Falkirk Victoria Harriers trio represent Team Scotland in Liverpool

​Three Falkirk Victoria Harriers made the journey south of the border to Sefton Park on Saturday, having been chosen to be part of Team Scotland, to compete in the Liverpool leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series, following on from their recent successes on the cross-country circuit.
Falkirk Victoria Harriers ace Ray Taylor (right) earned a podium finish (Photo: Submitted)Falkirk Victoria Harriers ace Ray Taylor (right) earned a podium finish (Photo: Submitted)
Falkirk Victoria Harriers ace Ray Taylor (right) earned a podium finish (Photo: Submitted)

The event, streamed live on TV, comprised 14 races featuring top-class athletes, and none other than Olympian Carl Lewis presented the medals.

Under-15 Ray Taylor’s race was 3km around a muddy course with an exciting sprint at the end which saw Ray finish in third place in 09:31, just behind Evan Grime from Salford Harriers in 09:26 and Calum Dick from Giffnock North Athletics Club in 09:30, making it two Scottish steps on the podium.

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The senior women’s event, also featuring the under-23 women’s European cross trial, was won by Megan Keith from Inverness Harriers Amateur Athletics Club.

Keith ran the 8.1k course in 26:02, a full 53 seconds ahead of the number-two position.

She will compete again at under-23 level in Belgium – after taking silver in that category in Italy last year – and will be joined in her Euro-cross team by Eloise Walker of Edinburgh Athletic Club.

Falkirk Vic Olivia Vareille put in a strong performance, finishing 100th in 31:36 amongst a field of more than 400 impressively fast runners.

The final Vic was male senior Scott Stirling.

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In a field of more than 700 runners covering 9.8km, which was, in parts, by this time a boggy trail, Stirling had hoped for a place on the GB Euro-cross team and knew he was in a good position to make that happen due to his disciplined preparation and recent form.

However, a fall during the course saw him lose valuable seconds, and despite recovering well and in his own words “working hard and finishing higher than ever before in Liverpool”, ended up in 17th place in 29:33.

Stirling paid tribute to the support he receives from his coach John Pentecost and the Vics in general, which helps during such tough moments, he said.

He was also quick to congratulate fellow Vic Ray Taylor for finishing third in his race, quite an achievement for his first outing at the Merseyside event.

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