Border College student Connor Gillon was top of the class at Lauder Games on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Tweedsider indeed reached great heights through a top-notch show in winning the main event on the Lauder programme – the 90 metres handicap.
Coached by the well-respected Adie Gray, Kelso Quins rugby winger Gillon earned himself a place in the final of the event when surging to a heat victory in 9.87 seconds from a mark of seven metres.
In his second season as a senior, having graduated from the youth ranks, where he had considerable success, Gillon was up against Corey Wilson of Hawick (10m), Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (16.5m), Kevin Turner of Dalkeith (18.5m) and TLJT pair Greg Gillan (6.5m) and Cameron Caldwell of TLJT (5.5m) in an intriguing-looking final.
Gillon was the man, though, in giving a five-star show that saw him blaze in ahead of Wilson and Turner in 9.46 seconds.
A thrilled Gillon said of his win: “I won a few races when I was a youth in the Borders as well as the Highland circuit. Since I became a senior, I have only won a novice sprint until winning Lauder.
“I was pleased to get into the final of the Jed Games sprint the other week and this gave me a boost in confidence. I felt good in my heat and then just went for the final.”
Victory in the 800 metres handicap went the way of Hawick’s Derek Scott. Going from a mark of 90 metres, he clocked up a winning time of 1 minute 59.14 seconds.
New face Gavin Bryson, of Edinburgh AC (60m), gained the honours in the 1600 metres handicap in 4 minutes 28.72 seconds. In the 200 metres handicap, Edinburgh veteran Tom Bradley (54m) dug in deep to hold off challenges from the back to cross the finishing line in 22.08 seconds.
Apart from conjuring up some exciting races, the youth events on the Lauder card produced some performances of the highest calibre.
Aidan Bambrick of Jed AC (19m) soared to an excellent win in the final of the youths’ 90 metres ‘A’ race handicap, while Molly Noble of TLJT (28m) buzzed home in the final of the youths’ 90 metres ‘B’ race event.
Following her victory in the youths’ sprint at Langholm Games, Tamzin Scott of TLJT (45m) got into the winning frame again by triumphing in the youths’ 200 metres ‘B’ race handicap.
Sam Archibald of Leithenburn (29m) hit top form to take the youths’ ‘A’ race 200 metres handicap in fine style, while Hawick’s Thomas MacAskill (165m) gave a fine account of himself to win the youths’ 800 metres handicap.