THE sun was out for Hawick Border Games on Sunday and shining along with it was Edinburgh athlete Lawrie McCombie.
The man from the capital gave a capital show by taking pride of place in the main event at the Volunteer Park – the 110m handicap, which had a winner’s prize of £1,000.
A beaten finalist in the Earlston Games 90m handicap the previous week, 25-year-old McCombie began his day to remember by surging to a heat win in 11.94 seconds from a mark of 13m.
Coached by Graeme Armstrong, McCombie then did it all again in his cross-tie when breaking the tape in an improved time of 11.75 seconds.
This win earned him a final spot, along with Hawick foursome Dylan Ali (4m), David Rae (5.5m), Leigh Marshall (3m) and David Lauder (11.5m) plus Tommy Finkle of TLJT (12m).
Bidding for his first sprint win on the Border Games circuit, McCombie got off to an excellent start and, in a thrilling run, duly blitzed his way to victory.
Ali finished second and Lauder third. Once again the watch recorded a winning time of 11.75 seconds.
McCombie told The Southern: “I didn’t expect to do as well as I did. In fact, I was just thrilled to have reached the final.
“I didn’t see myself winning it as I train along with David Lauder in Edinburgh and thought he would have the better of me.
“I had nothing to lose, so just went out and did my best, and I managed to win, which was a bit of a surprise for me.
“I feel very privileged to have won the Hawick sprint as it is a big event.”
Selkirk’s Alistair Laurie (400m) showed the field a clean pair of heels to gain the honours in the 1,600m handicap.
Laurie started and finished the race at the front with Chris Black of Kelso (90m) and Dean Whiteford of Innetleithen (155m) gaining the other placings.
In the other distance race on the Hawick programme, Grant Kennedy of Glasgow (105m) emerged a clear winner.
Competing from a mark of 77m, 79-year-old Matt McMahon of Penton won the 200m handicap.
Even more remarkable is the fact that the evergreen McMahon gained victory in the final in 20.87 seconds.
Victor of the Hawick Games 110m handicap 12 months ago, Craig Grieve of TLJT tasted sprint victory once more when coming out the victor in the 100m invitation sprint.
Following his recent double triumph at Earlston Games, Chirnside’s Rory Williams (140m) got into the winning frame again when pulling out the stops to win the junior/youths 800m handicap in style.
Defending the title he won a year back, 16-year-old Ryan Elliot of Hawick produced some powerhouse running to take the under-17 100m championship.
Ryan’s younger brother Daniel also shone, giving a five-star show in the youths’ 90mhandicap. Fourteen-year-old Daniel (8.5m) won his heat before sailing to victory in the final.
In-form Phillipa Robertson (31m) chalked up her third win of the term. After having triumphed in her heat in the youths’ 200m handicap, the Hawick High School pupil soared home in the final.
Nine-year-old Jake Houten of Cardrona (26m) gave an excellent account of himself in the junior 200m handicap. Matt Dougal of TLJT (55m) ran a great race from the gun to win the junior/youths 400m handicap in 52.44 seconds.
Brian Marshall of Haddington came out on top in the hill race – a new event on the Hawick Border Games card.