Borders athletes secured a mammoth medal haul at the East of Scotland Athletics Championships held at Meadowbank at the weekend.
In total eight golds, four silver and six bronze medals were taken by athletes from the region, competing in track and field events over two days of competition.
First up at the East District Championships on Friday evening was the triple jump, with Peebles jumper Faye Nicholson, 19, setting the standard by taking the senior women’s triple jump title. Next came 13 year old Henry Clarkson from Selkirk, who produced a lifetime best of 11.45 metres, to take first place in the U16 boys section, and also a move up the UK rankings to sixth place for his age group.
Meanwhile, on the track 13-year-old Bryony Patterson from Innerleithen was also producing the goods, powering down against stiff opposition, but holding her form to snatch the U14 girls’ 200m title.
The second day of competition started well with another superb performance from Patterson. Having begun to show in long jump in the indoor meets, she improved on her previous best by over 40cm, winning her second gold of the championships in the U14 girls’ competition.
Following his success in the triple jump the evening before, Clarkson produced yet another personal best to take silver in the U16 boys long jump event missing the gold by a mere 3cm.
All the above named are coached by Linda Nicholson who’s final medal was added to the tally with another great track run from Patterson, who completed her busy weekend with a bronze in the U14 girls’ 100m.
Gala juniors were very much on or around the podium also. Thomas Otton took a bronze in the 1500m, matched by similar coloured medals for Katie Brown and Rowan Marr in the 800m and 1500m. Katie repeated her bronze-winning ways in the 100m, and, with an unprecedented result in a new discipline for the club, her sister Rosie Browne took a bronze in the javelin with some superb throwing. But the stand out performance from the young Harriers was a gold medal for Isaac Bacon in the 100m.
Also on Saturday 19-year old Sophie Elder from Jedburgh, who competes for Lasswade AC, won the gold medal in the U20 400m.
Moorfoot Runners Zaynah Aziz (U14 1500m) and Eve Huxley (U14 100m) made up the Borders gold rush. Aziz also notched a bronze in the U14 800m while club mate Fiona Grant took silver in the U14.
Tweed Leader Jed Track’s Matt Dougall took silver in the U14 800m while West Linton race ace Stacey Downie, running for Edinburgh AC, took silver in the senior 100m.
Many more Borders athletes acquitted themselves admirably at the event with some finding themselves at the younger end of their age groups and up against some older and more experienced runners.
Borders Sport and Leisure development officer (athletics) told TheSouthern: “The results from last weekend’s competition has shown how hard athletes from the Borders, along with support from their coaches, have worked over the Winter months.
“Performances at the recent Forth Valley League and The East District championships demonstrate that athletics in the region is improving quickly.
“The key partners in the delivery of the athletics, Scottish Athletics, Borders Sport & Leisure and The Scottish Borders Athletics Development Group have been working closely to ensure that development programmes, competition opportunities and facilities are made available to athletes throughout the region. With the refurbishment of the track at Tweedbank about to commence shortly, athletics is very much on the up.”