Discover Laser Run GB Final – Tudor Grange Solihull 1 September 2019
32 athletes made the journey to Solihull last weekend, after qualifying to represent Scottish Pentathlon in the finals of the Discover Laser Run Event. After a wet and windy journey down the weather on the day of competition was perfect, with bright sunshine and a light breeze. The morning competition was the individual championship and started with the U12, working through age to U16.
The first race, U12 Boys, set the scene for the day, with fast, accurate shooting and closely packed runs. Ten seconds was all that separated the top 5 athletes, with Freddie Langley just missing the podium in 4th, just 0.36 seconds behind the Bronze position and Alexander Arris just behind him. Edward Storer crossed the line a few seconds later and their combined performances were enough to secure Silver Team medals.
The U12 Girls consisted the MacRae twins from Mull, who had qualified at Stirling and Sophia Leiper, an Aberdeen qualifier. The girls played on their different strengths to be able to secure a Team Bronze, with Ellen 7th, Gemma 13th and Sophia 17th. Again, there were only about 10 seconds separating the top ten finishers.
U14 Boys had a bigger squad, and a good mix of experience and new talent. Rhys Crawford led the charge, with an outstanding Gold medal, four seconds clear. Finn Bryce, in 5th, was just 5 seconds off the podium. Magnus Lawson was 9th, and the close finishes continued with Jack Wallace in 12, Sam Morris 13 and Owen Arris 18. These performances secured Team Silver.
U14 Girls had most of the team quite new to the sport, but they rose to the occasion and all gave 100% on the day. In the very close racing, the first Scot home was Hannah Staal 5th and only five seconds from the podium. Evie Penderis had a great run through the field to come in at 8. The remaining athletes all came in with the bunched field, little separating them in times: Kate Dalglish 17, Iona West 19, Laura Duringer 21, Anya Richard 24, good enough to edge out Team England North and secure Team Bronze.
The U16 Boys and Girls Teams were both packed with experience and quality allowing them to dominate the competition. Kai Crawford had a great battle with team mate Lewis Watt but he was on great form in the final run and pushed on for the win, with Lewis a convincing second. Dylan Dickie was only five seconds off the podium too, in 4th. Finlay Cooper 7, Callum McGregor 9 and Dylan Driver 16 were just too strong for the competition and secured Team Gold.
Not to be outdone, U16 Girls produced some great racing, with Susie Roberts having to dig deep to outrun the competition on the last run for the win. Charlotte Narducci had a confident performance across shoot and run to take a well deserved Bronze, while Jessica Carns, only 11 seconds back was 5th home. The pace was fast on the run, with little time between Kirstin Grant 8, Ellie Wallace 10, Anya Penderis 15, Akira West 19 and Taya Bryce 20, for another Team Gold.
After a short break, the afternoon competition was mixed pairs relay – an exciting format, which can produce great racing, as the lead changes quickly. A well trained and focused squad from England South were too strong in the U12 and U14 competitions, but the on fire U16 Scottish Team took the first 5 places in their race – a very memorable sight to see all the Scottish Boys battling it out on the home straight, with the competition not there yet.
Unfortunately, our first pair over the line, Lewis Watt and Ellie Wallace, was later DQ’d for a technical infringement. This left top step of the podium open for Anya Penderis and Kai Crawford, with Silver going to Callum McGregor and Charlotte Narducci and Bronze to Kirstin Grant and Dylan Dickie. Just missing out in 4th were Jessica Carns and Finlay Cooper.
None of this would have been possible without the superb organisational skills of Team Manager, Nic Crawford, to whom we all pass on our thanks.
Well done everyone.
With thanks to Billy Mitchell for the report.