When many of us came into the sport we took changing accommodation for granted.   Not just the presence of such at every event and recreation ground (and nowadays there are many races at venues without dressing rooms) but the fact that they were more than just functional boxes but almost works of art.   This page will have pictures of some of these pavilions that we took for granted.

Knightswood Pavilion: Dating from 1929, it is described officially as – The pavilion at Knightswood Park, serving both the bowling green in the foreground and the tennis courts in the background, 1947.   Provision of amenities for leisure and recreation often lagged behind the building of houses in Glasgow housing schemes, but Knightswood fared better than most areas. The Corporation acquired 148 acres for Knightswood Park in 1929. In addition to the two bowling greens and four tennis courts, the park included a golf course, pitch and putt course, boating pond, running track and cricket pitch.

The running track was short and almost circular but was used for sports meetings and inter club fixtures pre- and post-war.    

Kings College Aberdeen: You can read about it at this link


Westerlands, Glasgow: Read about it here


Garscadden Pavilion – In 1933 Glasgow University purchased ground at Garscadden for the construction of a sports pavilion. In 1936 the Garscadden Sports Pavilion was designed by T. Harold Hughes in an Art Deco style, the same year that he won the competition to design the University’s Chemistry building (now the Joseph Black Building).   The pavilion was extended in 1958 by Alexander Wright & Kay.

Craiglockhart, Edinburgh: read about it at this link   

Myreside, Edinburgh

Bruce Street Baths, Clydebank

This is a good example of a now rare building type of public baths with an adjoining swimming pool complex. Once a relatively common building type in urban Scotland, public baths have become obsolete and modern leisure centres have largely replaced traditional swimming pools. It is an important streetscape feature and it was purposefully designed to match the style of the earlier, 1902 Municipal Buildings in Dumbarton Roadby the Glasgow architect James Miller. Together, the buildings form the major part of a complete block and form a coherent civic heart in Clydebank Public baths and swimming pools grew in popularity particularly in the second half of the 19th century and most of the surviving ones date from this period; some with intricately decorated interiors. Many people had no access to running water in the home and public health was becoming an increasingly important issue. In 1846, the Act to Encourage the Establishment of Public Baths was passed and the majority of public baths began to be built after this time. Built in the 1930s, this is a relatively late example and probably indicates that there were still a significant number of homes in Clydebank at this time with no bathing facilities. The Bruce Street Baths was designed to replace the nearby Hall Street Baths (now demolished) which were becoming too small. The plans were approved by the Council in 1929 and the baths were opened in 1932. It originally had a variety of facilities, including Turkish Baths, Russian Vapour Baths, a laundry and a massage room. (Historic Scotland)

The Baths are no more.  The headquarters of Clydesdale Harriers from the time they opened to their closure, they were described as one of the best winter headquarters in Scotland.   Many events used the Baths as their HQ.   Only this side wall remains. 

Whiteinch Baths, Glasgow – “Whiteinch Public Baths was built between 1923 and 1926 by the Office of Public Works. Currently in 1999 it is Category B listed.” This page goes on to describe the smaller pool as being “in a room with arched ceiling and cubicles to either side. The doors of the cubicles are painted with cartoon characters. This is a smaller, shallower pool for learners. It has a frieze on the rear wall depicting children at a beach. This room also has a blue and white colour scheme. ”   Whiteinch Baths was for several decades the winter headquarters of Victoria Park Harriers and prior to that it was used by the local section of Clydesdale Harriers.   The original McAndrew Relays were run from these Baths.   

Mountblow, Clydebank: A sports pavilion that is now simply a really neglected football pavilion.   It was for decades the home of Clydesdale Harriers and used by runners from many other clubs – eg the Victoria Park cross-country team of the 1950’s trained there on Sundays.  The Clydebank Cricket Club and the Singer Factory Cricket Club played there and it was a genuine local sports facility.

It was officially described as – A rare example of Modern Movement sports pavilion surviving largely unaltered and occupying original recreation ground setting. 2-storey and raised basement, 5-bay, rectangular-plan on sloping site with cantilevered balcony, oversailing flat roof and tall off-centre curved stair tower with vertical glazing breaking eaves. 2 flights of steps to walkway above basement. Rendered brick. Horizontal-pane glazing in metal-framed casements, predominantly tripartite and bipartite, now with later metal grilles to exterior. Later metal roller shutters to entrance doors. INTERIOR: largely intact floor plan. Ground and first floors similar with concrete floors. Changing rooms lead off central corridor, each floor with bathroom with showers. Some early timber benches and coat hooks. Stair with horizontal metal banisters.

Goldenacre, Edinburgh

Rangers Sports: 1882 – The quest for the ‘second annual’

Start of the Police ‘Catch the Thief’ race: a feature of the first Rangers Sports – and of the Police Sports mentioned below

Quite often the description of a sports meeting which starts ‘First Annual … ‘ expresses the good intentions of the promoting club which are not followed through by the next year’s committee.   This could be because of a change of personnel or of a change of priorities or some new factor coming into play.   However it pans out, a good percentage of ‘first annuals’ are not followed through.

In August 1881 both Third Lanark and the Rangers held their ‘first annual’ sports’ a week apart, Thirds being seven days before the Rangers event.   The search for the ‘second annual’ begins on  Saturday, 1st April, 1882 when there were no athletics meetings reported in the ‘Glasgow Herald’.    The ‘Herald’ is the newspaper of choice for the search since the two clubs we are interested in here are Glasgow clubs.   The following Saturday, 8th April, there were what were called ‘National Sports’ at Shawfield.   In front of a crowd of 1500 people, 36 entered the 160 yards handicap and 29 in the 600 yards handicap which was run as a single race and included a two miles race.   The National Sports included highland dancing, bagpipe playing, heavy events, etc and most of the competitors were professionals.   On the same day there was a foot race between two men for £4 at Longbar, Beith.   Other than a professional walking race in Edinburgh, that was it for the second week in the month.   Came  15th April and the main fixture was an amateur athletic meeting run by the West of Scotland Cricket  Club at Hamilton Crescent.   A well organised meeting, it was not the first in the series, and it included two- one- and half-mile bicycle races, and 100 yards, 120 yards hurdles,200 yards, quarter-mile, half-mile, one mile and, as a source of amusement, a steeple chase with 4 water jumps.   There was also an Indian tug of war over water.  At Shawfield there were the usual professional races – on this occasion there were the preliminary rounds of a 333 yard handicap race, no fewer than 16 of them.   As at the National Sports, the bookies were very busy.    On the east coast there were the games of the Edinburgh High School.   On 22nd April, the Kilmarnock FC annual sports had their first meeting with the conclusion being held the following week.   The main attraction was the football tournament but there were several athletic events – a 100 yards confined to the club, and a mile confined to the second eleven.   Larchfield Academical Club also held their sports on that day.   These included a 120 yards hurdle race (won by A Vallance of Rangers FC), a 100 yards, a 200 yards, a quarter-mile handicap, a half-mile handicap, and one mile.   On the last Saturday of the month, the National Sports took place at Shawfield (“Mr Gilmour’s grounds) involved Donald Dinnie and W Cummings.   Kilmarnock FC Sports reached their conclusion with the open athletic and cycling races taking place.   In Glasgow, the Glasgow Academical Club held their annual sports on Kelvinside Grounds with a mix of confined and open events.   


