Age is no obstacle for the evergreen Grieve

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TIME marches on. But as far as Hawick athlete David Grieve is concerned, it appears to have stood still.

For at St Ronan’s Games on Saturday, the Teri veteran beat the time barrier as well as the opposition in notching up his second win of the season in the 110m handicap, which was the main event of the day.

From the Billy Edgar stable, Grieve showed he had something special to offer when racing to a fine victory in his heat in 11.59 seconds – the fastest time of the opening runs.

Winner of the St Ronan’s sprint three years back, 56-year-old Grieve then sailed to a cross-tie victory in 11.76 seconds.

This win earned him a final place along with Peter Denholm of Melrose (9m), Tommy Finkle of TLJT (13m), Ryan Trimby of Hawick (11m), Geoff Keen of Selkirk (12.5m) and Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (17m).

More was to come from the evergreen Grieve in the final as he recorded the quickest time of the event, producing a great run to break the tape in 11.52 seconds. The other placings went the way of Denholm and Armstrong.

Grieve was thrilled with his performance and told TheSouthern: “When I won the St Ronan’s sprint three years ago I never thought I would ever win it again. However, incredibly, I have managed to do just that and it has been a very pleasant surprise.

“Having won the Kelso Games 100m handicap the other week I have also surprised myself that I have been able to hold onto my form, for at my age that’s difficult to do.”

New face David Agnew of Pitreavie (20m) gained the honours in the 200m handicap. An unknown on the Border Games circuit, he was certainly not an unknown after the final.

Agnew, who was on Rangers’ books as a youngster, was beaten in his heat, but qualified for the final as a fastest loser.

Hawick’s David Hush (40m) headed the field down the home straight and was running well. Towards the finish, though, Agnew and Dylan Ali of TLJT (15m) overhauled Hush to take the first two places.

The 800m handicap turned out to be a real thrill and spill affair.

Francis Cannon of Hawick (18m) led the pack at the beginning of the last lap before hometown runner Dean Whiteford (75m) took over with Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (85m) in pursuit.

The race was now between this pair and nobody else. Halfway down the sweeping home run, Whiteford was still out in front, only to lose his footing and tumble down onto the track.

Thomson surged ahead and raced to victory in 1 minute 56.26 seconds. Tommy Ashby of Innerleithen (15m) got second place and Hawick’s Derek Scott (105m) third.

Coached by Brian ‘Chico’ Woods, 17-year-old Thomson said of his win: “I was very disappointed in not winning the 800m at Jedburgh Games last Saturday. I wanted to try to make up for it today and I managed to get a win, but I had to work hard for it.

“Coming down the straight I was closing in on Dean Whiteford whose legs just went. He fell and I just raced on.”

John Thomson of Coaltown (135m) did the business in the 1,600m handicap. Running well from start to finish, Thomson won clearly from Darrell Hastie of Kelso (5m) and Whiteford (110m).

Jedburgh runner Craig Grieve, who has shown up well throughout the season, got another win under his belt by gaining the honours in the 110m invitation sprint.

Representing TLJT, Grieve scorched to an impressive win with stablemate Callum Murray taking second and Iskan Barskanmay of Jed AC finishing third.

Grieve commented: “I didn’t run well in the big sprint so it was good to get another run in the invitation. I ran a lot better and was very pleased with my win.”

Hawick produced a hat-trick of wins in the junior/youths events.

First to taste victory was Nicole Campbell (8m) who turned on the style to take the honours in the junior 90m handicap.

Recent victor of the Kelso Games junior 200m handicap, 12-year-old Campbell looked the part in her heat when emerging a decisive winner.

In the final, Campbell excelled again. From a good start to a strong finish, the Hawick High School pupil surged through the tape ahead of Ronan McKean of Hawick (6m) and Cameron Clamp of TLJT (7m).

Campbell told us: “That’s the best I have ever ran and it’s the first time I have ever won a sprint, so it’s just been a great day for me.”

Thirteen-year-old Logan Gordon-Woolley (26m) came out on top in the youths’ 200m handicap. The fastest winner of the three heats, in a time of 23.60 seconds, the youngster then powered to victory. Matthew Bell of Hawick (34m), who had led until the latter stages, was second and Mhairi Henderson of TLJT (32m) third.

Ryan Elliot also hoisted the winning flag for Hawick, giving a top-notch show to win the 90m junior/youths invitation race. Michael Olson of Edinburgh and Ewan Pettigrew of Kelso gained the other spots.

In the junior/youths’ 1,600m handicap, Jason McIntosh of Kelso (155m) left the field behind to win well. Back marker Nathan Cox of Gala Harriers (25m) finished second, with Joey Brown (330m), also of Gala Harriers, emerging third.

McIntosh, a young runner of great promise, said: “I had to run hard from the start and really focus as I knew Nathan, who is really good, would be coming after me. However, I did this and it was good to get a win.”

The junior 200m handicap conjured up some very keen competitive and splendid running.

Ten-year-old Angus Bryce of TLJT (16m) followed up a grand heat success by blitzing to victory in the final when edging out Rory Williams of Chirnside (18m) and Harry Fuller of Coldstream (27m).

In the 200m youths’ handicap for the New Zealand Cup, Ryan Houten of Cardrona (6m) produced a storming finish to gain victory on the line from Sam Archibald of Leithenburn (39m) and Eve Huxley of Innerleithen (20m).

The 800m youths’ handicap for the American Cup (confined) was won by Craig Angus of Leithenburn (175m) in 2 minutes 0.6 seconds. Leithenburn pair Rian Dougal (195m) and Michael Smith (205m) were second and third.

Edinburgh’s Michael Olson (4m) won the youth’s 90m handicap from Jenna Gillan of TLJT (15m) and Bethany Wardhaugh of Gala Harriers (14.5m).

Innerleithen’s own Darrin Dougal gave an excellent account of himself to triumph in the Lee Pen senior hill race, while Joe Agnew won the junior equivalent.