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Fortrose Academy pupil named in Scotland cross country squad

By Will Clark

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Scotland squad to compete at the Celtic Championships. Andrew Baird. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Scotland squad to compete at the Celtic Championships. Andrew Baird. Picture: Callum Mackay..

ROSS County Athletics Club athlete Andrew Baird has been called up to the Scotland squad to compete at the Schools International Athletics Board Cross Country Championship.

The fourth year Fortrose Academy pupil is set to represent his country in Dublin on Saturday, March 23.

The competition involves top school athletes from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales taking part.

The Easter Kinkell teenager is no stranger to the event, having competed for Scotland last year when he finished 12th in his age category. He is hoping that he can finish higher in the race this year as well as helping Scotland to a possible team gold medal.

He said: “I competed for Scotland at this cross country event last year when it was in Liverpool and the Scotland team I was in came second overall in the competition.

“I am competing in the same age group as I was running a year up from last time.

“I hope to get a top eight finish individually, but in the team event we will be hoping to win it this year. Last year we were the closest any time we have been to beating England.”

Baird has made a big impression in Scottish athletics and is touted as a promising prospect. In his career, he has personal bests of three minutes and 56 seconds in the 1500 metres and 1:56 in the 800 metres.

Last year, he was crowned Scottish Under-17 1500 metres steeplechase champion after claiming victory in Grangemouth.

He also claimed gold in the steeplechase at the Scottish Schools Athletics Association Championship.

In 2022, he was crowned Scottish Schools 1500 metres champion as he broke a 32-year-old Ross County Athletics Club record to take the title.

Baird says that he is looking for more international opportunities and look to go faster.

He said: “Hopefully I will improve my times a bit more.

“I would like to have 3:51 over the 1500 metres and maybe 1:52 in the 800 metres.

“I would like to make the Great Britain team in the under-18 European Championship.

“I would also like to make the Scotland team again.”

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