Susan McKelvie hammers rivals to claim eighth women’s title

Susan McKelvie. Picture: Greg Macvean

Susan McKelvie. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Not even a mini-monsoon on Saturday and a half-hurricane yesterday could deter Scotland’s Commonwealth Games hammer throwers who turned out in force for the first staging of the Scottish National Championships at the Ayrshire Arena in Kilmarnock.

All six were in action with Broxburn teacher Susan McKelvie on Saturday launching her best throw of the season, 64.21 metres, to take the women’s title for the seventh year in a row and eighth in all, and former Capital resident Mark Dry (Burghead) setting a new championship record of 74.63 metres yesterday for his fifth title and third in row.

Both repeated their Hampden victories over their Games teammates with 29-year-old Edinburgh AC member McKelvie actually disappointed not to set an outright personal best.

“I was very happy with my throwing, especially in these conditions and just a little frustrated not to get a PB,” said McKelvie, who beat Ayr’s Rachel Hunter by nearly three metres, with EAC clubmate Kimberley Kimberley Reed (57.65m) edged out the third Games team member Myra Perkins (57.05m) for third.

McKelvie’s partner Andy Frost was third in the men’s competition yesterday behind Dry and Chris Bennett.

“I threw rubbish today - the conditions were relatively good, with a tailwind, and I should have been over 70 metres,” he said. Bennett threw 70.68 for second and Frost 69.89m for third.

What may have been a tailwind for the hammer-throwers, helping them across the circle, was anything but for the unfortunate track competitors where winds of almost 10 metres per second were recorded, mostly in their faces.

Commonwealth Games 4x400 metres runner Greg Louden (Lasswade) captured his first senior national 200 metres title, recording 22.68 secs into a headwind of 7.2mps, while Kathryn Christie (EAC), who regained the 100 and 200m titles she had won two years previously, faced a 6.2mps wind in the latter in which she recorded 25.09.

She was followed home in both races by Stacey Downie (EAC).

Games team member Emily Dudgeon (EAC) was another to turn out despite the conditions, winning won the 800 metres in 2:04.29 from Katy Brown 2:04.77.

Sarah Warnock (EAC) got the better of her Games team-mate Jade Nimmo (Falkirk) to retain the long jump title with a leap of 6.09m to Nimmo’s 6.06m with Faye Nicholson third (5.98m).

Likewise, Kirsty Yates (EAC) won the shot with 15.44m and Madeleine Murray (EAC) the 1500m in an excellent 4:22.74 from Kathryn Gillespie (Central) and Hanna Tarver (EAC).

Other Capital successes included the 400m hurdles where Katie Purves (EAC) won in 60.21 secs, just .01 sec ahead of Trafford’s Nisha Desai.