EARLSTON’S Bruce Scott is more than 50 years of age.
A veteran, a seasoned campaigner, an athlete who should perhaps be in the twilight of his days on the track. Years, however, do not seem to matter to the former Gala Fairydean footballer. For at Kelso Games on Saturday, Scott, 52, put the time barrier behind him in winning the 100 metres handicap on the Poynder Park track. And, what’s more, it was his fourth win of the season.
Running for the TLJT club, Scott looked the part when surging to heat victory in 10.74 seconds from a mark of 18m. This triumph earned him a final outing with David Hush (20.5m) and David Rae both Hawick (9m) Tommy Finkle of TLJT (12m), Geoff Keen of Selkirk (12m), Euan Dyer of Pitreavie (9.5m) and Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (16.5m).
Victor of the Earlston Games veteran sprint, the Selkirk Games (confined to Borders) and the Ceres Games 90 metres handicap, in-form Scott was bidding for his fourth win of the term. Four victories in four weeks on the games circuit takes a lot of doing. However Scott did just that, sailing to a convincing win in 10.89 seconds, the other placings going to Hush and Armstrong.
Talking of his remarkable winning spree, Scott told TheSouthern: “I have been training hard since January and managed to stay free from injuries. This has enabled me to keep my rhythm going and during the last few weeks I have been running well. I thought I could be in with a chance today and I am very happy with the way things have worked out.”
Fresh from his 800 metres handicap success at Peebles Beltane Sports, Kirkcaldy’s Graeme Lister (23m) got into the winning frame again by gaining honours in the 200 metres handicap. After an impressive heat win, the Fife runner did it all again in the final, producing a surging finish. Geoff Keene of Selkirk (22m) finished second and Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (31m) third.
Rory Anderson of Hawick (60m) ran an excellent race to take the 800 metres handicap. Hawick’s Ged Smith (135m) was out in front as the bell sounded for the last lap, with Graham Gibson of Dunfermline (22.5m) and Anderson behind him. Gibson took over and headed the pack down the home straight. Anderson, 19, who was out of action for most of last season as he recovered from glandular fever, moved up a gear and, lengthening his stride, forge ahead to hit the tape.
Kelso’s Colin Welsh (45m) gave a top-notch show to win the 1600 metres. Running from the back, Welsh made his way through the field with some strong powerful running and took the lead in the last lap. It was the Tweedside man’s race from here on all the way, and he won from Stuart Somervail of Jed AC (170m) and Rory Anderson of Hawick. Coached by Adie Gray, Welsh told us: “It’s always great to win but it’s even better when it is your home track and in front of your own crowd.”
Since the season began, the junior/youth racing on the Border Games front has brought about some exciting racing. This meeting was no exception with the final of the junior 100 metres handicap in particular being a real thriller as it ended in a dead heat. Josh Dougall of TLJT (10.5m), Calum Renwick of Hawick (10.5m), who had both shown up well winning their heats, shared the honours. Barrie McLean of Hawick (13m) came third.
Stylish Darcy Graham of Hawick (14m) won the youths’ 100 metres handicap. From the Billy Edgar stable, Graham, 14, buzzed to a heat win in 11.87 seconds. Come the final, he romped home in an improved time. Ben Robbins of Edinburgh (2.5m) came second and Olivia Hood of Leithenburn (17m) third.
Graham said: “I felt good after I had won my heat but didn’t think I would win the final.”
The recently formed Leithenburn group, who have a crop of promising up-and-coming youngsters in their ranks, chalked up an excellent double. Ten-year-old Fergus Rule (14m) was first to taste success, winning the junior 200 metres. Coached by John Motion and Darrin Dougal, two men who hit the winning trail themselves several times in the past, Rule booked himself a spot in the final through a 28.57 heat win. Victor of the Peebles Beltane Sports one-lap handicap the previous week, Rule then reigned supreme in his last run. Grant Goodfellow of TLJT (16m) was second and Michael Dennis of Edinburgh (8m) third.
Making his debut on the games track, Craig Angus also put victory Leithenburn’s way by emerging a popular victor of the youths’ 1600 metres handicap. Angus (360m) was out in front coming down the home straight. Challenges were coming in from the back and the youngster was having his lead closed but he produced a splendid sprinting finish and surged over the winning line in front of Marshall Smith of Gala Harriers (380m) and Jacob Adkin of Moorfoot (90m). Angus, who turned nine the previous week, said: “I have been waiting for my birthday so that I would be able to run at the games as I have been wanting to do this for ages. I really enjoyed my race and enjoy training as well. Darrin and John are the two best coaches in the world.”
There was a massive turnout for the youths’ 800 metres handicap. Topping the list at the end was Euan Hood of Moorfoot (165m). Josh Abbot of Kelso (180m) was in the lead at the bell with Rian Dougal of Leithenburn (195m) close on his tail. Dougal went in front but in the closing stages of the race was overtaken by Hood. Dougal was second and Poppy Marples of Moorfoot (150m) third.
Strong-running Ben Robbins of Edinburgh (5m) gave a capital show to win the final of the youths’ 200 metres handicap from Corey Wilson of Hawick (13m) and Euan Pettigrew of Kelso (7m).
Euan Pettigrew (scratch) clocked up a winning time in the youths’ 100 metres handicap (confined to Kelso). Josh Abbot (16m) and Liam Herdmen (14m) were second and third respectively.
100 metre handicap: 1, B. Scott TLJT (18m); 2, D. Hush Hawick (20.5); 3, G. Armstrong Edinburgh (16.5m). 10.89 seconds.
200 metres handicap: 1, G. Lister Kirkcaldy (23m); 2, G. Keen Selkirk (22m); 3, G. Armstrong Edinburgh (31m). 21.12 seconds.
800 metres handicap: 1, R. Anderson Hawick (60m); 2, G. Gibson Dunfermline (22.5m); 3, A. Thomson Jed AC (72.5m). 1 min 58.63 seconds.
1600 metres handicap: 1, C. Welsh Kelso (45m); 2, S. Somervail Jed AC (170m); 3, R. Anderson Hawick (123m). 4 mins 27.42 seconds.
Junior 100 metres handicap: 1 equal, C. Renwick Hawick (10.5m), J. Dougall TLJT (10.5m); 3, B. Mclean Hawick (13m). 13.28 seconds.
Youths 100 metres handicap: 1, D. Graham Hawick (14m); 2, B. Robbins Edinburgh (2.5m); 3, O. Hood Leithenburn (17m). 11.42 seconds.
Junior 200 metres handicap: 1, F. Rule Leithenburn (14m); 2, G. Goodfellow TLJT (16m); 3, M. Dennis Edinburgh (8m). 28.13 seconds.
Youths’ 200 metres handicap: 1, B. Robbins Edinburgh (5m); 2, C. Wilson Hawick (13m); 3, E. Pettigrew Kelso (7m). 23.76 seconds.
Youths 800 metres handicap: 1, E. Hood Moorfoot (165m); 2, R. Dougal Leithenburn (195m); 3, P. Marples Moorfoot (150m). 2 mins 05.04 seconds.
Youths 1600 metres handicap: 1, C. Angus Leithenburn (360m); 2, M. Smith Gala Harriers (380m); 3, J. Adkin Moorfoot (90m). 4 mins 44.83 seconds.
Youths 100 metres handicap (confined to Kelso): 1, E. Pettigrew (scratch); 2, J. Abbot (16m); 3, L. Herdmen (14m). 12.48 seconds.