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Fortrose teenager looks to put in a Stirling effort after Scotland call-up

By Will Clark

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LUCAS Cairns is looking to be in the running for more Scotland vests in the future when he competes at the Celtic Cross Country International.

Lucas Cairns competing at the Nairn Turkey Trot on Boxing Day. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Lucas Cairns competing at the Nairn Turkey Trot on Boxing Day. Picture: Gary Anthony.

The Fortrose Academy pupil has been called up to the Scotland under-17 squad competing at Stirling tomorrow.

Cairns (15) qualified for the under-17 squad after being the top Scottish athlete in his age group at the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool in November.

Encouraged by his performance two months ago, the Inverness Harriers athlete hopes he can make an impact this weekend.

“It was great to be selected and I was happy to get the call up,” he said.

“The selection race was at Liverpool and the top four Scottish athletes were selected for the squad.

“I came home as the first Scottish athlete at Liverpool and when it came through I got picked for Stirling I was happy and I have been looking forward to the race since.

“I hope it is a good race at Stirling as I would like to pursue my running career and getting picked more for Scotland in the future.”

Cairns claimed gold in the under-15 race at Stirling last year.

But he says this year’s race will see him compete at a higher level and is looking forward to taking on Britain’s top athletes.

“I won my race last year but I am trying to contain my expectations,” he said.

“This year I am running in the British Cross where as last year it was only Scottish athletes competing in the race.

“The top athletes from across the country will all be competing at the race and I will try and mix it with them.”

The course will see Cairns race over six kilometres.

He has experience of competing over long distances and says the harsher the ground and weather conditions are, the better his chances will be of success.

“I have been taking part in a lot of cross country training at Bught Park in Inverness,” he said.

“The conditions look like being muddy and rainy which is what I prefer as I perform better in the mud and rain.

“Maybe its because I’ve always been a cross country runner and took part in park runs when I was younger.

“I have always enjoyed running on grass and it is something that I have got used to competing on.”

Cairns will go into the Celtic Cross Country International eight days after winning a silver medal in the Scottish under-17 indoor 3000 metres championships in Glasgow.

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