Runner Emily Dagg has been knocking on the door of victory on the open athletic scene since January.
Third in the New Year 110 metres handicap at Musselburgh racecourse, a beaten finalist in the Earlston 90 metres sprint handicap and placed second in the Hawick Games 110 metres handicap, the teenager has come agonisingly close to entering the winning frame.
At Selkirk Games on Saturday, however, she burst the door off its hinges through some top-notch running which saw her win not just once, but twice.
Coached by Bruce Scott and representing TLJT, Emily, from the outskirts of Ancrum, began her glory day on a sun-kissed Philphaugh track by triumphing in the opening event of a full Selkirk card.
Going from a mark of 19 metres, she soared to victory in the ladies’ 110 metres handicap in 11.45 seconds. Philippa Robertson of Hawick (20.5m) and Samantha Turnbull of Peebles (22m) gained the other places.
More was to come from college student Emily, though, as she emerged victorious in the 110 metres handicap.
Following impressive heat and cross tie wins in 11.51 seconds and 11.45 seconds, she found herself in the final along with TLJT trio Cameron Caldwell (7m), Greg Turnbull (5.5m) and Tommy Finkle (16m) as well as Hawick’s Glyn Desport (6.5m) and Ronan McKean (9.5m).
In what turned out to be a thrilling last run, which conjured up a photo finish, Emily shone again with an excellent run to break the tape in a very fast time of 11.34 seconds.
Desport and McKean finished in second and third.
Emily said: “It’s great to have won a final at last, as I have been in four and not managed to win one until today. It was really close in the final and I wasn’t sure if I had won it or not. I felt more relaxed, and this helped my running. I have my coach Bruce Scott to thank for my win – he has helped me a lot.”
Kobe Stevens of Moorcroft AC (30m) produced a grand stand finish to gain the honours in the 800m handicap.
Winner of the same event a year ago, back marker Stevens (30m) had a lot to do on the last lap as he was well behind front runner Paul Bellingham, of Cramlington (155m).
Nineteen-year-old Stevens, however, got on with the job in hand and in the home straight closed the gap with a great run to snatch a dramatic victory on the tape in 1min 55.65sec.
Bellingham emerged the closest of seconds, while Innerleithen’s Dean Whiteford (60m) was third.
Moorfoot AC also produced the victor in the youths’ 800 metres handicap in Craig Angus (55m), who produced the goods to the full to win in 2:02.43.
Retained fireman Colin Welsh of Kelso burned up the track in the 1600 metres handicap. From the Adie Gray stable, back marker Welsh (55m) whittled his way through the field from the gun to emerge a convincing winner in 4:33.56.
Hawick twosome Jamie Waugh (225m) and Scott Watson (132.5m) grabbed the other place spots.
Caris Brus (85m) made it a double delight for lady senior members of TLJT with a sizzling run in the red hot conditions to take the 400 metres handicap in fine style, in a winning time of 49.59sec.
Following a heat win in 21.94sec, Calum McWilliam of East Kilbride (11m) went on to win the final of the 200 metres handicap from Samantha Turnbull of Peebles (40m) and David Lauder of Hawick (28m) in 21.70.
A member of John Motion’s Leithenburn school, in-form Luke Rathie (13m) showed up extremely well in taking the bragging rights in the junior 200 metres handicap.
Recently crowned Border youths’ 100 metres champion Douglas Young of Kelso (4m) also caught the eye in powering to victory in the youths’ 200 metres handicap.
Samantha Dagg of TLJT (18m) buzzed to a splendid win the junior 90 metres handicap while Chirnside’s Josh Abbott (6m), a young runner of great potential, came out on top in the youths’ 90 metres handicap.