The Glasgow Academy Sports is one of the very oldest in Scotland.   This winner’s ticket is to JM Bishop

(Grandfather of Scottish International Miler, Hugh Barrow)

Into May and the first events were contested on 6th May.    The big report was on the Glasgow University Sports at Gilmorehill with the only other event being the weekly day’s professional sport at the Shawfield Grounds.   On 13th May, top item in the Glasgow Herald was Watson’s College Sports at Myreside, closely followed by the Edinburgh Royal Gymnasium Sports, which was a professional event with, for example, a prize of £15 for the Mile, watched by a crowd of 2000.   Then there was the weekly  professional Shawfield Grounds event in Glasgow which this time included a 200 yards dog handicap race.   The final of the 333 yards handicap was run and there were great shenanigans in one race with runners being tripped up, cries of foul, the tape being broken by the judges and ‘no race’ being called.   And that was just in the heats.   The dog race was won by Mollincott from Poodle and Gip.   The owner of Poodle claimed that his dog had won and said he would write to the press.    There was a foot race in Beith over 160 yards for a £10 prize – two runners forward.    There was an amateur sports at Vale of Leven organised by the local cricket club where 3000 spectators watched athletics, cycle racing and four a side football.   The next Saturday was the 20th May was the date for the big amateur athletic meeting in Greenock organised by the Greenock Cricket Club, Greenock Wanderers Football Club, Greenock Amateur Bicycle Club and the West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club at Glen Park.  “The above four clubs intend, it is understood, making the Glen Park Sports an annual event.   The name chosen for the sports is of interest because the Greenock section of the Clydesdale Harriers was given its independence in 1892 and took the name of Greenock Glenpark Harriers.   That was the only event of the afternoon and many of the contestants were representing football clubs with a big group from QPFC.    .The already well established Alexandra Athletic Club Sports was given top billing on 27th May for their event at Kennyhill Park.   Petershill defeated Alexandra Athletic in the four a side football tournament and again, the prize winners lists were dominated by representatives of football clubs with the Queen’s Park athletes but T Dingwall of Third Lanark won the handicap mile confined to the West of Scotland and was second in the Open Mile handicap.   The National Games at Shawfield where one of the attractions was to be Donald Dinnie lifting a 230 pound dumb bell from the ground to arm length above his head – this was successfully accomplished: he also won putting the stone, throwing the hammer and tossing the caber.  In the wrestling Dinnie qualified for the final when – “When he came to meet Dinnie, Harrison advanced, as is customary, to shake hands, Dinnie refused to accept this token of friendly rivalry.   The crowd repudiated this act, and loudly hissed the champion.   A rather lengthened struggle took place and Dinnie had some trouble getting the mastery but ultimately threw Harrison heavily twice in succession and won.   Harrison was warmly greeted when he left the ground.”   There were annual sports held at Dumbarton that day and in the east, Edinburgh Royal Gymnasium held their sports before about 2000 people.

On 3rd June the Kilmarnock Amateur Bicycle Club had their annual sports.   One of the most popular of the sports, it was held on the Rugby Ground where although there was a football match and two foot races, it was almost entirely a cycle meeting.   The Ayr Academical Sports (which are much looked forward to by the youth of the town) were held on 10th June and had races for all the schools in the area as well as a few for senior athletes and a football match was also incorporated into the programme.   There were sports at Shawfield Grounds again – this time mainly heats of a 200 yards race with the final to be held the following week.   There were also sports held at Johnstone under the patronage of Colonel Sir Archibald Campbell and held on the ground of the Johnstone Football Club.   Donald Dinnie was in action again at Greenock in the National Games held there and in the Borders, the games held in connection with the Hawick Common Riding went off successfully with the main events being wrestling, running.   Chief among the wrestlers was G Steedman of Drybeck “against whom none of the competitors had the slightest chance.”   The proprietor again presented a very popular show at Shawfield Grounds on 17th June with the finals of the previous week’s 200 yards race plus a half mile handicap.   Crescents Park in Pollokshaws was the scene of another popular annual sports.  Well attended as these were, the meeting at the Renton in Dunbartonshire was the biggest with 4000 spectators present.   The Edinburgh Institution held their annual sports too on that afternoon.   The annual Games of the Kilbirnie Football Club took place on 24th June at Stonyholm Park, the Edinburgh University Cycling Club Sports took place at Powderhall with several foot races in the programme and the Shawfield Grounds events took place but were now reported in a separate ‘Pedestrianism’ column.   

Donald Dinnie

We are now three months into the summer athletics season and so far not a sign of the second annuals of either Rangers or Third Lanark meetings.    It is of course true that their first annuals were in August but dates can change for all sorts of reasons, and because the events are annual, it does not mean that they are inevitably on the same Saturday v=every time round.   July is a busy month for summer sports enthusiasts despite the Fair Holiday fortnights taking place.    The last Saturday in June saw the South Western Annual Sports in Copeland Road grounds, Govan.   As was to be expected many of the local football clubs were represented.   This first day of the meeting was largely four a side football with a confined 100 yards and a place kick competition.     The seventeenth annual sports and bicycle races of the Edinburgh University AC took place at Corstorphine, and there was a meeting held at Plains, Airdrie.    

Into July and the second day of the South Western Sports which was mainly an amateur athletics meeting plus the final of the four a side football.   There were over 30 entered for the open 100 yards and all events were well supported.The Edinburgh Annual Games took place at the Royal Gymnasium, Edinburgh, and the Jedburgh Annual Games started with the quoiting at 10:00 am and included athletics.   The prizes were of a high order an included silver cups with the 300 yards hurdles winner collecting a purse of gold, second also had a purse of gold and third took home a purse of silver.   On Saturday 15th July the Balfron National Games took place.   The title has nothing to do with the governing body (if there were one!) but everything to do with national pastimes.   The meeting started with a ploughmans’ 100 yards, and included running, jumping, wrestling,  quoiting.   and a brass band competition with prizes of £12, £7 and £2.   There was also the Denny Scottish Games which were professional and after a lapse of ten years the Stirling Highland Games appeared on the schedule: this was largely because the Strathallan Games could not take place that year.  It was the success of the Strathallan Gathering that had caused the Stirling meeting to be dropped some years earlier but in the absence of this competition, Stirling filled the bill.   The Johnstone Games took place as did the West Kilbride Annual Games and the West Fife Gymnastic Games.  There was no football at any of these Games but that would be put right in the final weeks of the summer.    On 22nd July the preliminary events for the St Mirren Sports took place with the football maybe taking pride of place.   Teams involved included Queen’s Park, Dumbarton, Queen’s Park Rovers, Craigielea Academicals, Arthurlie, Johnstone Rovers, Argyll, St Mirren, Woodside, Thornliebank, Beith and Johnstone Athletic.   There were a few cycle and foot races at this meeting.   Falkirk Football Club also had a meeting that day – but without any form of football.   The Queen’s Own Yeomanry Athletic Sports took place after a space of six years on the South Haugh of Hamilton on 29th July where there was a great variety of athletic events including ’tilting at the ring’.   The Glasgow Police Sports took place on Glasgow Green – described as an inaugural sports and in addition to the more usual athletic events there was a ‘Catch the Thief’ race where the policeman, wearing the day uniform gave the thief 20 yards start.   On this occasion the thief eluded his pursuers.    The Colinton and Currie Games, and the Dalkeith Gymnastic Games took place in the east and Kelso Gymnastic Games in the Borders.    

