Athletics: Kobe goes the distance at Meadowmill

Kobe Stevens
Kobe Stevens

While Borders sprinters still had their eyes on the big prize Peebles distance runner Kobe Stevens was celebrating a milestone of his own last week.

The Moorfoot runner celebrated his 18th birthday with a rewarding win in the 1600m handicap at the New Year Sprint meeting held on the Meadowmill track near Prestonpans on December 30.

The switch to the polymeric surface probably suited Kobe rather than the rough soft conditions which would have prevailed at the traditional venue of Musselburgh Racecourse, but brutal conditions had to be overcome as well as the opposition.

Running off a handicap mark of 150m Stevens knew he had a chance of doing well so opted to skip the 800m given there was only one hour between the races. Third at the bell he moved into the lead and gradually opened a gap which he managed to hold on to into the near gale-force wind up the home straight for a winning margin of over 10m from circuit regulars Willie Bates (195m) and Owen Miller (120m).

His winning time of 4.18.44 converts to 4.27 for 1500m which is 11 seconds off his personal best, so an excellent effort given the tough conditions and the time of year with limited speedwork in the bank.

Also triumphing on the tartan track was Hawick’s David Rae (11.5m) who was declared the winner of the Vets 90 metres in a time of 10.08 following a photo finish with Tullibody athlete Cameron Smith (10.5m) with Bob Douglas (23.5m) from Balerno in third.

Ancrum’s Emily Dagg (19.5m) was also beaten in a photo finish in the Ladies 90m final by Bethan Malley (21m) of Whitemoss AC and finished a close second in the final of the 90m Open to Kieran Rielly, who came second in the New Year Sprint event at Musselburgh Racecourse two days later.