Athletics: Ten Edinburgh AC members in Commonwealth squad

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TEN Edinburgh Athletic Club members have been named in Scottish Athletics’ latest Commonwealth Games training squad of 41 for Glasgow 2014 and the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

In all, 14 teenagers have been named. They include 17-year-old Firrhill High pupil and Commonwealth Youth Games 200 metres gold medallist Tom Holligan and Drummond Community High’s Kimberley Reed, who captured a silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth event in the Isle of Man in September and, at 16, is the youngest in the squad.

Reed is also one of three female hammer-throwers, the others being her clubmate and Scottish champion Susan McKelvie and Mary Erskine FP Myra Perkins.

There are six hammer-throwers altogether, the three men being Edinburgh Leisure manager Andy Frost, and Mark Dry, who both compete for a London club, and Shettleston Harrier Chris Bennett. There are also five male 1500m runners including US-based Capital stars Kris Gauson and Chris O’Hare.

Holligan is the only male sprinter in the entire squad, which suggests there is little hope of there being home male relay teams in the Glasgow 2014 Games.

At least there are three women 400m runners, the 33-year-old Lee McConnell and two teenagers, Kirsten McAslan, who ran such a memorable anchor leg to help Great Britain strike gold in the 4x400m at the European Junior Championships in Tallinn and Aberdeen’s Zoey Clark, who was fourth in the Isle of Man games.

And of course, Pitreavie 400m hurdler Eilidh Child has high hopes of London 2012 as well as plenty of time for Glasgow.

However two-times Commonwealth Games runner Gemma Nicol, has been left out. A victim of injury for much of last season, Dunfermline’s Nicol seems to have received less sympathy than Grangemouth pole vaulter Richard Hurren, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon last winter but is still included.

Freya Murray (EAC), who will make her marathon debut in London in April, is named for the 10,000m in the squad as well as Lynsey Sharp, who captured a bronze medal in the 800m in the European Under-23 Championships last July and has London 2012 as her target. Exiled Capital high jumpers Emma Nuttall and Jayne Nisbet are also included.