Scottish Harriers hope to clip Hawks' wings

17:00, Sep 02 2011
Scottish Harriers
READY TO RUN: Scottish Harriers Melissa Moon, Hamish Carson and Tina Harris.

Wellington's Scottish Harriers are on the hunt for the Top Club title at the national road relay championships in the Hunua Ranges near Auckland today.

Scottish triumphed three years ago and club spokesman Grant McLean believes they have the class and depth across senior, junior and masters ranks to turn the tables on back-to-back champions Hamilton Hawks. Teams comprise eight runners, with the relay legs varying between 6-10km.

The strongest runners generally go over the longer distances and the best climbers on the short steep ones.

Scottish have some quality runners sprinkled through their teams, none better than their senior men's trump card Hamish Carson. He competed at the World University Games in China last month and this season has set personal-best times at 800m and 5000m.

Backing up Carson will be Daniel Wallis, a United States scholarship runner who has come home specifically to boost Scottish's prospects.

The senior women are led by national cross-country third placegetter Caroline Mellsop and Tina Harris. The masters teams look strong as well with Melissa Moon and Anne Hare holding together the women and McLean and Todd Stevens probably doing the long relays legs for the men.

"This is our strongest overall team in years,'' McLean said.

"We've got 300 members and 130 of them are running here. It is great to have the social runners going with the elite and that is something we pride ourselves on at Scottish.

"Hamish [Carson] is a good example of that. He comes back from overseas and is always very approachable. He imparts his advice and makes the tea.''

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