Campbell’s mixed emotions over New Year sprinters

Hawick Sprint Club coach Che Campbell.
Hawick Sprint Club coach Che Campbell.

Hawick Sprint Club coach Che Campbell admitted to mixed emotions following last week’s New Year athletics meeting.

Things could have been “a bit better” conceded Campbell, after two of his charges, brothers Dylan and Leon Ali, both jumped the gun, while Craig Bruce (12m) emerged sixth in the main sprint final at Musselburgh Racecourse.

The latter event and accompanying £4,000 prize money went to Jedburgh’s Jazmine Tomlinson who put herself into the record books by becoming the first female to win the blue riband race.

Tomlinson, 18, who is coached by John Steede and Bruce Scott, began her quest for glory two days prior to her Musselburgh success by winning a heat of the prestigious event at the Meadowmill Sports Stadium, Prestonpans, on a tartan track.

Competing from a mark of 20.5m, Tomlinson followed this up with an impressive cross-tie triumph on a soft grass track at Musselburgh.

Representing the TLJT Club, the Jedburgh teenager now found herself in the final – and tasted victory when edging out betting favourite Ryan Houten of Cardrona (9m) in a blanket finish.

Tomlinson’s winning time was 11.38 seconds.

Selkirk-based Bruce had shown up well when romping home in his heat at Prestonpans. The 20 year old, who has been well coached by Campbell during the months leading up to the sprint, then earned a place in the final as the fastest loser from the cross-ties.

Leon Ali (11.5m), another Hawick Sprint Club member, also reached the cross-ties thanks to a splendid heat win.

In his semi-final outing, Leon, however, was pulled a metre for making a false start. This was a big blow for the Hawick athlete and he failed to qualify for the final.

Leon’s younger brother Dylan (5m), the 2014 New Year Sprint victor, jumped the gun in his heat. Dylan was pinned back a metre and was unable to record a win from his new mark.

Dylan did, however, give a great account of himself in the 110m invitation race, and was just pipped to first place by Berwick flyer Cameron Tindle.

Summing up his runners’ performances at the New Year meeting, Campbell told the Hawick News: “I was pleased but at the same time disappointed as things could have perhaps been a bit better.

“Dylan and Leon Ali were both gutted in jumping the gun as being pulled back a metre proved costly for them. These things happen, though, but I ‘ve told them and the other guys in the club that they’ll be fined a fiver if they do this at training, so they might learn from this.

“Dylan ran brilliantly in the invitation sprint. He came in second but I thought he had won it. It was close, though.

“Gordon McPherson was a bit unlucky to be beaten in his heat, while Craig Bruce did absolutely great to reach the final.”