August was when the Third Lanark and Rangers first annual sports took place in 1881,   In time the first Saturday in August would be the Rangers Sports day for many decades but on 5th August 1882, the only meeting reviewed in the Glasgow Herald was the Nairn Games where there were ‘athletic sports, bagpipe playing and dancing.’   The big event on 12th August was the Bute Highland Games at the Public Park in Rothesay.   There was a very long programme involving athletics, dancing and wrestling with separate races for amateur and professional runners.   After the founding of the SAAA in 1883, amateurs would not be allowed to compete in the same meeting as professionals but in 1882, it was thought to be appropriate.   There was also a big meeting at the Shawfield Grounds.   One of the runners in the sprints was cautioned for not trying and the winner of the mile was Moore – ‘a Glasgow ped who  is credited with being a genuine “square” runner’.   The prizes were all cash.   There were Land Sports at Dumbarton Pier organised by Dumbarton Football Club.   Another football club – St Bernard’s FC – had their sports at Powderhall: again they were labelled the ‘first annual’.   The football competition here was a five a side as opposed to the more numerous four a sides.   The Lauder Games and Horse Races were also held – so far we have had what we were taught as the long jump called the wide jump, the long leap, the broad jump, the running long jump and Lauder referred to it as the Running Spring’ as opposed to the ‘High Spring’.   On 19th August the Ayr Academical Athletic Club’s Autumn Sports were held at Springvale Park in Ayr.   There were flat races both open and confined, field events (throws and jumps), cycle races, and the report concluded with the remark that there were several other interesting events on the programme without saying what they were.   The by mow customary meeting was held at Shawfield, and Crieff Highland Games were held in Market Park before an amazing assembly of the great and good.   There were no athletics competitions of any sort reported on in the Glasgow Herald for the last Saturday in August but the Queen’s Park FC meeting was there in its place on 2nd September.

The band of the HLI played throughout the afternoon and there were bicycle races as well as foot races.   The great WG George of Moseley Harriers competed and won the mile and half mile but was only second in the quarter mile. The most successful of many nglishmen was DH Brownfield who won three events – including the broad jump.    Although there were many football players among the prize winners, there were none from either the Rangers or Third Lanark.    The only athletic opposition that the organisers faced was the professional meeting at Shawfield.    A week later, 9th September 1882, there was the usual professional meeting at what was called this time round the Shawfield Recreation Grounds and there was a meeting organised by the Dunfermline Cricket and Football Clubs.   Away from the central belt there were annual games at Lockerbie and the Edinburgh, Straiton and Pentland Games were held.   There were sports organised by the Volunteers but they were the 1st Dumbarton and Renfrew Artillery Volunteers.   The only entry under the heading ‘ATHLETICS’ on 16th September was the Paisley Bicycle Race Meeting which was confined to cycle racing with no athletics, football or even tug of war to break the pattern.     23rd September was again a good day for Shawfield with the regular 2000 spectators turning out for the pro sports and the only other event was the small Rosewell Games.   The season was effective ended  on 30th September when Shawfield saw what was said to be the best running of the season and there was a meeting at the Edinburgh Royal Gymnasium’s own grounds.   A match for £10 a side over 150 yards ‘level’ was held at Powderhall and that finished the summer season.   

Having looked at what was on offer ever Saturday, as reported in the Glasgow Herald’ from the start of April until the end of September without sight of a sports promoted by either Third Lanark or the Rangers, it would seem that no second annual was held.   It should be noted though, that the search was limited to reports in the ‘Glasgow Herald’ Monday editions.   The events could have taken place and not been reported;  or they may have taken place on days other than a Saturday.   These both seem unlikely.   

Ian McWatt

The Dumbarton AAC team that had run from Glasgow to Fort William: Ian McWatt third from right

Ian McWatt of Dumbarton AAC was one of the best known track officials in Scotland and before that he was, as the photograph above shows, a keen runner.   The photograph was taken after the club had run a relay from Glasgow to Fort William using only eight runners who ran four stages each.   It was not an easy task but the men running it had one recce runs for weeks beforehand and every one of them knew what had to be done.   It was a club event  and Ian was very much a club man.   He ran in all championship races – club, county, district and national.   He also ran in the Edinburgh to Glasgow Relay several times in the 1970’s plus all the races that club runners do – Nigel Barge, Glasgow University Road Race, Balloch to Clydebank and so on.   Very easy to get on with, he was widely known throughout the running world.   

I had known him as a runner from the days when we met in the county cross-country championships and always found him easy to get on with.   The weather didn’t bother him and he turned out rain or shine and did his best.   One of his friends from the running and racing days shed some light on his character when he tells us that “As a runner, he was meticulous in the way in which he packed his kitbag on race day: everything was in a different polybag – clean kit, dirty kit, wet-weather kit, arctic kit, towel, soap, comb, clean trainers, dirty trainers, micropore,  vaseline,  germoline …  Very often, this resulted in lengthy rummagings in the kit bag, because the polybagged items weren’t as easily identifiable as if they had been packed loose; if this failed, then countless polybags emerged onto the floor until the right one was found.   This shows that attention to detail was his forte, which certainly carried over into his officiating – and, no doubt, his school work. While the polybag syndrome manifested itself every Saturday afternoon, it occurred in spades on Glasgow to Ft William occasions, when multiple changes of kit were needed and one had to be prepared for multiple soakings, freezings  etc.” 

Ian, a long time teacher at Dumbarton Academy, was also a member of the local cycle club and took part in many of their events.   When he stopped competitive running, Ian became an official.   As befits a runner he was a track rather than a field official and was a time keeper from 1986.   He was awarded the Raymond Hutcheson Trophy for Services to Officiating on  3rd Nov 2018, and the citation for the award read:

“Ian started timekeeping in April 1986
In October 1987 Ian passed both the practical and theory tests require by Scottish Amateur Athletics Association/Scottish Women’s Amateur Athletics Association, and became a Grade ! timekeeper – 1987 style.   Since then Ian has continually officiated as a timekeeper at both Endurance (Road Running and Cross Country) and Track and Field events as timekeepers were expected to do in those days.  In 2016 his latest Record of Experience still records him doing so. Ian has assisted and mentored many new timekeepers over the years.  As an example, at the Scottish U13 and U20 Championships in August 2017 Ian, as Chief Timekeeper, used his knowledge and experience to lay out the timekeeping team in manner that enhanced the skill level of his team – by insisting on capturing times other than first place.

Under the tutelage of Ray Hutcheson, Ian expanded his role in athletics to include Photo-Finish. Ian is one of the core individuals whose expertise makes this aspect of athletics in Scotland the envy of the rest of the UK. Ian has applied his innovative skills continually, in order to improve the technology used within Scottish Photo-Finish. One example is that the Scottish Athletics Display Clock now uses a “wireless” device Ian developed and manufactured.

