Ridley targets second tilt at qualification for youngsters

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Edinburgh Athletic Club senior men’s team manager Keith Ridley is keen to have another crack next year at qualifying for the British Athletics League after his team of largely untried youngsters finished fifth out of eight in the 2011 qualifying meeting at Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on Saturday.

Despite being handicapped by having no specialist throwers or pole vaulters at all, the Capital side, whose average age was under 19, acquitted themselves well and Ridley believes they could succeed next time.

“They all enjoyed the experience and I’d like to try again next year as it’s within our reach,” said Ridley.

Typical of the team spirit was the success of the 4 x 400 metres relay team, who secured an exciting win in the very last event.

Peter Loudon (51.5 secs), Darren Thomson (52.5), Seumas Thomson (51.7) and Tom Holligan (49.6) came home in 3:25.4, with Commonwealth Youth Games 200 metres gold medallist Holligan on the anchor leg.

Holligan had already competed in the 100m, finishing fourth in 10.8 secs, the 200m where he was third in 22.3 and had run a leg of the sprint relay but, not surprisingly perhaps after the heady happenings of the Isle of Man the previous weekend, the 17-year-old Firrhill High pupil was a little jaded.

Not so Toby Harris, whose time of 15.5 secs in the high hurdles for second place was a personal best.

The only individual winner was Jordan Newport, who took the B long jump with a leap of 6.57m while Gary Mackay was third in the A event with a season’s best of 6.76m.

There were other worthy contributions from Andrew Crichton, who was second in the B 800 metres (1:59.3) and second in the A 5000m (15:13.0), Peter Loudon, third in the A 800 (1:57.7) and Seumas Thomson, third in the A 400 hurdles (57.1) and second in the B 200 (23.1).