Friday and Saturday saw thirteen of Shetland’s young athletes represent their schools in the Scottish Schools Athletics Championships in Grangemouth. 

On Friday, pupils from the Anderson High School, Aith Junior High School and Whalsay School made their marks in their respective fields. First to compete was Judy Hamer (AHS) in the Hammer event. Following her warm up throws, Judy performed a two turn throw and achieved a personal best distance of 26.59m on her first attempt. Next in the field was Ethan Tulloch (AHS) in the Javelin event. Ethan threw very well through a change in weather conditions and earned a bronze medal to take the first Shetland medal of the competition with a throw of 39.13m. 

Over on the track, Katie Dinwoodie (AHS), Laura Newbold (AHS) and Loni Wiseman (AHS) were all in their respective 100m heats. Katie got off to a great start, winning her heat in a relaxed time of 13.05 seconds to progress automatically to the semi-final. In the age group above, Laura was 6th place in her heat in a time of 13.89 seconds and Loni was 7th in her heat in a time of 14.40 seconds. 

In the girls Javelin event, Stephanie Mercer (Aith JHS) and Sonja Kurtz (AHS) had a tough field of competitors to compete in, with Stephanie earning a place in the final and finishing 7th with a distance of 26.94m and Sonja just missing out in 11th place with 21.42m. 

The next Shetland athlete to compete was Kara Sharp (AHS) in the 300m heats. Kara ran well in her heat, finishing in 3rd place in time of 44.36 seconds, just outside her personal best and just missing out on the final. 

Katie was back in action in the semi-final of the 100m shortly after, again winning the race comfortably in a time of 12.95 seconds and qualifying for the final. 

Back in the field, Shay Regan (AHS) displayed good technique against a strong wind in the Triple Jump event, finishing in 4th place with a best jump of 12.03m and just missing out on a medal. Stephanie was competing again at the same time as Shay and had a huge field of competitors in her Shot Putt event. She threw extremely well, finishing in 12th place with a huge personal best of 9.61m. 

The final of the 100m was the last track event of the day for the Shetland contingent and Katie ran extremely well following a difficult start, working her way up through the field to finish in silver medal position in a time of 12.55 seconds. 

The group gathered across to watch and cheer on the youngest of the team, Annie Mowat (Whalsay), in the High Jump. Annie jumped cleanly up through the heights until 1.45m which she successfully cleared on her third attempt. Equalling her personal best of 1.50m proved to be a tough ask on the day and her performance at 1.45m saw her finish in 5th place, just missing the medals on count back. 

On Saturday, Shay was first up in the Long Jump event. Shay jumped well to reach the final and produced two good jumps in the final two rounds which were both just over the board, finishing the competition in 5th place with a best jump of 5.76m. 

Next to jump was Loni in the Triple Jump event. Loni jumped well and close to her best, finishing the competition in bronze medal winning place with a jump of 10.04m 

The first track event of the day saw Aimee Smith (AHS) compete in the 800m. Aimee got off to a great start and when the field started to spread out, maintained her pace to stay with the leading 

pack. Aimee took 4th place in her heat in a seasons best time of 2 minutes 23.67 seconds, just missing out on the final. 

Over at the Long Jump, Maddie Smith (AHS) performed very well in a tough field of 20 athletes, coming through with a best jump of 4.86m, just 10cm short of her personal best and finishing in a credible 11th place. 

With just two track distance remaining for the Shetland team, Katie and Kara began to prepare for the 200m. Kara ran in heat 1, finishing in 2nd place and delighted with her new personal best time of 26.93 seconds, earning an automatic place in the final. Katie took first place in heat 2, judging her race well and cruising over the line in a time of 26.30 seconds, also qualifying automatically for the final. 

The 1500m event saw Kaylee Tulloch (AHS) run a great race throughout, taking on the competition and finishing fast in 4th place in her heat with a huge personal best time of 5 minutes 9.02 seconds and earning a place in the final. 

With the weather beginning to turn, Katie ad Kara took their places in the starting line up of the 200m final. Both girls got off to a great start and Katie stormed ahead round the bend. As the runners came off the bend, Katie and her nearest rival were neck and neck and Katie took the silver medal in a great finish, with Kara coming through to take 6th place. The official times were eagerly anticipated, and news came through that Katie’s run had smashed the Shetland Record with her time of 24.96 seconds, the first sub-25 second 200m run by a female Shetland athlete. Kara’s time was close to her new personal best from the heat with 27.22 seconds. 

The final of the 1500m was the last race of the day for the Shetland athletes and Kaylee was cheered from start to finish in what may be the wettest race that she has ever completed. Kaylee ran very well in the terrible conditions, taking 7th place in the final in a time of 5 minutes 21.16 seconds which was remarkable given the circumstances and the short time between her heat and the final. 

Shetland Amateur Athletics Club Chairwoman Elaine Park commented, “This has been a fantastic championship for the Shetland athletes with four medals, numerous personal bests, valuable competitive experiences and a Shetland Record to round off the weekend. Each and every athlete earned their place at this competition by meeting the standards set by the Scottish Schools Athletics Association and they should all be very proud of their achievements both in the run up to and during this competition. The Club would like to thank the Altaire Fishing Company for their continued support of this competition and Northlink Ferries and Bolts Car Hire for their assistance with travel sponsorship.”

Ethan Tulloch with his Bronze from the Javelin. Credit - David Wagstaff
Katie Dinwoodie with her 200m Silver Medal. Credit - Craig Dinwoodie
Loni Wiseman with her Bronze from the Triple Jump. Credit - Elaine Park