Ian is always ready to turn up for the vital pre-event set up necessary to ensure Scottish athletic events are the success they are. In 2016 Ian’s RoE records 62 days of Photo-finish activity, and previous years records show the same level of commitment and involvement.   During Ian’s 30 plus years in athletics, he has been a member of the Scottish Athletics Timekeeping Peer Group, including being Head of Discipline for a number of years. Ian is currently a member of the Scottish Athletics Photo-Finish Peer group.   

Ian has officiated at numerous British Athletics events – as both a timekeeper and a photo-finish judge. He was a member of the Technical Information Centre team at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a timekeeper at the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man.
For the reasons above we wish to nominate Ian McWatt for the 2017 Ray Hutcheson Trophy”

Dave Finlayson – Head of Discipline Photo-finish
Mike Forrest – Head of Discipline Timekeeping

I knew Ian as a runner and also as a timekeeper.   When I went on the course for timekeepers, Ian was one of the three instructors (the other two were Sheila McDougall and Jim Johnston).   We subsequently worked at many meetings together where Ian was the Chief and I was the lowliest of the Indians.  He never flapped and faffed about as some did; he never got angry or impatient as others did, although like everybody else he was at times a wee bit irritated.  After every race, the timekeepers had to check the times, have them copied out and sent to the recording officials.   Meanwhile the Starter was anxious to get the next race off.   Ian as Chief always kept the Starter waiting unacknowledged until he was sure that all the recording had been done and dealt with before he gave the signal for the next race.   Even on very wet afternoons when the other officials and the runners were just wanting to get the meeting finished, Ian would say “Let them wait” until the results and times were recorded to his satisfaction.   

As Dave and Mike said above he officiated at both track races and road/cross-country events.    He was always there, always helpful.   

When I heard from Alistair Lawson that he was very ill with cancer, I visited him in the Vale of Leven Hospital.and we talked about several topics but he showed me photographs of his cycle trip to Spain in August 2017 in which he looked very fit and as happy as ever.   He had been diagnosed with cancer at the start of 2018 but was looking forward to getting back home.   Unfortunately he died on 13th February before that could happen.   His funeral was held on 21st February and there was a big turn out of athletes, cyclists and friends at the Crematorium in Cardross.   But Ian, had the last word, and a good one it was too, when he left instructions that the mourners should be taken to the Abbotsford Hotel in Dumbarton and “give them all a bl**dy good feed!”

Clyde FC Annual Sports: 1885 – 1895

Cycle racing at Barrowfield

The Scottish football clubs were holding athletic sports meetings well before the SAAA came into being in 1883, and when, after 1885, the amateur athletics became less the prerogative of the private school FP clubs and Universities but more a pastime enjoyed by the common man, the clubs continued to provide the entertainment of regular track and field competition.   Queen’s Park FC, the Rangers FC, Ayr FC, Partick Thistle, the various branches of the Lanark Rifle Volunteers, St Mirren and many more from among the junior ranks such as Maybole, Royal Albert and so on held regular meetings for amateur athletes.  The Clyde FC meetings lasted in various forms for many decades.   They started off as amateur sports but then they became professional for a time before returning to the amateur fold.   Note this article from the Glasgow Herald of 21st July, 1913: 

“The Clyde Football Club are apparently “whole hoggers” as far as professionalism is concerned, and in this respect  they are at least consistent.   Instead of running amateur sports, as so many professional clubs do [amateurism in Scotland is practically subsidised at the expense of Association Football] Clyde are running a purely professional gathering on Saturday first.   Of course football is the trump card, but in addition they are introducing Jack Donaldson, the eminent sprinter, and a runner of his impressive accomplishments should attract many to Shawfield on Saturday.   Largely through the influence of Struth, several of the best professionals in Scotland will take part in the proceedings.   Professional running in Glasgow has been pretty low in the water for years, but the Clyde are serving up in an attractive manner on Saturday, and will no doubt be rewarded for their enterprise. “

The trail will be difficult to follow but we will start at the beginning.   

The Glasgow Herald of 30th July 1886 carried a report on the Clyde FC Sports at Barrowfield Park on the previous Saturday.   The weather was fine although there was a strong wind blowing “which assisted the runners greatly.”   The events covered included 100 yards (six heats and a final), a 220 yards, a half mile handicap, a 300 yards consolation race and a four a side match between H Brown’s team and Britton’s team.   No clubs were noted for any of the runners and there were only the two football teams out.  The report also said that it was the third annual Clyde FC Sports.   But …. 

The following report was printed in the ‘Scottish Referee’ of 4th July, 1887:

“The first annual sports to be held in connection with the Clyde Football Club were held at Barrowfield Park on Saturday afternoon.   The weather was excellent and the various events were well contested.   About 3000 spectators were present.   Mr S Lawrie acted as judge.”   One of the features of this event is that it was held only four years after the formation of the SAAA and  two years after the first open amateur athletic club was formed.   The contestants therefore came from a wide range of clubs including Clydesdale Harriers, West of Scotland Harriers and many football clubs, senior and junior.   One of the contestants was W Maley of Clydesdale Harriers who won his heat of the 100 yards off three and a half yards but was unplaced in the final.   Events included the 100 yards (confined), 100 yards open, 440 yards open, 880 yards (members), 880 yards open with 23 runners, 220 yards open, one mile open with 22 starters,  plus a four-a-side competition which was won by Clyde Strollers over Clyde by a goal and a touchdown to nothing.   It was a  very successful first venture.    

The ‘Glasgow Herald’ covered the event – this from the issue of Monday, 2nd July. 1888:  “The second and principal day of these sports took place on Saturday at Barrowfield Park, Bridgeton, under the most favourable weather conditions.   The programme consisted of 18 items including the consolation race and the semi-final and final ties of the four-a-side football competition, and the final heats of the competitions confined to the club, the preliminaries of which were held last Saturday.   The entries were very large, reaching nearly 300, and showing a considerable increase over the entries last year – the year in which the open sports were instituted.   Mr John Meikle was referee, Mr R Livingston was handicapper, Mr D McCall as starter, Mr M Steel as timekeeper, and Mr R Young Clerk of the Course.   The sports were well conducted and there was a large attendance of spectators.”

The events also included bicycle races and a walking race and competitors came from even more clubs than the previous year and the result of the four-aside was a win for Cambuslang over Clyde Rovers by a goal and two touchdowns to nil, while the tie for 2nd prize went to Renfrew who beat The Abstainers by two goals and one try to nil.   Goals, tries, touchdowns – a wee bit different from the five-a-sides that became popular later where only goals and corners counted.   One of the runners was James Erskine of Clydesdale Harriers whose two sons were good sportsmen with Ralph being world champion boxer, and who were both killed in the ’14-’18 war.    

(Note the crowd size)

We were reminded on Monday 24th June, 1889, by the ‘Scottish Referee’ that  “Clyde FC Sports take place on Saturday first.   Remember Barrowfield.”   The following Monday there was no report on the event but the results were listed for those interested.   The meeting clashed with the SAAA Championships held at Hampden that year and the entries were subsequently down with all the big names running at the big meeting.   

