European Championships target for Scottish and British record-setting athlete

A former Larkhall YMCA Harriers runner has set a new British and Scottish under-17 200m record – and hopes it sends him to the European Under-18 Championships in Israel in July.

Dean Patterson’s time of 21.40 is within the qualifying time of 21.60, but there are a lot of ducks that will need to be in a row before he heads to Jerusalem for the championships, which take place between July 4 and 7.

For now, the Bellahouston Academy and Glasgow School of Sport student is just delighted to be doing so well.

Dean, 16, took first place at the English Athletics Age Group Championships in Sheffield recently, setting the British record, and broke the Scottish record at 15 years old at the Scottish Schools’ Championship, both with 21.40.

The former Machanhill Primary and Larkhall Academy pupil is also on Scottish Athletics’ Performance Pathway.

Mum Eileen, from Ashgill, said: “Dean has achieved the qualifying standard time to be considered for the Under-18 Euros in Jerusalem, but he’s still got to wait to be selected.

“Anything can happen; he’s got to be fit and healthy and stay at the top of his game – we’re always conscious that you’re only as good as your last race.

“As long as he keeps the right mentality, good training, sleeping and eating habits, there’s no reason why he can’t at least be up for discussion on the selection list.

“It would be phenomenal for him to qualify, but he’s part of a long, long list, and really anything can happen.

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“It’s early in the year, there are a lot of people out there, but you would like to think his time will be good enough.

“Nobody was really near his time in Sheffield, so there’s a good chance he will be on that list.

Mum Eileen says Dean is extremely dedicated to the sport
Mum Eileen says Dean is extremely dedicated to the sport

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“You don’t actually know until the end of June, and I wouldn’t want to make too much on that and tempt fate, but he made the qualifying time, so we’ll see where it comes nearer the time.”

Eileen says Dean – who won junior male at the Hamilton Sports Awards in 2018 – has been dedicated to the sport, and is hugely thankful to Harriers for their support over the years.

She added: “Dean is doing phenomenally, considering.

“During lockdown and everything he just did his best to try and train, out on the roads or the streets or whatever, or I’d take him up to the hills.

“He has really kept at it, and he’s at an age where you can see where people waiver in their teenage years, and look to other things.

“He’s too hungry for this, and it’s amazing to see him doing it.

“He has been running since he was about nine or 10, he couldn’t wait to turn nine and joined Larkhall YMCA Harriers.

“He owes it all to them, they’ve been a great wee club to start him off, and he’s only left them in September, because of his increased training commitments with Bellahouston Academy and Glasgow School of Sport.

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“When he went into fifth year there his training increased and he genuinely couldn’t go along to the club at night.

“Right up until September though, he was there faithfully every night.

“He never missed a training session – not even on his birthday, or a school disco, or anything, he just always wanted to go. He’s very dedicated.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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