HE MAY have been a schoolboy competing among seniors, but Jedburgh youngster Scott Richardson did not need to be taught anything at a rain-swept Peebles Beltane sports on Sunday.
The 16-year-old got everything right, emerging top of the class in the main event on the Peebles card – the 110 metres handicap.
Coached by Brian “Chico” Woods, Jedburgh Grammar School pupil Richardson first made a massive impact in his heat, romping home in 11.70 seconds, the fastest of the opening runs.
The Jed Thistle centre, however, was to go on to hit greater heights. Competing from a mark of 8.5 metres on the Kerfield Park track, which was a substitute venue for waterlogged Whitestone Park, Richardson powered to a cross-tie victory in 11.50 seconds, earning him a final spot along with Hawick’s Ryan Trimby (12.5m) and Dylan Ali (13m), plus Edinburgh pair Graeme Armstrong (18m) and Sean Harris (6m) and John Fleming of Kelso (9m).
Going by the times it was Richardson’s final and it sure was, for the youngster made it four senior sprint wins for Jed in a row in the Border Games circuit with an emphatic victory in 11.50 seconds. Armstrong took second place and Fleming third.
Richardson told TheSouthern: “I ran at Earlston Games, but not at Hawick or Selkirk due to injury, and I wasn’t sure how I would run today. Everything ended up going just right for me though.
“I didn’t think I had so much running in me and I surprised myself on how well I performed. It’s been great for me to win a sprint like this and it’s also my first win as a senior.”
Retained fireman Colin Welsh of Kelso set the Kerfield Park track alight when blazing to victory in the 1600 metres handicap. Running from a back mark position of 15 metres, Welsh gave a class show and emerged a convincing victor. Coached by Adie Gray for more than 20 years, Welsh strode out from the gun and immediately begun to make his way through the field. When the bell sounded for the last lap, the Tweedside athlete was a place behind race leader Alistair Laurie of Selkirk (340m).
Welsh moved into the front spot and surged on to win well in a time of 4 minutes 38.60 seconds. The other placings went to Laurie and Dean Whiteford of Innerleithen (205m).
Following his triumph Welsh commented: “Conditions were bad but considering the amount of rain we have had they were a lot better than I expected.
“I don’t usually run well on a heavy track but I managed to do OK. Last year I was second in the mile at Peebles and I was determined to try and win it this time, so I am very pleased to have done this.”
Victory in the one-lap handicap went to Martyn Paterson of Clackmannan (12m). A former winner of the New Year sprint handicap, Paterson eased to a heat win in 31.75 seconds. In the final Graeme Scott of TLJT (24m) headed the field coming off the last bend and was running well. Hitting full throttle, Paterson came soaring in from the back and sailed to victory ahead of Scott and Selkirk’s Geoff Keen (28m) in a time of 32.86 seconds.
In the 800 metres handicap Michael Burns of Dunfermline (30m) made his trip over the Forth Road Bridge to Peebles more than worthwhile. Looking the part from start to finish, the man from Fife won well in 2 minutes 01.19 seconds from Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (80m) and Craig Robertson of Pitreavie (5m).
Veteran runner John Thomson of Coaltown (255m) took pride of place in the 3,200 metres handicap. Running a well judged race, Thomson took the lead from Hawick’s Derek Scott (370m) on the last lap. Thomson now had victory within his sights and strode on to hit the tape in 10 minutes 58.26 seconds. Scott gained second place and Dean Whiteford of Innerleithen (205m) came in third.
The Goodfellow family of Earlston have certainly been good fellows on the open athletic and Border Games scenes. Consisting of brothers, Ryan, Lee, Grant and Gary and sister Isla, the Goodfellow brigade have been a shining light. In the Peebles gloom 11-year-old Gary (10.5m) shone, emerging victorious in the junior 90 metres handicap. From the TLJT club, Gary buzzed to a heat win in 12.10 seconds and produced the goods again in the final, doing the business in 11.53 seconds. Leithenburn pair Bryony Patterson (7.5m) and Sam Archibald (13.5m) came second and third.
Gary was speechless after his win as he was too busy smiling, but TLJT coach Bruce Scott said: “That was Gary’s first win and he is absolutely thrilled. He ran very well and it was nice to see him win. Like his brothers and sister, Gary is a good trainer and puts a lot into his running.”
The TLJT club also produced the winner of the youths’ 90 metres handicap: John Feeney (14.5m). Producing some excellent running, Feeney, 14, won the final from Eoin Lowther of Jed AC (13m) and Logan Woolley of Hawick (14m) in 9.97 seconds.
Cheered on by the crowd, West Linton runner Mairi Wallace of the Moorfoot Club (320m) pulled out the stops to take the youths’ 1600 metres handicap. Showing great grit and determination in the more than trying conditions, Wallace, 11, held off challenges from the back down the home straight to win in 4 minutes 48 seconds from Josh Abbot of Kelso (250m) and Nathan Cox of Berwick (50m).
After her win, Wallace said: “I started running at the games last year and I enjoy this. This is the first time I have won a race though and I am very pleased”.
Jack Amos of Jed AC (42m) showed a lot of potential in winning the junior one-lap handicap in style. The young flyer stormed home in the final ahead of Josh Abbot of Kelso (17m) and
Sam Archibald of Leithenburn (38m) in 38.69 seconds.
In the youth’s one-lap handicap Joe Agnew of TLJT (46m) excelled, winning a keenly-contested final in 32.19 seconds. Hawick twosome Logan Wooley (40m) and Matthew Bell (50m) took the other spots.