FIFTH TIME LUCKY FOR WEIR AS HE SPRINTS TO LANGHOLM WIN

EXCELLENT running, excellent weather and an excellent crowd - Langholm Games had it all.

And adding to the day of excellence at the Castleholm track meeting were Hawick athletes Ross Weir, Ronan McKean and James Parker, who all won their respective handicap events.

Competing in the 90m, which had a £1,000 first prize, Weir pulled out the stops to emerge a worthy winner.

And in doing so he brought an end to the barren spell of a Hawick runner having failed to win a senior sprint on the Border Games circuit this season.

Going from a mark of 19m the Teri veteran soared to a heat triumph in 9.48 seconds.

This earned him a cross tie place along with fellow Hawick runners Drew Bryson (20.5m), David Hush (20m) and John Paxton (15.5m) who had also emerged victorious in their heats.

The semi-finals resulted in the latter three all being eliminated as they failed to finish in the top three.

Fifty-one-year-old Weir, however, qualified for the final by coming in second behind Bruce Scott of TLJT (17.5m).

Being involved in the last showdown was nothing new to Weir as he had been down that road four times previously in recent weeks, albeit unsuccessfully.

At sun-kissed Langholm, however, he made it fifth time lucky.

In what turned out to be the best run of the event, Weir surged to a splendid win in a fast time of 9.08 seconds.

Stephanie Common of TLJT (21.5m) came second and Scott was third.

Following his final glory run, Weir said: “It’s been a long time coming as that’s the fifth final I’ve been in this season and I was beginning to think I’d never get a win.

“Drew Bryson, who I train with, said he fancied me to win today and I thought that might be the kiss of death. Thankfully though his prediction turned out to be correct.

“I felt myself I might have a little chance and I grew in confidence in reaching the final.

“Going by the time I knew I’d have to be at my very best to beat Bruce Scott. A good start, in particular, was very important. I managed to get this and from then on I just went for it.”

Ten-year-old McKean also produced the goods in nailing his colours to the mast in the junior 90m handicap.

Despite being pulled a metre in his heat for jumping the gun, McKean (12.5m) went on to romp home in 11.93 seconds.

His metre back for the final, which also included Hawick youngsters Daniel Elliot (7m) and Barrie McLean (12m), saw McKean do it all again as he blitzed to a photo finish win over Marshall Smith of Gala Harriers (17.5m) and Elliot, in 11.46 seconds.

He said: “I got into the final of the 90m handicap at Oxton Games last week and I was very happy with that as it was my first ever final.

“Today I’m even happier as I’ve managed to win the final.

“I didn’t think I would even win my heat after getting pulled a metre, and I was surprised when I did.

“It was really close at the finish in the final and I wasn’t sure who had won. It took a long time before they said who it was and I was really thrilled when my name was shouted out.”

Powerhouse Parker (16m) gave a dynamic show to take the 200m handicap.

A one-time Hawick Royal Albert signing, he looked the part as he stormed to a heat win in 21.91 seconds.

Coached by Billy Edgar, 16-year-old Parker was now in the final and lining up against stable mates David Hush (38m) and Ryan Trimby (25m) as well as Hawick teenager Dylan Ali (21m) from TLJT and others.

An exciting last run appeared to be on the cards and that’s just the way it turned out to be.

As the field came down the home straight, Hush looked to be in with a real chance of pulling off a win. Metres from the tape it looked the same, until Parker changed the scene with a tremendous finishing burst to snatch a dramatic victory.

Hush came in a close second and Francis Smith or Pitreavie (11m) was third.

Parker said: “I’ve had a shoulder injury and haven’t been able to run at the games much which has been really disappointing.

“The season is almost finished and with time running out I was desperate to win something so I thought I’d have a real go today.

“I didn’t do anything in the sprint, so it was the 200m for me after that. After winning my heat I felt pretty good and in the final I had to go full-out from the start and I just managed to win.”

Although leading for most of the way, Hawick distance runner Gary Law (355m) had to be content with third place in the 1,600m handicap, when coming in behind Colin Welsh of Kelso (40m) and Stuart Somervail of Jed AC (165m).

Hawick’s Darcy Graham (9m) reached the final of the youths 90m handicap, which was won by Jasmin Tomlinson of TLJT (17m) in 10.38 seconds.

In the youths 200m handicap Ryan Elliot (4m) was in the final, with victory going the way of Jenna Gillan of TLJT (31m).