It's still all to play for following the heats of the 148th New Year Sprint at the East Lothian Athletics Arena in Prestonpans today.
Although fairly mild compared to Storm Frank 12 months prior, athletes still had to contend with an inconsistent stiff cross-track wind.
On the 1st January this year Jazmine Tomlinson became the first female winner of the famous event in 147 years,we may now have the 'like buses' situation with five girls having qualified for the cross-ties on Sunday at Musselburgh Racecourse, and of the 12 heat winners, Emily Dagg[20.50m] from the same TLJT stable as the title holder, is the fastest up in a time of 11.50s.
Second quickest is another TLJT contender Cameron Caldwell who clocked a speedy 11.57s from the 9.50m mark. Jordan Charters, Dolphinton a finalist in 2016 is also certain to be thereabouts after winning his heat in 11.66s.
Greg Kelly East Kilbride AC, one of the pre race favourites has created a bit of a conundrum for the bookies, he received a walk-over in heat 1 and only had stride up the track at his own pace which gave no time clues to any prospective backers. Reigning champion Jazmine Tomlinson also returns to the racetrack to contest her fourth successive semi final after booking a fastest loser spot.
Former CERF sprint winner Craig Knowles, Corstorphine AC could also be in the mix clocking a time of 11.61 in heat 5. Glyn Desport looked strong in winning heat 8 in 11.66. Delighted to qualify as a heat winner was Douglas Donald, Oakham who won the race back in 1991 at Meadowbank Stadium, it was to be a good day for the Donald who raced to victory in the Veteran 90 metres final.
Heat winners were:
HT 1: Greg Kelly East Kilbride AC [12.36]
HT 2: Stacey Downie Edinburgh AC [11.76]
HT 3: Jordan Charters Dolphinton [11.66]
HT 4: Emily Dagg TLJT [11.50]
HT 5: Craig Knowles Corstorphine AC[11.61]
HT 6: Ellie McGinty Edinburgh AC [11.89]
HT 7: Steven Park Edinburgh[11.85]
HT 8: Glyn Desport Hawick [11.66]
HT 9: Doug Donald Oakham[11.73]
HT 10: Angus Johnstone TLJT [12.41]
HT 11: Cameron Caldwell TLJT [11.57]
HT 12: Charlie Carstairs Lasswade AC[11.85]
Fastest losers: Malcolm McPhaul,Ayr,Connor Gillon Kelso,Darren Towart Tynedale AC,Cameron Smith Central AC,Jazmine Tomlinson TLJT,Sarah Malone Edinburgh AC,Gary Leek Edinburgh AC, Craig Bruce Selkirk,Callum McWilliams East Kilbride AC.
There was a thrilling finish to the Open 90 metres final with Edinburgh AC duo Stacey Downie and Sarah Malone crossing the line in unison, after consulting the photo finish the verdict went to the latter with both athletes being given the same time. There was some consolation for Downie who was the victor in the Women's 90 m handicap.
Both the Open 800 metres and 1600 metres handicaps had fields of seven runners but were none the less competitive, Running from the 40 metres mark Scottish hurdler Ewan Dyer,Pitreavie AC turned in a polished performance to come clear of his rivals in the home straight to win in 1:51.91. In an eye-balls out finish to the 1600 metres Matt Dougall,Galashiels looked out of it with 300 metres to run, before producing a power packed finish to inch into the lead in the home straight, he was re-challenged however close home by Owen Millar Fife AC, both runners lunged for the line with Dougall getting the verdict.
There was a big and encouraging turn out of youth athletes, they talk about horses for courses, a phrase which could apply to Rebecca Grieve from Edinburgh AC, last year she won both the Youth's 60mts and 90mts and followed up this year with a gutsy run taking her to victory in the 800 metres in 1:53.74 from the 185mt mark.
Sol Stewart,Larkhall Harriers got up on the line to claim victory in the Youth's 90 mts running from the 9 mt mark in lane 8. The Lethenburn club got a winner on the board with Josh Landers win in the Youth's 9-12yrs 200 metres, in the older 13-15 age group it was Pitreavie AC's Billy Doyle who claimed the win in a well contested final.
Full results link to follow.
Published: 2016-12-30 21:59:30