Twins at the double in cross country finals

Medal Winners Andrew and Cara Hogg at Longridge Towers
Medal Winners Andrew and Cara Hogg at Longridge Towers

Unbeatable Longridge Towers twins Cara and Andrew Hogg ran away with a gold medal each at the 28th annual Scottish Prep Schools’ Cross Country Championships.

The siblings dominated proceedings in the under 12 age group, beating competitors from twelve other schools to take the title in their respective categories.

Hosted by Belhaven Hill School and staged at the John Muir Country Park in Dunbar for the 10th time, the prestigious championships were contested by around 100 runners from independent schools across Scotland.

Running conditions at the John Muir Country Park were far from perfect on Sunday, but the twins attacked the 1.67 mile course to do the double for Longridge.

Sports coach and teaching assistant Angela Young, who attended the event with the Longridge team, said: “It poured with rain all morning so it wasn’t the best of conditions, it was quite muddy and heavy underfoot.

“But Andrew and Cara are both very comfortable and confident runners. They coped really well with the conditions and both ran extremely well.”

Andrew was defending his age group Scottish Prep School title that he claimed at last year’s Championships, while Cara bettered her runners-up place from 2011.

Andrew went hard from the off and soon carved out a substantial lead, while Cara battled to the finish line, crossing first to claim gold.

“They set out focused and confident,” Angela said. “Andrew was quite well ahead from the rest of the boys; Cara had a girl on her back but she was very confident coming through the finish line to hold her off.”

The twins, who have only been running for two years, are now building up momentum on the young cross country circuit, and are tipped by their East Track Running Club coach Henry Gray as stars of the future.

Since their natural aptitude and potential was spotted by Longridge’s head of sport Andrew Philips, who suggested they train with Gray, they have never looked back.

“Cara ran the fastest lap at Fettes Cross Country tournament last week, and both Andrew and Cara medalled at Compass recently,” Angela said.

Improving all the time, the Longridge twins are building up a reputation as a force to be reckoned with.

“They’re now quite well known within our community of schools,” Angela explained. “When we were going to Compass last week the lady who organised the event said she was looking forward to seeing the Hogg twins run!”

She added: “They’re both very determined and they put a lot of time into their running.

“We’re very proud of them - they work hard, they’re totally focused, and they always give a hundred percent.”

The twins’ coach Henry Gray insists the future’s bright for Longridge’s very own athletic siblings, who he hails as two of the regions most exciting prospects.

“In my opinion they are two of the brightest young prospects to come from the region for a number of years,” he said.

“They both have outstanding attitudes towards their sport, they’ve already achieved a lot and I am sure they will go far in athletics.”