CENTRAL AC are celebrating a successful Scottish National Championships after picking up three medals at the weekend.

Ali Hay was the pick of the bunch as the 32-year-old took the 5000m title at the Grangemouth event.

Ali, who is from Gargunnock, Stirling, has won several previous Scottish titles on and off the track but this was his first Scottish track title since winning the 1500m in 2010, which qualified him for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi that year, where he reached the final.

Ali has shifted his focus up a distance to 5000m and set a personal best 14:10 minutes earlier this season. He used all his experience in a tactical race run in wet blustery conditions as he sat back initially and let others do the running but always kept a close eye on the leaders.

Gradually the lead group was whittled down to six then with 600m to go, James Hood of Aberdeen wound up the pace to reduce the group to just three.

When they hit the back straight on the final lap, Sean Fontana of Glasgow burst clear before Ali decided it was time to make his move and hit top gear to surge ahead.

The Central athlete then had the strength to keep going and was never challenged over the last 200m as he crossed the line to take the Scottish title. The tactical nature of the race meant the winning time of 14:37.91 minutes was well below Ali’s personal best but what was more telling was his 57 second final 400m which nobody else could follow.

Also on the podium was Stirling marathon champion, Michael Wright, who finished off his season in style as battled it out in the 3000m Steeplechase.

In another tactical race Michael had to wait for his opportunity. When the break came Michael Deeson of Shettleston pulled away but Central’s Michael settled into second place and kept his rhythm over the barriers all the way to the line to take the silver medal in a seasons best 9:28.20 minutes, only just missing his personal best.

High Jumper Amy Gullen was Central’s other medallist. In her final competition as a teenager, Amy was looking to improve her club record of 1.68m which she set back in 2013.

She has been in good form all season having jumped 1.66m earlier this year and winning the East District title and a bronze at the Scottish indoor championships.

Amy had first time clearances at every height up to 1.62m which guaranteed a medal as only three athletes were left in the competition. However, she was looking for more and needed every bit of her resolve to clear 1.67m at the third and final attempt.

The bar was then raised to 1.70m and despite several good attempts, she was not quite able to get the clearance she was after. However, she had still done enough to win the silver medal on countback and finish top Scottish competitor behind an athlete from Herts Phoenix AC.