Magnificent, brilliant, superb, splendid ... pick any superlative you like and it will possibly underestimate the performance of Berwick youngster Cameron Tindle at Earlston Games on Saturday.
Tindle hit the high spots with a heavenly show to win the main event on a full Earlston card – the 90m handicap.
And what’s more, the 16-year-old did it from the scratch mark. And that’s a sign of sheer class.
Tindle showed he had something very special to offer in his opening run when blitzing home in 9.78 seconds.
From here on, the TLJT runner remained in the fast lane. Winner of the New Year Sprint handicap at Musselburgh in January, Tindle duly cruised to victory in 9.53 seconds in the cross-tie outing, earning him a final spot along with Dylan Ali of Hawick Sprint Club (3m), Jedburgh’s Greg Turnbull (3m), Craig Bruce of Selkirk (8m), North-east of England hope Connor Hedley of Ellington (7.5m) and Craig Smith of TLJT (7.5m).
Come that showdown, Tindle excelled yet again when storming through the tape in 9.55 seconds, Ali emerging second and Hedley third.
Following his exhilarating win, Tindle, who is coached by Henry Gray and Bruce Scott, told The Southern: “I am really thrilled to have won the Earlston Games sprint.
“In the final, I knew Dylan Ali was the man I had to hunt down from the start and I wanted to do this as soon as possible. I didn’t get off to a good start, but I managed to recover and catch him, and go on to win.”
He added: “I enjoy running on the grass tracks at the Borders Games and I will be turning out at other meetings during the season.”
Veteran runner John Thomson, from Coaltown in the heart of Fife, showed the field a clean pair of heels in the 1,600m handicap.
Competing from a mark of 160m, 57-year-old Thomson, a regular on the Border Games circuit over the years, ran an excellent race to win in 4 minutes, 34.01 seconds.
The other placings went the way of Hawick pair Jordan Taylor (130m) and Bruce Hughes (100m).
Reflecting on his win, Thomson said: “I won my first race in the Borders at Selkirk Games, way back in 1989. Since then I have managed to win a few more races in the region, but it’s the first time I have won at Earlston.
“It was hard going, but I managed to get there.”
A year ago, Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot AC emerged victorious in the Earlston Games 800m handicap.
And 12 months on, Stevens repeated the act on the Haugh track.
Running well from start to finish, Stevens (50m) recorded a winning time of 1.56.31.
The 200m handicap produced some exciting running with the final in particular turning out to be a real thriller.
In a hotly-contested finish, Hawick’s Kyle Potts (25m) pipped Leon Ali of Hawick Sprint Club (18m) on the post.
Ali emerged the closest of seconds.
Strong-running Glyn Desport of Hawick (28m) soared to a clear-cut win in the 400m handicap.
A member of the Edinburgh-based Graeme Armstrong school, Desport – who returned to the games scene last season after being out of athletics for an eight-year spell – really looked the part when clocking up a time of 50.19 seconds.
Desport’s coach, Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (11m), also got into the winning frame by taking the honours in the veterans’ 90m handicap final in 10.12 seconds.
Connor Gillan of Kelso (1m) triumphed in the novice sprint 90m handicap in 10.27 seconds.
The novice sprint, sponsored by Bob Inglis, is a new event on the games calendar.
Further races under the same title will be run at Hawick, Selkirk, City of Edinburgh and Jedburgh Games.
The youths’ events produced some excellent running, and produced three double wins.
Twelve-year-old Emma Brus of TLJT hit top form, winning the youths’ 90m and 200m B handicaps – an excellent achievement for the youngster, who showed flair and determination to the full in both of her outings.
Cameron Caldwell, also of TLJT, nailed his colours to the mast by coming out on top in the youths’ 90m and 200m A handicaps.
Fifteen-year-old Caldwell showed he was a runner of great potential in chalking up his double.
Another youngster to hit the glory trail twice was Teviotdale Harriers’ Fraser Clyne.
Thirteen-year-old Clyne gained his first success in the youths’ 800m handicap, following a thrilling duel with Kelso’s Josh Abbot and Sarah Davenport of TLJT, who came in second and third respectively.
Clyne followed this up with victory in the youths’ 1600m handicap.