Aberdeen AAC’s Angela McAuslan-Kelly hopes to cap an outstanding season with another top level performance on her Scotland debut next weekend.
The fifth year Robert Gordon’s College pupil is to represent her country against England, Ireland and Wales in a schools international at Derby.
McAuslan-Kelly will compete in the discus after earning selection by finishing second in the Scottish under-17 championships at Grangemouth last month when she threw a personal best 33.25m.
That marked an improvement of more than five metres on her best at the beginning of the season.
McAuslan-Kelly hopes she can raise her game once again at Derby, spurred on by the adrenaline rush which comes from making her international debut.
She said: “I am so excited to be representing Scotland in athletics for the first time.It’s definitely the biggest thing I’ve done so far.
“I was happy with my performance at the Scottish championships. I had been pretty average all season but knew I had a big throw in me so it was so good to produce it when it counted. Hopefully I can do the same at Derby.”
McAuslan-Kelly’s talents aren’t confined to the discus as she demonstrated during a busy day at the Scottish championships.
In addition to her discus silver, she picked up bronze in the shot with a PB 12.30.
She almost claimed a third medal, in the hammer, but missed out by a narrow margin. There was suitable consolation in achieving another PB and her throw of 44.69m obliterated her own Aberdeen AAC age group record.
She said: “I certainly can’t complain as I got PBs in all three events. But I still haven’t won a Scottish title. I think that over the years, between the Scottish national and Scottish schools championships, I’ve got about 17 silver or bronze medals,but never gold.
“I have another year at under-17 level, so maybe next summer I can put that right. It’s definitely one of my aims.”
McAuslan-Kelly has been involved in track and field since she was at primary school and has tried her hand at a wide variety of events.
She said: “When I was young my mum complained I had too much energy to burn so she signed me up for kids athletics.
“Then I joined Aberdeen AAC and I’ve tried just about every event you can think of in track and field.
“I enjoyed doing multi-events competitions but I’ve always been stronger at throws and I’ve decided to focus on these for the next few years.
“Kathleen Madigan has been my coach since I started and she’s really great. I absolutely enjoy my training.”
As was the case for most athletes, McAuslan-Kelly had very few competitive opportunities last year because of the pandemic, but that didn’t detract from her commitment.
She said: “The only thing that kept me going during lockdown was the thought of getting back on the track. So, I kept up with my training at home.”
McAuslan-Kelly has been inspired by Olympic discus champions Valarie Allman (USA) and Sandra Perkovic (Croatia) and although she would love to follow in their footsteps, her more immediate aims are more modest.
She said: “Looking to the immediate future, I’d like to get selected for more teams and maybe get a full Scotland vest, not just at schools level. I’d like to win medals at bigger competitions and maybe do the English championships. Generally, I want to become a good thrower.”
Unexpected international call
Aberdeen’s Angela McAuslan-Kelly will make her Scotland athletics debut next weekend but last month she made a surprise appearance for her country in a different sport.
She was selected to take part in the laser-run at the UK Schools Games in Loughborough. Laser-run is a competition which combines running with laser pistol shooting and has been growing in popularity in recent years.
McAuslan-Kelly said: “Six weeks beforehand I’d never heard of laser-run. But Aberdeen coach Nichola Crawford said they were looking for some people to get involved so I decided to give it a go.
“I did a trial and next thing I’d been selected. I don’t feel I did too well in the individual event but the team I was in for the relay was good and performed well.
“I doubt if I’ll do it again though. I’m better sticking with the throws.”
Relay teams strike gold at Linwood
Aberdeen AAC’s women’s team of Grace MacDonald, Caitlin Purcell and Kirsty Purcell 7:01.93 struck gold when competing in the 3x800m at the Scottish relay championships at Linwood.
The under-15 boys’ squad of Finlay McKay,Thomas Reynolds and Rhys Crawford also took top spot on the rostrum when winning their 3x800m in 6:41.88.
And there was silver for the under-17 boys’ 3x800m trio of Duncan MacDonald,Lewis Watt and Kai Crawford who clocked 5:55.39.
Meanwhile, Strathclyde University student Harry Pulham won the Tom’s Cairn 10k multi-terrain race at Feughside.
The Shettleston Harriers club member completed the multi-terrain Deeside course in 40min 47secs to finish 23secs ahead of Matthew Gooch (Maroc) with Paul Knight (Metro Aberdeen Running Club) a further 10secs behind in third position.
Kirsty Campbell (Deeside Runners) won the women’s race in 47:24 with veteran Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) second in 47:42 while Erin Mcfadden (Stonehaven Running Club) took third spot in 48:12.