HE MAY have come from the Kingdom of Fife, but Ewan Dyer ruled supreme in the Borders last Saturday.
For the Pitreavie teenager was crowned king of the track when giving a royal show to win the 110m handicap crown at Morebattle Games.
Competing from a mark of 8m, Dyer looked the part in his opening run when cruising to a heat victory in 11.69 seconds.
Indeed, it was so convincing, it looked as though he could go all the way. And that’s the way it turned out.
Coached by Eric Simpson, the 18-year-old flying Fifer then soared home in his cross-tie in 11.50 seconds.
Come the final, when facing Hawick trio, Jack Wilson (15m), Dylan Ali (8.5m) and Leigh Marshall (5.5m), plus Geoff Keen of Selkirk (13m) and Kelso’s John Fleming (8.5m), Dyer simply destroyed the field to emerge a clear victor in 11.35 seconds, Fleming taking second and Keen third.
Set to become a student at Heriot-Watt University, Dyer said of his triumph: “I am more of a 400m runner than a sprinter, but when I arrived today and saw my mark on the programme I thought I might be in with a chance of doing something. I felt good when winning my heat and just went for it after that.”
Selkirk’s Craig Bruce (52m) recorded his first win as a senior, taking pride of place in the one-lap handicap.
Sixteen-year-old Bruce recorded the fastest time of the heats, surging through the tape in 29.38 seconds.
From the Hawick-based Ross Weir running school, Bruce was far from finished, though, and in the final pulled out the stops again to gain the honours in 29.69 seconds. The other placings went the way of Lee Goodfellow of TLJT (27m) and Cameron Grieve of Jed AC (25m).
Reflecting on his winning show, Bruce commented, “I was pleased with the way I ran in my heat, but I didn’t get a good start in the final. However, I managed to finish well and it’s just great to have won.”
Grant Kennedy of Glasgow (120m) emerged a clear winner of the 800m handicap when coming in ahead of Colin Welsh of Kelso (20m) and Ben Smith of Edinburgh (60m) in 1 minute, 51.25 seconds.
Self-trained Iain Little of Langholm (135m) produced the goods to the full to take the 1,600m handicap. After taking the lead from Selkirk’s Alistair Laurie (380m) on the last lap, Little strode on to hit the finishing line in 4 minutes, 11.56 seconds. Laurie finished second and Darrell Hastie of Kelso (50m) third.
Little told TheSouthern: “I haven’t rUn that much this season due to having other commitments – I’m involved with horses – but I have done quite well when turning out at the games.
“I wasn’t sure how I would do this afternoon and had no plan apart from keeping an eye on the front runners and going after them, and thankfully I managed to catch them.”
Derek Scott of Hawick (395m) who travels twice a week to train with the Addie Gray School in Kelso, was a comfortable victor of the 3,200m handicap. Scott recorded a winning time of 9 minutes, 23.50 seconds.
The other places went the way of John Thomson of Coaltown (265m) and Ryan Milligan of Langholm (300m).
Running from scratch, Hugh Robinson of TLJT gave a tip-top show to win the junior 90m handicap. A young runner of great potential, Robinson, who won both the junior 90m and 200m events at Oxton Games, stormed from the back mark position in the final to do the business in 11.69 seconds. Rory Williams of Chirnside (10.5m) and Ronan McKean of Hawick (7.5m) came in second and third respectively.
In the youths’ 90m handicap, Bethany Wardhaugh of Gala Harriers gave an excellent account of herself. After clocking up a very fast winning time of 10.37 seconds in her heat, Wardhaugh shone again in the final. Trained by Neil Renton, the Melrose schoolgirl gained victory in a quicker time of 10.31 seconds.
Grant Goodfellow of TLJT (12.5m) got the second spot, while Hawick’s Corey Wilson (2m) was placed third.
The junior and youths’ one-lap handicaps produced some exciting racing.
Following an impressive heat win, 10-year-old Chirnside youngster Rory Williams (29m) blitzed to victory in the final in 37.32 seconds. Matt Dougal of TLJT (12m) was second and Hawick’s Eilidh Murray (60m) third.
In-form Logan Gordon-Woolley of Hawick, who has shown up extremely well during the season, starred once more by coming out on top in the youths’ one-lap handicap.
From the Billy Edgar stable, Woolley (25m) was beaten in his heat by training companion Matthew Bell (38m) but qualified for a place in the final by coming in second. On hitting the home straight Woolley seemed to have a great deal to do to overhaul the runners in front of him. Woolley however did this with a barn-storming finish to win ahead of Grant Goodfellow of TLJT (36m) and Corey Wilson of Hawick (12m) in 33.68 seconds.
Representing Gala Harriers, Chirnside’s Jamie Kinghorn (170m) gave a splendid account of himself to win the youths’ 800m handicap. Coached by Henry Gray, Kinghorn won well in 2 minutes, 6.05 seconds.
Niamh Shaw of Moorfoot (140m) and Nathan Cox of Gala Harriers (scratch) tok the other spots.
Over the years, Kelso distance runner Wayne McIntosh has chalked up many a win on the games circuit.
This season, however, it has been Wayne’s son Jason who has been getting into the winning frame by pulling off a string of victories.
And on the Tofts Track, Jason (95m) did it all again when triumphing in the youth’s 1,600m handicap.
The Addie Gray-trained young Tweedsider gained the honours from Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot (95m) and Nathan Cox of Gala Harriers (scratch) in 4 minutes, 50.44 seconds.