The ‘Glasgow Herald’ of 30th June, 1890, merely said: “The annual sports in connection with the Clyde Football Club took place at Barrowfield Park on Saturday afternoon and proved a great success.”   There was no indication of numbers of spectators or of the weather but the results indicate that it must have been good summer afternoon.   The 100 yards had twelve Heats, four semis and a Final; 7 Heats in the 220; 4 Heats in the 440; 23 ran in two heats of the 880 yards (an interesting result with M.A. Gemmell of Clyde finishing third); a Mile and a Two Mile Handicap plus the cricket ball throw.   In the four-a-side football  Third Lanark beat Celtic in the Final. 

The ‘Scottish Referee’ on the other hand waxed lyrical on the meeting, saying –“Like the great river after which this old and famous East End club is named,, its origin was lowly, its progress continuous.  The tide of prosperity has ebbed and flowed during the Clyde’s long career, and though they have often taken it at the flood, however, the Clyde have maintained their position as the oldest and most popular of our Eastern clubs.   On Saturday they made a record in regard to the number of their entries, over 300 athletes names appearing on the programme.   In recogmition of the club’s enterprise, too, the gallant men of Bridgeton – as Sir George Trevelyan has styled his constituents – turned out in large numbers.   When the programme of events was opened at 2:30 the enclosure was lined round and round, whilst the grand stand was well filled.   The day was very suitable for sports, and when the Bonnybridge Band, in stirring trumpet tones, started the music, everybody bore a holiday smile, and and the men toed their marks in thorough good humour.”

Like some of the other clubs Clyde also held a football tourney and theirs was always at the start of August.   These were well supported and the competition in 1890 was held on 4th August with a programme entirely football oriented:

  • Senior five-a-side tournament;    * Finals of a Junior 5-a-side;   *100 yards footballers race;   * Place kick confined to players in the 5-a-sides’   * Dribbling race open to all league footballers;   *One Mile trotting handicap.   

These meetings were often also referred to as ‘Sports’ meetings.   

Into 1891 and entries for the sports closed on 22nd June at H & P McNeil91 Union Street – Messrs McNeil being two of the famous brothers who were founder members of the Rangers football club.

The Sports were becoming very popular and the ‘Glasgow Herald’ had a short preview in the Monday 22nd June, 1891, edition: “On Saturday first Barrowfield Park will be ablaze with excitement, the cause being the annual sports of Clyde FC, who with their extensive membership and following should have a big success.   Needless to say, the entries are large at this meeting which, athletically is one of the best patronised in the western district.   Several of Saturday’s champions will compete and it will be interesting to watch how they perform in handicap events.”    

The meeting on the Saturday was a big success and was fully covered in the Glasgow Herald of 29th June.  The entries were up on former years and they even had the Bonnybridge Brass Band to entertain the crowd.   The crowd ‘was well up to previous years’ and MF Gemmell was third in the Final of the 440, having won his Heat.  There were running races from 100 yards up to 3 Miles, a four a side competition and three cycle races – one mile solid tyre safety bicycle, one mile pneumatic tyre safety bicycle and three miles pneumatic tyre safety bicycle.   

In 1892 the preview of the sports (Glasgow Herald, 20th June) read: “The residents of the East End will have an opportunity of showing their interest in athletics on Saturday first when the Clyde FC will bring off their annual meeting.   None of the athletic or cycling cracks ill be present, as the former will be engaged at Dundee and the latter at Hampden , competing for championship honours; but as there are so many good second-class men belonging to both branches of sport, the races should suffer little by their absence.   The ground at Barrowfield has been improved in several respects since the last athletic meeting held there and cyclists especially should have greater freedom in taking the corners.”   Yes, the Clyde Sports were to clash with the national SAAA Championships again – but then so were the Heart of Midlothian Sports, Strathmiglo Sports and several other meetings which would also coincide with the highspot of the summer athletics season.   The result was that the same Glasgow Herald did not report on the Sports.

At the start of June in 1893 – the month when Clyde had their sports meeting – there was a note in the ‘Scottish Referee’ which simply said, “The Clyde FC intend to have their pitch dug up during the season and the clayey surface replaced by ashes so as to lend additional facilities to the draining powers of the field.”

I assume that they meant during the close season.   This would account for the difficulty in finding a sports meeting in June,1893.      No reports of the event were found in either Glasgow Herald or Scottish Referee for 1893 but the Sports took place on their due date in 1894.   

The Glasgow Herald of 18th June that year read: “The annual sports of the Clyde FC took place at Barrowfield Park on Saturday after noon.   The weather was delightfully fine, but the attendance was small owing to the counter attraction, the lifeboat procession. ”   There followed a list of officials (including Willie Maley as one of the judges) and results.   After ten Heats and two Semi Finals the 100 yards was won by Wilson of Clyde FC (off 5 yards) in 10.2 seconds.   Although he won his heat of the 220 yards (eight Heats) he was unplaced in the final which was won in 23.4 by Houston of Rangers FC and Clydesdale Harriers,   The quarter mile was won after 4 Heats by Scott of Clydesdale Harriers in 55.1.   The half mile handicap was won by Kelly of Clydesdale from Smith of Abercorn FC in a field of 33 runners.   The mile went to Milroy of Maybole FC from Kelly.   The runners all seemed to come from West of Scotland clubs and there were no reports of field events.

The Lifeboat procession referred to was an annual event which was very popular and several sports meetings lamented the fact that their event was held on the same day.   The procession started at Bunhouse Recreation Ground (behind the Kelvin Hall) , Blantyre Street and Regent Moray Street and collections were taken up at various points along the route in aid of the Glasgow Lifeboat Fund.   All sorts of groups took part in this great procession including the Associated Carters Society of Scotland, Clyde Shipping Company’s sailors, Royal Naval and Pensioners, Glasgow Ambulance, and many more, which wound its way round Elderslie Street, Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street, Argyll Street, London Road to the Green.   Hordes of people went along to watch and contribute to the fund.   Any sports meeting on the day would feel the financial hit.

So much for the report, there were further comments on the event in the Special Notes On Sports column.   They said “Sports of an unpretentious nature were held at Barrowfield by the Clyde Football Club and everything passed off most creditably.   The foot running was highly interesting while the tug of war open to public works was a happy idea on the part of the executive.   Let the Clyde make this one of the features of the annual sports and it will take more than the attractions of a lifeboat demonstration to keep the general public away.   The Maryhill Gasworks No 1 team carried off the first prize – as they deserved to do, for there was more skill to their work than in that of the other teams.   The Blochairn smelters, who distinguished themselves at the Exhibition sports of 1888, were much fancied, but in the semi-final they were somewhat easily beaten.   The third peize went to the Wellpark Brewery team.   The 100 yards final was a very pretty finish.   Wilson of the Clyde was first, T Moore, off 9 yards(who fades away terribly at the finish) was second .  …  Kelly, Clydesdale Harriers won the half mile and with greater care he might have won the mile.  …   Several of the back markers – Robertson in particular – showed bad judgment in the Mile,   The 220 yards and 440 yards were productive of capital sport; and for a meeting comprised entirely of flat events, it was a conspicuous success.” 

From the purely club point of view the athletics high spot of 1895 was the winning of the national SAAU 100 yards by W Wilson of Clyde FC.   There was a split in the governing body at this point and Wilson won the SAAA version of the Scottish 100 yards – a title won the following year by Maley of the Celtic.   



