International success for Peebles’ sporty spouses

Henry Clarkson and Freddie Rooke are just two members of the Borders' Jumps Group to attain international selection.
Henry Clarkson and Freddie Rooke are just two members of the Borders' Jumps Group to attain international selection.

Peebles coaching couple Linda and Gregor Nicholson have plenty to be happy about this summer as a number of their charges have reached international acclaim.

At the recent Scottish Schools’ Athletics Championships three 15-year-olds, all from Linda’s Borders-based jumps group, dominated the Under-17 boys’ triple jump, securing places in the top six of their event.

Berwickshire schoolboy Freddie Rooke produced a lifetime best of 12.87m to win the championships on his last jump of the competition and take him to the top of the Under-17 Scottish rankings, with Henry Clarkson from Selkirk collecting silver with a personal best jump of 12.33, taking him to second in the rankings in Scotland.

And, in his first season with the group, West Linton’s Jack Gray picked up sixth place, equalling his best ever jump of 11.29m.

The group also boasts Faye Nicholson, long jump silver medallist in last month’s England Under-23 championships, and Bryony Patterson, Scottish Schools’ finalist in both long jump and 100m. And coach Nicholson was delighted when Rooke and Clarkson were both named in the Scottish Schools team for this weekend’s schools’ international in Cardiff.

She told The Southern: “I am thrilled with how the boys performed at Hampden and, despite still having another year in this age group, they are already dominating the event in Scotland.

“They will gain a lot of experience in their first international in this very demanding event.”

Not to be outdone by his sporty spouse, Gregor Nicholson, Borders Athlete Support manager and Moorfoot junior coach has been witnessing the success of one of his protégés slightly further afield.

Donning the GB vest for the first time, 18-year-old Jacob Adkin, from Peebles, was undaunted in a 45-strong field of the best hill runners from the continent, taking part in Sunday’s European Mountain Running Championships in Gap, France. The Moorfoot man stormed home for an excellent eighth place in the Junior Men’s Under-20 race, just one second behind GB team-mate Andrew Lawler.

Adkin, who has another year in this age-group, passed the halfway mark of the two-lap up and down 8km course in 15th place and had a strong second half, picking off runners one at a time on the tricky narrow mountain paths of the ascent.

Only the top four finishers ran the second lap faster and Adkin came home in 39 minutes and 50 seconds.