FVO's junior team turned in a sterling performance right across the board to successfully defend the Jamie Stevenson Trophy on “home soil” at Plean, by recording the second-highest points total in the history of the competition.
The first psychological blow was struck before the competition even got underway, as a team of more than 40 individuals, possibly the largest ever assembled for this competition, marched into the arena behind co-captains Sam Hunt and Grace Polwart, and there was a buzz amongst the spectators at the depth of the squad this year.
Remarkably, this represents only half of the juniors tcurrently at our disposal, with others ruled out by injury, holidays and being too young to compete alone. The FVO juniors, on their own, represent the 6th biggest club in Scotland, and with most of them having at least one more year of eligibility, things are looking very bright on this front.
However, it wasn't just about throwing out numbers and hoping for the best. Team manager Steve Scott commented post-race “I believe this to be the deepest and most talented group we've had in many years at this level, and was confident that we could gain points in most, if not all, classes. We deliberately back-loaded our potential winners in case we needed points on the board late in the day, but we scored early and kept on scoring throughout the competition”.
As it was, our girls led the way to victory. Orange girls – Hannah's the best in the land – easy 100 points. Light Green girls – Esme's the current national champion, even if she was on military parade all morning – 100 more. Yellow girls – step forward Sophie Edward and get us 100 more please. Green girls – nah! Scarlett came back spitting about a “horrendous five minute drop” - she was seven seconds off the win, and got another 99 points for the cause.
Add in Aalya Tijhuis, who is becoming a bit of a points magnet at this level, and another 99 in Yellow girls, and we're sitting pretty. Fraser McDonald and Cammy Lockyer opened the entire event, and set a time on Yellow boys of 19.03, which nobody could match, and there it was – 598 points from a possible 600, and the Jamie Stevenson Trophy retained in the Forth valley for another year.
There were some real sterling efforts too that didn't get into the points, but which pushed other clubs down the scoring order. Sam Hunt played a captain's part in Green boys with 5th in a class where some of the other clubs had major strength. Rebecca Hammond's 5th in Green girls ultimately denied INVOC the points they needed to catch us up late in the day.
Matthew Inman took the bronze medal in Light Green boys, beating the Scottish champion on the way, and Eilidh Connor and Katie Niven were prominent in Light Green girls, once again denying the opposition scoring opportunities. James Edward and Esme Finch were just off the podium in the Orange classes, while our Yellow class participants proved to be the backbone of the team, notching nine of the top 13 places in the class.
My thanks to Caroline Clarke for managing the team and bringing the facepaint and cowbells, all the parents for their fantastic support of the team, and Simon Hunt and ScotJOS for putting on a memorable event.
The team stretched into the distance
- West is the Best
- Super Fly Guys
- Big success in WEE races
- Major award for FVO stalwart
- Seven Up at the Relays
Filed under: Success