Quagmire course has a silver lining for race ace Louise

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LOUISE Mercer played her part as the Scotland Under-17 women took silver at the 2011 Celtic Nations Cross Country Championship in Dublin on Sunday.

Held at the Aer Lingus Sports Club Grounds at Dublin airport, Louise battled through the quagmire of a course – most of which was raced in ankle-deep mud – to finish in tenth place.

She was second Scot to complete the 4km race in 20 minutes and 17 seconds as the Scottish team finished just two points behind a strong Irish outfit.

She said: “I was really relaxed and it didn’t feel like the build-up to a race because we’re all good friends.

“Even just before the race I was nervous, but I was enjoying seeing so many things and watching the other races because we were second last. It was really windy and muddy and the course was like a bog. And because we were on so late we were literally running ankle-deep in mud which made for a really hard run.”

Louise was at the Scottish Indoor Championships yesterday and in two weeks time will be competing in the Scottish National Cross Country Championships in Falkirk, where she finished fifth last year. She added: I’ve improved a lot since then so I’m hoping to do better.”

n Meanwhile, Louise and Raymond Jaffray will be hoping to retain their respective titles at the Teviotdale Harriers’ club championships tomorrow.

Registration is at the museum from 12.15pm, with the first race, for under-13 boys and girls, off at 1pm.