It’s fun in sun for Chasers

Sprint ace Josh Abbott
Sprint ace Josh Abbott

On a beautiful sunny Saturday, two Junior Chirnside Chasers – 11-year-old Kyle Taylor and 15-year-old Josh Abbott – joined many others competing in the heat at the Selkirk Games.

Once again, Kyle found himself with a tough 800 metre mark but ran well and also raced in the 90m and 200m heats, just missing out on the sprint finals.

Josh’s first race of the afternoon was the 90m heat which he won before going on to victory in the final. It was right down to the wire in a close photo finish, but Josh, after an incredibly long 10 minute wait, was finally announced as winner.

This win resulted in him being pulled back four metres to scratch in his 200m heat, which after his earlier efforts was a tough ask and he didn’t reach the final. However, it was a great afternoon of running for these two young Chirnside Chasers and, finally, a very well-deserved win for Josh.

Emily Dagg has been knocking at the door in chalking up a win on the open athletic scene since January.

Third in the New Year 110 metres handicap at Musselburgh racecourse, a beaten finalist in the Earlston 90m sprint handicap and placed second in the recent Hawick Games 110m handicap, 19-year-old Dagg has come so agonisingly close to getting into the winning frame.

On Saturday, however, the knocking stopped, as Dagg knocked the door off its hinges through some top-notch running which saw her win not just once but twice.

Coached by Bruce Scott and representing TLJT, Dagg, who hails from Woodhead Farm on the outskirts of Ancrum, began her glory day on a sun-kissed Philphaugh track by triumphing in the opening event of a full Selkirk card.

Going from a mark of 19m, she soared to victory in the ladies 110m handicap in 11.45 seconds.

Philippa Robertson, of Hawick, (20.5m) and Samantha Turnbull, of Peebles, (22m) gained the other places.

More was to come from college student Dagg though, as she was to go on to emerge victorious in the 110m handicap.

Following impressive heat and cross tie wins in 11.51sec and 11.45sec, Dagg found herself in the final along with TLJT trio Cameron Caldwell (7m), Greg Turnbull (5.5m) and Tommy Finkle (16m) as well as Hawick’s Glyn Desport (6.5m) and Ronan McKean (9.5m).

In what turned out to be a thrilling last run which conjured up a photo finish, Dagg shone again with an excellent run to break the tape in a very fast time of 11.34sec, with Desport and McKean coming in second and third.

Following her tip-top win, Dagg said: “It’s great to have won a final at last as I have been in four and not managed to win one until today so I am really pleased.

“It was really close in the final and I wasn’t sure if I had won it or not.

“Today I felt more relaxed and this helped my running.

“I have my coach Bruce Scott to thank for my win as he has helped me a lot.”

Kobe Stevens, of Moorcroft AC, (30m) produced a grandstand finish to gain the honours in the 800m handicap.

Winner of the same event a year ago, back marker Stevens (30m) had a lot to do on the last lap as he was well behind front runner Paul Bellingham, of Cramlington (155m).

Nineteen-year-old Stevens, however, got on with the job in hand and in the home straight closed the gap with a great run to snatch a dramatic victory on the tape in one minute 55.65 seconds, Bellingham emerging the closest of seconds. Innerleithen’s Dean Whiteford (60m) was third.

Reflecting on his win, Stevens commented: “With a lap to go I didn’t really think I could win the race.

“However, I heard the commentator say that Paul Bellingham was tiring and this gave me a lift.

“So I just went for it and managed to catch him, but only just.”

Moorfoot AC also produced the winner of the youth’s 800m handicap in Craig Angus (55m), who produced the goods to the full to win in 2mins 02.43secs.

Retained fireman Colin Welsh, of Kelso, burned up the track in the 1600m handicap.

From the Adie Gray stable, back marker Welsh (55m) whittled his way through the field from the gun to emerge a convincing winner in 4mins 33.56secs.

Hawick twosome Jamie Waugh (225m) and Scott Watson (132.5m) got the other place spots.

Caris Brus (85m) made it a double delight for lady senior members of TLJT with a sizzling run in the red hot conditions to take the 400m handicap in fine style.

Brus clocked up a winning time of 49.59sec.

Following a heat win in a time of 21.94sec, Calum McWilliam, of East Kilbride, (11m) went on to win the final of the 200m handicap from Samantha Turnbull, of Peebles, (40m) and David Lauder, of Hawick, (28m) in 21.70sec.

A member of John Motions Leithenburn school, in-form Luke Rathie (13m) showed up extremely well in taking the bragging rights in the junior 200 metres handicap.

Recently crowned Border youth’s 100m champion Douglas Young, of Kelso, (4m) also caught the eye in powering to victory in the youth’s 200m handicap.

Samantha Dagg of TLJT (18m) buzzed to a splendid win the junior 90 metres handicap.