstrated in the high jump, taking first place in the girls’ race in a fast 59.81 seconds. A shocked Megan Smith, who was drafted in at the last minute, had an excellent run and took second place in a PB of 63.19.
The final field events of the day were the shot for boys, with Maurice and Craig Sneddon representing Shetland. Despite the cold setting in they threw very well, finishing first and second respectively with distances of 12.14 and 11.69m. At the same time, Victoria and Inga took part in the girls’ javelin, with Inga finishing second with a PB of 26.29m and Victoria taking third with 24.22.
With only the relays remaining, Shetland were 38 points ahead at 109-71.
The boys 4x100m team of Stuart, Scott Lawson, Shaun Manson and Gareth took the lead early on and with
excitement building within the crowd, came home first in a new county record of 44.88 seconds. Despite their delight, the girls’ 4x100m team of Inga, Emma, Megan and Faye held together very well and ended the day with another win, almost five seconds ahead of Orkney.
The final points tally was 119-75 to Shetland.
Shetland coach Elaine Park said: “All the coaches are just delighted with the team. They demonstrated just how talented they are in every event and with three records broken and a huge winning margin. We couldn’t have asked for more.
“The team and coaches would like to thank the officials and volunteers who made the competition possible and we would also like to thank Orkney for a good battle. All points were hard fought and we all
respect the efforts of their young team.”