Delhi Commonwealth Games 1500 metres finalist and 2010 Scottish cross country champion Alastair Hay (Central) returned to competition after a six-month gap following knee surgery to post the sixth fastest time in the East District Relay Championships at Dundee.
Relegated to the B team in view of his lack of racing, the 26-year-old Capital physiotherapist covered the first two-and-a-half mile lap in 12 minutes three seconds to come in fourth, 11 seconds and one place clear of Michael Wright for the Central A team.
But a sparkling second stage of 11:51, the second fastest of the day, from Alex Hendry took Central A into a lead which they then never lost with John Newsom (12:00) and Lewis Millar (12:21) taking them to victory, while Scott Green (12:17), Alastair Anthony (12:54) and Cameron Milne (12:45) took the B team to the silver medals, one minute 33 seconds down.
Helped by the third fastest time of the day from Andrew Crichton (11:52), Edinburgh AC took the bronze medals but the fastest time of the day came from Murray Strain (Hunter’s Bog Trotters), who scampered round the first stage in 11:44 to head Crichton.
European Under-23 800m silver medallist Lynsey Sharp (EAC) was also in action on the first stage of the woman’s race and recorded a respectable 14:20 to be eighth-fastest overall.
Jennifer MacLean took over and was fourth fastest on the day (14:05). But the Capital side had to be content with fourth place.
Ironically, had Louise Stewart who clocked a swift 14:09 for the E team, been in the A team they would have taken the silver medals.
Queen Margaret student Hester Dix was easily fastest as she anchored Fife to the title in 13:28, nearly half a minute better than next best Laura Muir (Dundee) (13:57), with Helen Sharpe (Fife) third fastest in 14:03.