Athletics: Nuttall and O’Hare out to defend titles

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Two Capital Scots, Emma Nuttall and Chris O’Hare (both Edinburgh AC), who are North American college indoor athletics champions, will be defending their titles tomorrow.

Nuttall, who won the Canadian women’s national student high jump title last year, is back in Edmonton, Alberta, not only to defend her crown, but also to bid for a new personal best ­performance.

Already the top-ranked UK high jumper in 2013 with the leap of 1.85 metres, which won her the Canada West title with a new championship record at Regina two weeks ago, the 20-year-old Tynecastle High FP hopes to improve on her 
all-time best of 1.86m which she set outdoors in June 2012.

“Hopefully I can get over 1.87m,” said the Trinity Western University athlete, who moved from Strathclyde University to pursue her history degree in Vancouver.

Tulsa University’s O’Hare has really set the tongues wagging not only in the USA but also worldwide with his brilliant American college indoor mile record of 3:52.98 in finishing fourth in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in New York three weeks ago.

In so doing, he was also timed at 3:37.25 for 1500 metres, by two seconds the fastest by a British athlete this year and a performance which rightly makes him favourite to retain his title at Arkansas: “My main goal for this year is to take home another National Championship to Tulsa and make the final in the World Championships in Moscow in the ­summer,” said the 22-year-old Peebles High FP.

Scottish under-20 cross country champions Ross Matheson (Lasswade) and Rhona Auckland (Edinburgh University) both move up to senior level when they compete for Scotland East in the McCain World Trials and UK Inter-Counties Championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham, tomorrow. It is Auckland’s first race back after dislocating her knee.