The 32nd St Andrews Highland Games was blessed with good weather and a big crowd surrounded the arena at Station Park which is situated in the shadow of the Old Course Hotel. Overseas visitors were in abundance and they witnessed some fine competition in the running,cycling and heavy events.
The biggest prize of the day was the £250 that goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres Handicap and it saw Larkhall AC's Cara-Jay Murdoch retain the title she won 12 months ago. There was a good entry of female sprinters in the five heats and it was no surprise to see three of them make up the six runner final. In a closely contested final Murdoch, who was running from the 18.5 metres mark - which was two less than the previous year – had to hold her form all the way to the line to hold off the rapidly closing John McClelland,Central AC[7.25] with Cameron Grieve,TLJT[10.5] in third, just ahead of Dunfermline duo Jessie Concannon,[19.5] and Lindsey Cooch[24.5] with Kieran Halliday,Central AC[11.75] in 6th.
There was drama in the Open 200 metres heats when Kyle Potts,Hawick was spiked in the lower leg and went down as the runners jostled for position as they came off the bend into the straight.The heat was won by Toby Harris,Edinburgh who then went on to win the final, with Harris and runner up Ewan Dyer,Pitreavie AC only overhauling one of the front markers Abi Rennie,Stirling in the dying embers of the race.
Scottish hurdles internationalist Dyer who finished runner up in the 400 metres at Airth the previous week went one better in the 'quarter' on this ocassion as he worked his way through the field from the backmark to break the tape in 48.53 ahead of Jedburgh pair Andrew Thomson and Cameron Fisher.
The middle distance events,800m,1600m and 3200 metres enjoyed the biggest fields of - 17, 18 and 16 -respectively on the games circuit this summer.
There was an exciting finish to the 800m with Andrew Thomson[82.5] just holding off backmarker Euan Martin,Falkirk Victoria with Willie Bates,Tullibody, similar to Airth, just being run down in the closing stages in third, ZaynahAziz,Selkirk running from a reduced start following her previous weeks win finished 4th with Craig Bell,Forfar 5th and Kobe Stevens,Moorfoot 6th.
It was a great sight to see so many runners in the 1600 metres Handicap, once again Euan Martin had to settle for the runners up spot just failing to overhaul Derek Scott,Hawick with Rory Anderson,Hawick staying on well in the closing stages for third, Greg Walker,Hawick,Willie Rennie,Kelty and Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen finished 4th,5th and 6th respectively.
There was Fife winner in the 3200 metres Handicap with Tyler White,Pitreavie AC coming clear of the field to win in a speedy 8:55.12, Greg Walker finished runner up with Dean Whiteford grabbing 3rd place close home, the minor berths were filled by Sam Bates,Tullibody,Craig Bell and Rory Anderson.
Ewan Dyer was selected as the Athlete of the Day for his 400m win and 200m 2nd place.
There was a number of new faces in the youth events, which was good to see, the 90 metres saw Larkhall AC's Alexander Young follow up his Airth win, but only just, it needed a lengthy look at the photo finish from the judges to determine he had breasted the tape marginally ahead of his club mate Sol Stewart who many thought had won. Brodie Cowan,Jedburgh maintained her consistency with a third place finish. This was the position she also occupied in the final of the Youth's 200 metres where this time Sol Stewart made sure of victory stopping the clock at 21.90 as he collared games debutant Erin Thomson,Laurencekirk close home.
The Youth's 800 metres and 1600 metres Handicaps saw Jedburgh's Jack Amos turn in two excellent backmarker performances, running from the 110m mark in the 800 he came through the field to win in 1:54.09 from Ellie Thomson,Larkhall who just edged out B Scott,Dundee Hawkhill for 2nd. Amos who is enjoying a good season had to work hard to claim victory in the 1600m after being pulled 20m to 140m, he only overhauled his rivals off the final bend to win in 4:41,22, Sean Bates battled on for 2nd place with Caleb McLead,Pitreavie AC running a good race to place 3rd.
Seven cyclists contested the four races on the card, most of them had made the 500 miles round trip to compete in seven races the previous day at Halkirk. Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy did the double of 800 metres and 1600 metres with Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey replicating that with wins in the 3200 metres and Deil, Fletcher had won six races at Halkirk.Stevie Jackson,Glasgow,James Melville,Dumbarton,Ian Hepburn,Cairneyhill, Daniel Clark and Ryan Keir both Newburgh filled the minor berths.
The heavy events were dominated by Kyle Randalls, Grangemouth who had also enjoyed a successful day at Dufftown Games the day before. Full heavy event and TOW details to follow.
Published: 2016-07-31 22:07:39