For the past two years, Hawick’s Daniel Elliot has been in the wilderness on the open athletic scene because of injury.
Fast forward to the present and Elliot is not only back on track but he has also found the winning trail en route.
This was for all to see at Langholm Games last Friday, when the teenager followed up his triumph in the Earlston Games 90 metres handicap in late May by emerging victorious over the same distance on the ‘Muckle Toons’ Castleholm track.
Coached by Davie Grieve and representing the Hawick Riverside Peds school, 19-year-old Elliot (8.5m) won his heat in convincing style in 9.73 seconds.
This was followed by an excellent cross tie win, which earned him a final outing against Connor Gillan of Kelso (7m), Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (16m) and fellow Hawick sprinters David Lauder (12.5m), Glyn Desport (5m) and Corey Wilson (10m).
In a thrilling final, which produced a photo finish, Elliot did it all again when storming home in 9.62 seconds.
Wilson and Desport gained the second and third spots.
Reflecting on his winning show, which earned him a purse of £1550, Heriot-Watt University student Elliot said: “This was only my second run since winning at Earlston, as I have had three holidays.
“Due to this, I haven’t been able to train a lot and didn’t really think I would do well. Just getting into the final was a bonus for me and it just brilliant to have won it. It’s a lot different from the past two seasons, which I missed through injury.”
Scottish amateur internationalist Allan Hamilton, of Edinburgh, gained title honours by giving a top show to take the Border Athletic 90 metres championship.
In an event in which all runners go from scratch, Hamilton breezed home in 9.75 seconds.
The other placings went to Greg Kelly of East Kilbride and Greg Turnbull of TLJT.
Wallace McGown of Sauchie (122.5m) strode to victory in the 800 metres handicap.
Winner of the Oxton Games half mile the previous week, McGown took the lead from Alan Inglis of Hawick (155m) on the last lap.
Back marker Colin Welsh of Kelso (30m) gave chase but was unable to catch McGown, who went on to hit the finishing line in 1 minute 56.90 seconds. Welsh ended up in second and Inglis third.
In the 1600 metres handicap, Fraser Gorvett of TLJT (130m) gave a splendid account of himself.
Running well from the gun, Gorvett began to stride out in a quest to overhaul the front runners ahead of him and he duly achieved this and went on to take the honours ahead of Hawick twosome Alan Inglis (305m) and Bruce Hughes (140m)through a fine run.
Following a heat win in 22.95 seconds, Kevin Turner of Edinburgh (41m) did the business again in the final of the 200 metres handicap when winning from Rianna Sterricks of Leithenburn (41m) and Drew Bryson of Hawick (46m) in 24.12 seconds.
Lady runner Caris Brus of TLJT (78m) emerged the victor of the 400 metres handicap.
She ran well from start to finish to hit the tape in 50.97 seconds.
Competing from a mark of 18 metres, the promising Rianna Sterricks of Leithenburn, who has been showing up well throughout the season, buzzed to a win in the ladies’ 90 metres handicap in 9.70 seconds.
Megan Busby-Bell of Carlisle (16m) was placed second with Hawick’s Phillipa Robertson (15.5m) in third.
Twelve-year-old Luke Rathie (18m) also put victory the way of John Motion’s Leithenburn camp.
Up and coming prospect Rathie won the final of the junior 200 metres handicap in 24.70 seconds. His sister, Eve Rathie (45m), was third in, a place behind Brogan Beattie of TLJT (33m).
Josh Abbot of Chirnside (5m) produced some explosive running in his heat, as well as the final, to win the youths’ 200 metres handicap.
Hawick youngster Lana Stanger (25m) chalked up her first win of the Games circuit in hitting full throttle to take pride of place in the junior 90 metres handicap.
Kelso flyer Ben Lyall (2m) excelled in his heat and in his outing in the final to emerge a very impressive winner of the youths’ 90 metres handicap.
Coached by Brian ‘Chico’ Woods, Olivia Rodden of Jed AC (180m) hit top form to emerge a clear winner of the youths’ 800 metres handicap.
Pint-sized Irvine Welsh of Hawick (290m) reached great heights in coming out on top in the youths’ 1600 metres handicap.