In photos: Hawick's Thomas MacAskill a winner at double at Peebles Border Games
Hawick’s Thomas MacAskill was not only the region’s sole outright senior winner at Peebles Border Games on Sunday but also victorious at the double, finishing first over both 1,600m and 3,200m.
That brace of wins took the 18-year-old’s tally for the first five weeks of this year’s Border and Highland games circuits to six, three on each, with half of that total coming last weekend.
Prior to Sunday, the middle-distance athlete’s only Border Games win was over 1,800m at Selkirk earlier this month, but he’s also notched up victories further afield at Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute at the start of the month, Strathmore in Angus the weekend after and over 3,000m at Ceres in Fife on Saturday to put himself on course for a hat-trick in the space of two days.
The Borders College sports student’s handicap mark at Peebles was pulled back to 25m in the 1,600m and 50m in the 3,200m open but that didn’t stop him making his way through the field to record times of four minutes and 45.53 seconds and 10:13.47 respectively.
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“It’s been an unbelievable start to this year’s campaign, and I’m looking to gather more momentum and accelerate my current for more victories,” said MacAskill, coached by Derek Clyne.
“I am feeling absolutely amazing with my running just now, and my confidence is growing week upon week.
“It took a lot out of me this weekend to race three times and win on all three occasions. However, I knew it was going to be tough to pull it off, but I also knew it was possible, so I just had to execute my race plan and go about business as usual.”
McAskill is now lining up another double shift this coming weekend and hoping to keep up his current streak of form at Luss Highland Gathering in Argyll and Bute on Saturday and Kelso Border Games at Poynder Park the day after.
The region’s only other senior winner at Peebles on Sunday was Selkirk’s Craig Bruce, from a mark of 20m, in the one-lap 266m race but he had to share honours with Glasgow’s Gkontuin Imante, handicapped at 13m, as both crossed the line in 30.87, with West Dunbartonshire’s David Allan, from 27m, third.
All the day’s runners-up were Borderers, however – Tweed Leader Jed Track’s Iskan Barskanmay in the 110m open, won by Edinburgh’s Tom Bradley in 11.78; TLJT’s Gavin Taitt in the 800m open, won by Allan in 2:01.30 and with TLJT’s Rory McDonald third; Hawick’s Robbie Welsh over 1,600m, with Gala Harrier Julia Johnstone third; and Innerleithen’s Dean Whiteford over 3,200m, with Welsh third.
Kelso’s Archie Scott, Hawick’s Connor McLeod and Jedburgh’s Jess Knox were among the winners in Sunday’s youth races.
Scott won over 1,600m in 5:09.13 from a mark of 300m, with Hawick’s Irvine Welsh second and Peebles’ Jack Roly third.
McLeod won over 266m, from a mark of 17m, in 33.16, with TLJT’s Tess Renwick second and Hawick’s Oliver McCraw third.
Knox won over 90m, from a mark of 18m, in 10.79, with TLJT’s Ava Lees second and Hawick’s Carra McLeod third.
The day’s other youth race was a Peebleshire-confined 90m won by Rory Smith, of Peebles, in 11.61 from a mark of 8m, with Innerleithen’s Stuart Whiteford second and TLJT’s Aaron Glendinning third.