Athletics: No thriller as small space of Deeside produces host of high operating skills


Banchory athletics coach Willy Russell has found his personal model of the Bermuda Triangle on Deeside.

A outstanding variety of profitable athletes have emerged from a small nook of the north-east over the previous 12 years, particularly on the earth of Scottish sprinting and lengthy distance operating.

And Russell says “it’s all right down to the mysterious Torphins-Finzean-Birse triangle” which has been dwelling to the likes of Rhona Auckland, the 2014 European under-23 cross nation champion, and Robbie Simpson, the 2018 Commonwealth Video games marathon bronze medallist.

However it’s the astonishing report of a trio of sprinters who all come from inside the triangle that Russell has highlighted.

He has been analyzing the nationwide rating lists for the interval from 2009 to 2020, produced by the Scottish Affiliation of Observe Statisticians, and made some outstanding discoveries.

He mentioned: “I’ve been trying on the top-10 senior girls’s rankings within the 60m, 100m and 200m for every of those years and located that three Banchory Stonehaven AC runners have an incredible report.

“Alisha Rees has appeared within the rankings 19 occasions between 2013 and 2020, together with eight occasions at primary.

“Kathryn Christie has additionally been ranked 19 occasions, between 2009 and 2015, with 4 primary rankings. And Maddy Silcock has been within the top-10 4 occasions between 2017 and 2020.

“Not less than one in all them has achieved a top-three rating in yearly since 2011.”

Christie was the trailblazer for the others, successful the 100m and 200m dash double on the 2012 Scottish championships, then repeating that feat in 2014.

Her 2012 triumph, on the age of 17, made her the primary junior age group athlete to realize the double since Linsey Macdonald in 1981.

Then Alisha Rees stepped ahead to win the 200m title 4 years on the spin from 2015 to 2018. Her first victory got here simply 4 months after celebrating her sixteenth birthday.

Silcock is the youngest of the trio and he or she represented Scotland within the 100m on the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Video games, reaching the semi-final.

© Bobby Gavin
Maddy Silcock, entrance, in motion.

Russell added: “Kathryn, Alisha and Maddy all joined the Banchory part of the membership as children. Kathryn and Alisha had been eight or 9 once they first got here alongside, whereas Maddy was 14.

“They grew to become seniors in 2016, 2019 and 2020 respectively, however all three gained their first Scotland senior vests whereas nonetheless within the junior age group.

“In 2020, Alisha set the present Scottish girls’s 60m report indoors at 7.32secs. She can be the second quickest over 100m in 11.45 and, in 2020, she was the Twelfth-placed Scottish girl, for all occasions, on the earth athletics rankings, scoring 1110 factors.”

Alisha Rees operating on the IAAF World U20 Championships.

Rees is now in her remaining 12 months at Loughborough College and is a longtime Nice Britain worldwide.

She is on the fringes of the Olympic choice, her finest probability maybe coming within the 4x100m relay.

Christie and Silcock have each suffered from foot accidents which have hindered their improvement lately, however each hope to return to motion earlier than too lengthy.

Russell factors out that there are a lot of extra proficient younger athletes coming from this space together with Lisa Herrington, Louisa Rowse, Lindsey Younger and Craig Strachan amongst others.

He might trace that there’s some mysterious power at play, producing such a conveyor belt of expertise inside the small a part of the north-east, however in reality there’s a easy rationalization.

It’s all right down to the arduous work, ability, enthusiasm and encouragement offered by the likes of Russell and his teaching colleagues at Banchory Stonehaven AC over a few years.

Russell, who celebrated his eightieth birthday lately, was recognised for his contribution to the game when he was awarded a British Empire Medal within the 2019 New 12 months’s Honours Listing.

Name for sign-ups to north-east Nationwide Athletics League membership

North-east athletes on the lookout for a better degree of competitors are being invited to hitch the Jaguars Observe and Subject Membership.

The Jaguars, constituted in 2020, is the one Scottish membership competing within the Nationwide Athletics League, which was shaped following the disbandment of the British Athletics League and the UK Ladies’s Athletic League.

Membership is open to all senior and U20 athletes, who presently have a Scottish first declare membership and really feel they’d profit from this pathway.

For extra particulars contact Mark Stringer by e-mail at

The Nationwide Athletics League has put in place a revised fixture record for 2021.

Dates and venues: June 6– Manchester Regional Athletics Area; July 3 – Manchester Regional Athletics Area; August 7 – Robin Park Athletics Stadium, Wigan; August 28 – Wavertree Stadium, Liverpool.

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