Not such a happy New Year at Musselburgh for Borders track stars

Prof Blaikie Hawick Royal Albert Manager Tom
Prof Blaikie Hawick Royal Albert Manager Tom

THERE was disappointment all round for Borders athletes seeking glory at the 142nd staging of the New Year Sprint at Musselburgh on Saturday.

Following Friday’s heats, Jed-Forest AC flyer Seb Harrison (7.75m) was favourite to take the honours in the main event after storming to victory in the joint second fastest heat time of 12.20 seconds.

However, after being beaten in the cross ties by Martyn Paterson of Clackmannan (6.5m), the 17-year-old Hawick Games sprint victor slipped to second in the betting at 2/1 with Paterson, who had celebrated his 18th birthday the previous day, being the bookies favourite at 4/5.

In the final, Harrison was joined by fellow Borderer Craig Grieve (TLJT), running off 7.75m, and as the gun sounded all the runners rose as one with no advantage being gained.

Fiona Cleat of Edinburgh AC (22m) held her place at the front until halfway through, when Paterson began to pull away from the pack of five runners who started on similar marks. Running blind in the inside lane, Harrison also made a charge, but Paterson managed to reach the line first to win in 11.91 seconds.

Cleat held on to second place in 11.99 with Harrison third in 12.01. Grieve finished in sixth in 12.33.

After congratulating a rather tearful winning coach Eric Simpson, Harrison’s mentor Chico Woods told TheSouthern: “I would love to be standing there crying like him, but it just wasn’t to be this time.

“Seb put 100 per cent into that and did everything that was asked of him.”

Other locals to make the finals of their respective events were:

90m Vets: 4, Craig Douglas (Selkirk) 25m; 5, Ian Heard (TLJT) 19m.

90m Open: 3, Craig Gillan (TLJT) 7.5m.

60m Open: 3, Emily Douglas (Jed-Forest AC) 7.75m.

90m Youths: 7, Ryan Laidlaw (Innerleithen) 16.5m; 8, Ryan Elliot (Hawick) 4.5m.

60m Youths (age 10-13): 3, Philippa Robertson (Hawick) 16.5m; 5, Ryan Houten (Cardrona) 10.25m; 7, Daniel Elliot (Hawick) 12.25m; 8, Lauren Ross-Herdman (Cardrona) 12m.

60m Youths (age 13-16): 5, Bethan Douglas (Hawick) 9.75m; 6, Sam Bandeen (Hawick) 2.75m; James Park (TLJT) 3.75m.