Young track stars shine at Scottish Schools event

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Once again, young Borders athletes have been running and jumping their way into podium positions at national level.

Competing at the Scottish Schools Athletics Championships at Grangemouth Stadium last weekend, stars of the future were displaying their potential.

Tweedbank-based Borders Jumps Group, coached by Linda Nicholson, came away with three golds, three silvers and a bronze.

Selkirk’s Henry Clarkson pulled out another PB in the boys’ age 14–15 triple jump (increase of 50cm) to win with 11.95m. This was added to his bronze in the long jump the previous day with 5.30m, and a fifth place in the sprint hurdles.

Berwickshire’s Freddie Rooke, in the same age group, won the long jump on his last jump with a 5.61m. He also scooped the silver in the 100m with 11.99.

Gala’s Bryony Patterson, also in the group, reached the semi-final of the 12–13 year old 200m girls.

Selkirk Track and Field, coached by Stephen Nisbet and his assistant Zaheed Aziz, also tasted success.

Talented teenager Zaynah Aziz picked up a bronze medal in the 1,500m, John McLean finished fourth in the 4,000m and Rowan Marr finished fifth in the 800m, all with PBs. This crop of young runners are without doubt a credit to themselves, their coaches and the town. Full Scottish Schools results are on the SSAA website.

Elsewhere, Strathmore Highland Games was the setting for the long-awaited return to the track of Selkirk’s Iain Douglas after a lengthy lay-off with knee surgery.

Running from one of the back marks, Iain came through the mainly classy central belt field of runners to win the 200m handicap race in what can only be described as very rugged conditions.

Veteran Craig Douglas finished fourth in the 90m handicap. After a good win in his heat to reach the final, a stumble 15m from the line in the final certainly cost him a closer place.

Moorfoot runner Lucas Cheskin travelled to Sedbergh in Cumbria on Saturday for the FRA Junior Uphill Championships and ran away with the U-18 title over the 3.8km/395m course which took in the summits of Winder and Arant Haw.

The next day clubmate Scout Adkin answered an unexpected call to represent the Scotland senior team in the Home International 10km Trail race, as part of the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge in Keswick, and after a hard week’s training, ran well for sixth place and second of the four-strong Scottish team.