Ross blows away the opposition at Kelso Games
A STRONG wind swirled over Kelso Games on Sunday.
Hawick outmatched the breeze, however, in producing their very own hurricane in Ross Weir, who blew away the opposition on the Poynder Park track to win the 100 metres handicap.
Weir, who has been knocking at the door of pulling off a sprint handicap for some time, by having appeared in finals last season as well as this term, showed up well in his heat when gusting home in 10.39 seconds. This being the fastest of the opening runs.
Come his cross tie however Weir was edged out by Connor Hedley of Bedlington (9m) but qualified for the final as being one of the four fastest losers of the semi finals.
In the last showdown for glory, betting outsider Weir, upset the odds with a top notch run.
Competing from a mark of 18 metres the Hawick veteran runner soared to a clear victory ahead of Amy Clancy of Peebles and Marc Cockburn of Selkirk (13m) in 10.19 seconds.
Weir who coaches a running stable in Hawick, as well as turning out on the track himself, was thrilled no end with his triumph.
He said: "I've been the bridesmaid in finals for a long time, so its good to have got the monkey off my back and win this one. I felt really good when winning my heat, and was confident I could win my cross tie. But I hit a bump on the track, this altered my stride and I didn't run well.
"However, I got a chance to prove myself again by being a fastest loser. In the final everything went right for me though, and I'm really delighted to have got a win."
Prior to tasting glory in the sprint final, Weir had watched one of his school members Mark Young (140m) gain the honours in the 1600 metres handicap.
Winner over the self same distance the week previous at Tweedbank Games, 21-year-old Young ran a perfect race.
Striding out well from the gun, Young soon began to whittle his way through the front runners and just before the bell sounded for the last lap, was in third place, in being tucked in behind, Alistair Laurie of Selkirk (265m) and Keith Murray of Hawick (220m).
Young then went on to take over the leadership, and in turn sailed on to win in 4 minutes 14.18 seconds.
Murray coming in second, and Iain Williams of TLJT (175m) third.
Dean Philip (40m) put victory Lasswade's way when coming out on top in the 800 metres handicap.
Making his first appearance on the Border Games circuit this season, Philip hit the front from Gordon Eland of Broughton (180m) before the final bend.
Hitting the home straight as well as running into the gusty wind, Philip finished strongly to break the tape in 1 minute 59.08 seconds.
Hawick's Stuart Fraser (35m) and Darrell Hastie of Kelso (12.5m) gained the other place spots.
After having looked the part when winning his heat in the one lap handicap, Andy Cullen of Edinburgh (38m) did it all again in the final. Cullen however, had to go all the way to get the better of Hawick's David Hush (47m).
Hush looked out of it, after being caught by Cullen towards the home run in. Hush came rallying back, but Cullen still had plenty to offer, and duly won from Hush and Shaun Ross of Edinburgh (22m) in 32.61 seconds.
The youths 100 metre and one lap handicaps, were run off in age groups and this brought about some exciting racing.
In 10-13 years 100 metres event Daniel Elliot of Hawick (25m) hit the high spots through a great show.
Son of former New Year sprint winner, Malcolm Elliot, and younger brother of Ryan Elliot, who has won two handicaps in youths events this season. Daniel blitzed to a heat win in 10.82 seconds.
From the Billy Edgar stable, Elliot turned on the style again in the final when surging over the winning line in 10.63 seconds. Emerging second and third were Matthew Bell of Hawick (23m) and Mhairi Henderson of TLJT (18.5m).
Commenting after his win, Elliot said: "That's the first handicap I have won and it's also the first final I have been in. I was a bit nervous, but just went out and did my best."
Another first ever winner on the day was Duncan Rennie of TLJT. And what's more it was a double triumph.
For after having won the youth's 100 metres handicap (confined) in the opening event on the card, the Kelso youngster recorded another victory in the youth's 100 metres handicap, 14-16 years.
Going from five metres Rennie won the final in a convincing manner, following a very impressive heat run.
Rennie clocked up 10.73 seconds in the final, when beating Jed AC pair, Scott Richardson (8.5m) and Cameron Grieve (9.5m)
Rennie told us: "I was pleased just to have one race, but it was an even better feeling when I won my second."
Mark Henderson of Kelso (44m) showed a lot of potential in taking the one lap handicap 10-13 years.
An extremely good heat victor in 34.68, the young Tweedsider hit full throttle once more in the final in coming in ahead of Matthew Bell of Hawick (59m) and Ellie Temple of TLJT (63m).
The final of the youth's one lap handicap 14-16, brought about an exciting duel between Scott Richardson (18m) and Cameron Grieve (23m) who are both from Jed AC.
Richardson taking the first place from Grieve and Jack Wilson of Hawick (39m) in 34.68 seconds.
Talking of his win over his club mate, Richardson said: "I train with Cameron, and know what he can do, while he knows what I can do.
"So I knew it was going to be close, and it was but I just got it."
Running well from start to finish Matthew Wilson of Jed AC (47.5m) emerged victorious in the youths 800 metres handicap from Amy Armstrong of Edinburgh (210m) and Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (57.5m).
The winning time being 1 minute 55.71 seconds.
Wilson said of his triumph: "I didn't think I would do anything today, as I have been in Belgium on a school trip and haven't been able to train, so I surprised myself."
Fourteen year old Rowan Marr of Gala Harriers (110m) produced the same splendid form that he did when winning at Selkrik Games, by taking pride of place in the youth's 1600 metres handicap. Fraser Wardhaugh Gala Harriers (180m) and Lewis Gray EAC (315m) clinched the other placings.