Clydesdale Harriers Sports: 1911- 1914

Alex Justice

“The Annual Sports were held at Ibrox on 27th May, 1911, and were very successful from an athletics standpoint.   Boxing and Wrestling contests were included in the programme, and not only were we able to make ends meet, but we cleared a few pounds as a result.”

“With the exception of R Quinn’s two miles record in the walking competition nothing striking was witnessed at the Clydesdale Harriers Sports at Ibrox Park on Saturday” was how the Glasgow Herald began its coverage of the sports.   It was however a good meeting with several current or future Scottish champions taking part – eg the half mile had A McPhee of Clydesdale Harriers and George Dallas of Maryhill among the finalists but they were unplaced with victory going to Clydesdale’s Maguire.

“The Annual Sports at Ibrox, on 25th May, were very successful from every point of view.   We held a second meeting at Clydebank and, although the weather was unfavourable, we came out on the right side financially, while athletically we created a record, being the only Club in Scotland to hold two Open Athletic Meetings in one season.”

This was all very well but the reports of the event did not indicate any real class athletes taking part.    The competition was good and the crowd found the events ‘riveting’.  Certainly the numbers of entries were satisfactory – there were exactly 100 for the 100 yards  There was a three miles flat handicap won by Hughes (West of Scotland) – a popular win     P McGregor of Clydesdale won the open half mile off 48 yards but  there was more coverage given to WM Crabbie of Edinburgh Academicals (20 yards) who was a provisional selection for the Olympic Games.   Crabbie won his heat but apparently did not show the same judgment in the final, although reports also said that he was ‘jostled’ once or twice, and lost when he might have won.   Allan Glen’s School won the relay race and their high jumper W Weir won the event with a 5’4″ clearance.   The two miles walk was won by Clydesdale’s Alex Justice who seemed at this point to be the perennial runner-up (walker-up?) to Motherwell’s Quin.   Quin had the better of him but when Quin was absent, Justice usually was able to beat all comers.   

“Our Annual Sports meeting, held at Ibrox Park on 31st May, 1913, was an unqualified success.   From an athletic standpoint nothing better could be desired, while thanks chiefly to the special attraction of the International Boxing Match, the club came out well on the right side financially.   

We held a second meeting at Clydebank, on 21st June, which was athletically a great success.   Unfortunately, owing to counter attractions in the district on the same day, the attendance was not as good as expected, and the club lost a few pounds on the venture.” 

The 31st May meeting was ‘favoured with excellent weather’ and there were between 2000 and 3000 spectators.   There were 96 entries in the 100, 73 in the 220 and 56 in the half mile.   There was a two miles team race for teams eligible to run in a district cross-country race, and six schools – Allan Glen’s, Bellahouston Academy, Dumbarton Academy, John Street Higher Grade School, Paisley Grammar and St Aloysius College – contested a relay race.   There were not one but two boxing matches.   Unfortunately, due to the track being remodelled, the events were run on the grass.    The Two Miles was won by Bellahouston from Clydesdale with Greenock Glenpark Harriers third.   The individual winner was Duncan McPhee of Clydesdale from Lindsay of Bellahouston.   

Duncan McPhee

The 1914 meeting was held on 30th May.   It was the old story – a good programme but with a disappointing attendance.   Entries were big and races close but the crowds were absent.   In the 100 yards there were 24 heats and 4 semi-finals and in the other event with a very big turn out, George Dallas of Maryhill and West of Scotland won off 14 yards from  Duncan McPhee (Clydesdale Harriers and West of Scotland, scratch) .   In the two miles team race Greenock Glenpark defeated Clydesdale Harriers (the reverse of other races that summer).   Alex Justice (Clydesdale Harriers) won the One Mile walk off scratch in a new Scottish record of 6:42.4.   Allan Glen’s won the schools relay from Hillhead High School. 

By the end of May 1915 hostilities had been continuing for some time and the Clydesdale date at the end of May was being used by Morton FC at Cappielow Park where before an attendance of over 4000 the competitors, of whom the reporter said many were under-trained, there was some good sport.   There was a 100 yards, 220 yards, 880 yards, two miles and a five a side tournament featuring Morton, Clyde, Queen’s Park, Rangers, Celtic, St Mirren and Third Lanark.   Morton beat Rangers in the final by 3 goals to none.   

George Dallas (right)

Clydesdale Harriers decided at a Committee Meeting later in 1918 to suspend all activities sine die for the duration of the War and although there were sports meetings held during the War, most including races confined to servicemen or organised as a means of raising money for the War Effort in some way or other (see the pages on this site about the Rangers FC and Celtic FC Sports at the time), all serious sports meetings were suspended.


Summit HS, October 2018

Captured at the 6A Oregon State XC Championships on November 03, 2018 by Matthew Lasala


Jim tells us that the same very successful girls are eligible for the same age group next year again.   We can look at their last two meets for an indication of just how good they all are.

The headline for the 30th September meeting read: “Girls won Danner Invite and JV championships went 1-5 to perfect score – good day for the girls – boys still on the upswing.”

It was indeed a good day for the girls with victory in the Danner invitational where the top girls were Fiona Max (2), Teaghan Knox (6), Kelsey Gripehoven (11), 14 Isabel Max, Azza Swanson (15) and Jasper Fievet in 26th place.   The points for the team were 38 and the second team was well back with 101 points.   The equivalent Boys’ team was fifth out of 22 teams invited to compete with Zachey Weber fourth and best team runner on the day.   The Girls Junior Varsity team over 5000m was well clear of the opposition taking the firt five places in the race.   Top runners were Magdalene Williams, Ashley Boone, Liv Dowling, Ellie Skiersaa and Jorun Downing.   They won with 15 points to nearest rivals 65.   The Boys team was sixth out of 31 competing squads.  Top man finished fourth (Will Lange).   

It was a big event with 19 races in all and the results of every race, including split times for all runners, were available almost immediately online.   We could maybe take a lesson therefrom.

The next meeting was the Oxford Classic ten days later and there were six races in all with Summit teams out in four of them.    The Junior Varsity girls did as well as they could and won the race with Magdalene, Ashley and Jorun the first three across the finish line.   Zoe Villano was 9th and Sophia Segesta 14th.   Team points were 28 to  second place Bend’s 49.    The Junior Varsity 5000m race saw the girls win convincingly – with runners placed 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and a team total of 22 they won by 76 points from Capital.   Top competitors in this one were (in order) Fiona Max, Teaghan Knox, Kelsey Gripekoven, Jasper Fievat, Isabel Max and Stella Skovborg.   The Varsity  5000m,  boys’ team won their race by 63 to 74.   Their top runners were Zachry Weber in sixth, Sam Hatfield in seventh and Joseph Sortor in 14th.    If the Boys were on an upswing, well the Junior Varsity 5000, showed that they had maybe swung up!   The team was first by 46 points from Bend with the top performers finishing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.   The heroes were, in finishing order, Mason Kissell, Nathaniel Henson, Jaden McCabe, Jesse Vanderborn, Jackson Keefer, and Connor Bellusci.   Four races, four team victories, three individual first places and three races where the top two or three Summit athletes were battling each other for first place.   For instance in the girls JV Gold race winner Magdalene’s time was 20:14.72 against second placed Ashley’s 20:14.91 – less than two tenths of a second in it.   Great stuff!
If you want to read more about Scotsman Jim McLatchie as a coach at all levels from college coach to coach of Olympic runners (plural) have a look  here      Or even as a Scottish international runner himself, then look  at this link

