The British 1500m record-holder is among eight athletes shortlisted for the award
A total of eight athletes have been shortlisted for the Scottish Athlete of the Year award, with the winner to be revealed at Scottish Athletics’ annual awards dinner in Glasgow on October 29.
Seven Olympians from Rio as well as GB international hill runner Andy Douglas are in the running for the accolade.
Scottish Athletics took the decision to extend the shortlist from the more usual three to five names in order to fully recognise and acknowledge an impressive year for the sport north of the border.
Eilidh Doyle (400m hurdles), Lynsey Sharp (800m) and Laura Muir (1500m) have monopolised the Athlete of the Year crown for the current decade and all three – who all reached Olympic finals and broke Scottish records in their respective events in 2016 – are among those listed for this year’s honour.
Andrew Butchart, who has claimed two long-standing Scottish records and was sixth in the 5000m final in Rio, joins them as well as Olympic 5000m finalist Eilish McColgan, European 5000m bronze medallist Steph Twell and Callum Hawkins, who broke the Scottish half-marathon record and went to second on the UK all-time list at the Great Scottish Run as well as finished ninth in the Olympic marathon.
“I think we can safely say that the bar is being set very high indeed for the Scottish Athlete of the Year award this year – probably the highest it has been for at least a couple of decades,” said the governing body’s director of coaching, Rodger Harkins.
“Just looking back at some of those names now on the shortlist makes you realise the wide range of achievement.
“I congratulate all those athletes shortlisted and the coaches involved in helping them reach these levels. Our Coach of the Year categories have tested us, as well, with five names on the Performance Coach of the Year award list.
“In the under-20 list we also have three athletes who reached their finals at the World Juniors (George Evans, Josh Kerr and Cameron Tindle); a European under-18 medallist (Alisha Rees) and a world-class Para athlete (Shelby Watson). And then the Para Athlete of the Year one itself is another really tough choice.”
The Para Athlete of the Year shortlist features two gold medallists from the Rio Paralympics – sprinter Libby Clegg and seated thrower Jo Butterfield – and 16-year-old triple medallist Maria Lyle, who won the 2015 award.
Athlete of the Year
Andrew Butchart; Andrew Douglas; Eilidh Doyle; Callum Hawkins; Eilish McColgan; Laura Muir; Lynsey Sharp; Steph Twell
Para Athlete of the Year
Jo Butterfield; Libby Clegg; Maria Lyle; Sammi Kinghorn; Derek Rae; Stef Reid
Under-20 Athlete of the Year
George Evans; Josh Kerr; Alisha Rees; Cameron Tindle; Shelby Watson
Under-17 Athlete of the Year
Maria Lyle; Holly McArthur; Alessandro Schenini; Erin Wallace
Masters Athlete of the Year
Philippa Millage; Claire Thompson; Kerry-Liam Wilson