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Pacific Cross-Country Classic was held at Lents Park on 13th October and Jim’s comments on this one were that Summit ran in the Gold groups where the Girls , and I quote, “Throttled the Opposition with 4 girls running under 18 minutes.   He also pointed out that Fiona Max and Stella Skovborg had been under the weather all week.   This is the time of year when they start passing germs around.   Funny that – it seems to be common wherever young runners are in training: I’ve had runners at various Scottish Universities as well as on Scholarships to the States and it has been a mild problem for many of them.   One University coach tells young students that several of them will catch a cold after six weeks – and they do.   It’s usually just a stress reaction and not significant but it’s a nuisance for the coach and the team.  The thing, as Jim says, is to try to minimise the effect, keep them healthy for (a) the State championships, and (b) the Regional Qualifier for the Nationals.   Results:

Girls Varsity Gold, 5000m:   Summit 27 points; St Mary’s 146,  21 Teams competing.

2nd Fiona Max  17:28.6;  3rd  Teaghan Knox 17:47.3;  6th  Kelsey Gripekoven 17:53.6;  7th Isabel Max  17:57.4;  9th Azza Swanson 18:08.7.

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Junior Varsity Girls Gold Group:  Summit 3rd (88 points) behind Lincoln (66) and Sunset 67.   17 teams finished.   

1st Jorun Downing 10:-8.8;   2nd Ashley Boone 19:10.8;  3rd Ellie Skjersaa 19:21.6; 38th  Zoe Villano  21:35.5;  45th Sophia Segesta  21:52.9; 46th Megan Lasala 21:53.1

The Boys were also in the Varsity Gold Group and finished a respectable sixth with 167 points out of 19 teams.   Top Summit man was Joseph Sortor in 16:13.3 (27th) followed by Robert Gorman, Nathaniel Henson and Sam Timms.   The Junior Varsity Boys were second team (50 points) – closer to winners Sunset (33) than to third team Camas on 80.   16 teams took part.   Result:

6th Will Lange 17:08.7;  9th Jaden McCabe 17:11.0;  10th  Jackson Keefer  17:11.2; 14th Parker Meredith  17:21,1;  15th Dhruva Sogal  17:21.3.    

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

There’s a lot of talent in Summit now, and it tales talent on the part of the coach to develop it.   Jim and Carol deserve credit for how the teams are prepped for competition this season – but no one expected the next step in their progress.   This came when MileSplit ranked them Number 1 in the USA.   Look at this.

MS50 XC Girls Team Rankings 2018

RANK                 TEAM                                     LAST RESULT                              COMMENTS

1 (Up 1 Place)         Summit                                    @ Warner Pacific Classic                See explanation below
2 (Down 1 Place)   Mountain Vista HS                @ Continental League Champs     See explanation below

25 Schools Ranked.

Our explanation on flipping Summit (OR) High School over Mountain Vista (CO) at No. 1 and No. 2:

Quite simply, Summit has run much better lately and has shown itself as the best team in the country.

While the Golden Eagles have run well over the last month, they haven’t blown us away just yet and Summit is coming off a spectacular outing this weekend.

The argument for Mountain Vista: The Golden Eagles are coming off another solid win at the Continental Championships on Oct. 10 where they demolished the field with 27 points on an 18:55 average and 60 second spread. On Sept. 21, the team defeated ranked Cherokee Trail and (newly ranked) Battle Mountain in its biggest meet to date. At Liberty Bell, on Sept. 9, the Golden Eagles dispatched ranked Cherokee Trail, Niwot and a fast improving Peak to Peak Charter Team. How about the speed ratings? On Sept. 21, the squad produced: 138-124-121-112-110. On Sep. 9, the scores were: 136-130-129-129-115. Overall, Mountain Vista has beaten more ranked teams within their state.

The argument for Summit (OR): The program hasn’t had a bad race. The Storm’s most recent race on Oct. 13 at the Warner Pacific Classic produced four girls under 18 minutes for 5K and its fifth just under 18:10. Summit defeated the next closest team by 119 points and produced a 17:51 average and 40-second spread. The Nike Portland XC Invite on Sept. 29 was its best effort overall. The team dominated with 38 points and dispatched one of Idaho’s traditional state powers, Eagle High School. The Storm put down an 18:09 average and 53 second spread. Summit also won the North west XC Classic on Sept. 15 and handily defeated No. 8 Jesuit on Sept. 8. Speed ratings for Summit at Nike Portland on Sept. 29: 138-131-124-121-120. While Summit hasn’t raced outside Oregon, it’s beaten a top 10 team and has the firepower right now to compete with anyone.”

That is quite a ranking and, unlike many such lists, the rating body gives good sound reasons for their decision.   Well done girls – and well done Jim and Carol McLatchie.  As Jim says, though, getting to the top is easier than staying there but then he has shown at State level that he knows a bit about that too:  State cross-country titles won down the years since the school was opened in 2001 by the boys were in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and for the Girls in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.   And that’s not counting their contribution to the School’s many track & field titles either.   


Captured at the 6A Mountain Valley District Championships on October 27, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

Since the race above was posted, Jim has had a stroke and was hospitalised but, being Jim, he asked for a pass to get to the races on Saturday 27th October in the 6A-6 Mountain Valley Conference Championships.   They let him go and the results must have done him a lot of good:  the girls in the Junior Varsity race finished in the first five places, and with five runners to count towards the team position, they won comfortably.   15 points to the second team’s 51.   They had 8 runners in the top 11.   The Junior Varsity men’s team repeated the results – first five places and 8 in the first 11.   There wre 97 finishers in the girls race and 169 in the men’s.  Detailed results, JV Girls first:

  1.  Magdalene Williams;  2.  Ashley Boone;  3.  Jorun Dowling;  4.  Ellie Skyersaa;  5.  Jocelyn Parks;  7.  Sophia Segesta;  8.  Nicole Morgan;  11.  Megan Lasala. 

And the boys:  1.   Mason Kissell;  2.  Jackson Keefer;  3.  Jesse Vandenborn;  4.  Jack Strang;  5.  Parker Meredith;  7.  Tobias Holme;  10  Milo Mora;  11.  Evan Grover.   

In the Varsity races, The girls won with 20 points to South Salem’s 80.   There were 49 finishers and Summit had seven in the top ten.       The Boy’s team also won their race with 33 points to 42  for Bend; 56 finishers, they had four in the top ten, three in the top four.   Results:

Women:  1.  Fiona Max;  2.  Teaghan Knox;  3.  Kelsey Gripekoven;  6.  Isabel Max;  8.  Jasper Fievert; 9.  Azza Swanson;  10.  Stella Skovborg.

Men:   1.   Zachry Weber;  3.  Sam Hatfield;  4.  Joseph Sortor;  9.  Nathaniel Henson;  16.  Sam Timms;  19.  Jaden McCabe.

A walk in the park?  Not at all – big fields on a hilly course at an altitude of 4000 feet.   This coming Saturday it is the State Championships and the school is going for eleven in a row.   I’ll say that again – ELEVEN in a row.  No pressure then,

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

On 3rd November, the Varsity teams were at the State Championships and Jim was there to see them perform.   It was a higher standard of race but the girls did the business again.   In a field of 155 runners and 21 teams they were first by 29 points – 39 points to Jesuits 68 with the third team, Lincoln, well back on 147.   It was their eleventh victory in a row and a tribute to the girls and their coaches.   Ten in a row places a lot of pressure on the runners as they go to the starting line but they were equal to the pressure – just note that Fiona Max won the race by 14 seconds in a time only two seconds outside the course record.   Jim’s advice to her was to make a move on the hill on the last lap and keep it rolling from there: it worked, and she won in some style.   As did the team.   The boys ran well to finish fifth team of the 21 that were competing.   Tom runner was Zachry Weber who finished twelfth in 15:54 which by any standard is a good time for his age group over 5000m of country, and only 17 seconds behind the winner.   Sam Hatfield was eighteenth only 15 seconds down.   48th was Joseph Sortor, Robert Gorman was 57th and Mason Kissell 93rd..     

Girls Results: five runners to score for the team total:

  1.   Fiona Max  17:29;   5.   Teaghan Knox   18:01;   8.   Isabel Max   18:13;   11.  Kelsey Gripekoven  18:16;   14.  Azza Swanson   18:27   This was really excellent packing by the team – they had five in before Jesuit had three and before Lincoln had three, and eight Summit runners were in front of Jesuit’s fifth scoring athlete.        
Girls cross country: Summit wins battle of powers in 6A meet
Hood River Valley takes first title; Tillamook’s Solace Bergeron repeats; Kennedy’s Alejandra Lopez breaks through
November 3, 2018 by Jerry Ulmer, OSAAtoday

Summit's Fiona Max, leading Lincoln's Kyla Becker, won the 6A girls title. (NW Sports Photography)

Summit’s Fiona Max, leading Lincoln’s Kyla Becker, won the 6A girls title. (NW Sports Photography)

EUGENE — Sure, Summit is proud of its run of 10 consecutive 5A girls cross country titles.   But what the Storm accomplished Saturday at the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A championships at Lane Community College was on another level, entirely.

In a long-awaited, head-to-head battle with two-time reigning 6A champion Jesuit, Summit claimed state bragging rights by outpointing the runner-up Crusaders 39-68. In extending its title streak to 11, the Storm proved what it had been saying all along.

“We’ve never shied from competition. We’ve always felt that we belonged in 6A,” Summit co-coach Jim McLatchie said.   Summit junior Fiona Max led the way by winning the individual title in 17 minutes, 29 seconds. The Storm’s other scorers were freshman Teaghan Knox (fifth) and juniors Isabell Max (eighth), Kelsey Gripekoven (11th) and Azza Borovicka Swanson (14th). Gripekoven is a transfer from Jesuit, where she helped the Crusaders win the title last year.

“It feels so good,” Fiona Max said of the team win. “All the teams in this class are such nice people and they carry themselves with a lot of pride. … It’s really nice coming up into this class and proving that we belong here, and that we’re here to stay.”

There is no end in sight to Summit’s domination. “They’ll all be back next year, and there’s a hell of a lot of good freshmen coming up behind them,” McLatchie said.   Summit, ranked No. 2 in the nation by DyeStat, relished the challenge of running against Jesuit, ranked sixth. The Storm outscored Jesuit 22-51 to win the Ash Creek Festival on Sept. 8 but knew that the state meet was another matter.   “Jesuit’s really good at raising the intensity, at bringing it,” Fiona Max said. “We knew they were going to bring their best. We know that we have to come prepared, as well, to combat it. We love racing against them because we know they bring out the best in us, and we bring out the best of them.”

Fiona Max won by 14 seconds over the reigning champion, Jesuit senior Makenna Schumacher. She lost to Schumacher by two-tenths of a second for first place at Ash Creek, but this time, Max powered past Schumacher going up a hill at the three-mile mark and took control down the stretch.   “I followed what the coaches told me to do, and it ended up working out,” Max said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it all the way around if I made my move there, but it worked out.”

The Storm now turns its attention toward the Nike Cross Regional meet next weekend in Boise. A top-two finish would earn Summit a spot in the 16-team Nike Cross Nationals in Portland on Dec. 1.

Peter Thomson’s photograph of the winning Women’s team at the National Championship on 1st December

The Women’s team which had earned the right to contest the National championships and that they did right well.   They ran in the championship and after having the narrowest spread of times of any of the teams plus the lowest average time of any of the opposition, won the event by no fewer than 60 points.   They were interviewed before the meeting and were a bit apprehensive – as they should have been – and you can see the interview here:

Contrast this with the interview after the race


The team in finishing order was
11th F Max  17:29.0; 42nd   T Knox 18:00.7;  67th  K Gripkoven  18:18.2;  77th I Max  18:29.2;  96th. A Swanson  18:42.7; 134th S Skovberg  19:10.5.     The team was first of the 22 teams that qualified for the Nationals with a 1.13 minute spread and an average time of 18:11.   Terrific result to go with all the other top displays of running put on by the team this year.   
The icing on this wonderful cake was provided when Jim and Carol were jointly named as Coach of the Year.   The results alone make the award more than just appropriate but when you add in the problems that his health problems from October inevitably imposed, it was a well deserved honour.

Tommy Boyle : PCS Pictures

Football is massive in Scotland – some say it occupies too big a profile in the country but whether it does or not its influence on the younger generations is unquestionable.   It was always essential to get football on board.

Ally McCoist talks to parents at Hampden

Gordon Smith, CEO SFA, launches PCS

Jim Thomson, a real enthusiast, on PCS at Hampden


John Brown talks about respect

Darren Fletcher talks about respect

Alex McLeish, Tina Seyers, Tommy, Jim Fleeting

Stewart Harris, CEO Sportscotland

John Wilson talks on education

Stuart Grieve, SFA PCS Projects Manager

Grant Small, WSF, PCS Project Manager

and, of course, …. 

Tommy at the Stirling launch of PCS

Tommy Boyle: PCS Colleagues

This gallery has some of Tommy’s colleagues in the Positive Coaching Scotland activities:

PCS Training Course in California


PCS in Fife schools

Leanne Martin on PCS 

Drumchapel PCS coaches

Tommy at PCS in Renfrewshire

Barrhead Boys Club PCS launch

Frank Dick at PCS in Scotstoun

The PCS launch in Clackmannanshire


Judy Murray on fun in PCS

Chris Paterson on rugby


Tommy Boyle: Pictures

The whole Winning Scotland Foundation and Positive Coaching Scotland journey took Tommy to places he never expected to go to, and led him to meeting many very influential and interesting people from many walks of life.   Just some of them are shown on this page and many more are on pages linked from the foot this page.

Ian Wood, a major funder of WSF

Gregor Townsend, friend and 100% supporter of PCS

John Paul Fitzpatrick, mindset guru

Louise Martin


Judy Anderson

Rick Orr

Kath Grainger, WSF Patron

Andrew Pert, WSF Board Member



With Daley Thomson in 2012

SVHC: March 1989

I was recently given a bundle of copies of the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club magazine, printed by Walter Ross, for 1988 and 1989.   This is the March 1989 version, which runs to 14 pages.