THERE was a bumper crowd at Langholm Games on Friday and the sun-kissed spectators were treated to an excellent afternoon of athletics.
Glowing in the Castleholm track sunshine for Hawick was schoolgirl Phillipa Robertson, who produced a five-star performance in winning the youths 90m handicap in fine style.
Robertson’s day of glory, however, began in somewhat bizarre fashion as she was involved in a twice-run heat.
Coached by David Rae, 13-year-old Robertson (14.5m) soared to a win in her opening run.
However, it was announced there had been a false start, despite there not being a recall shot from the starter’s gun.
But the re-run race had little effect on Robertson, who sprinted home for a second time, with the watch recording a time of 10.18 seconds.
This earned her a place in the final, which also included Hawick’s Darcy Graham (3.5m).
And in the final Robertson excelled again with another superb run that saw her break the tape in 10.26 seconds. Jack Cowan (10m) of the Tweed Leader Jed Track (TLJT) club emerged second and Rachel Wicks of Leithenburn (16.5m) was third.
Reflecting on what was her fourth win of the season, in-form Robertson said: “It was a bit nerve-racking to run my heat for a second time, but thankfully I managed to win again.
“I was very nervous in the final as well, especially as there was another false start, and my hands and legs were shaking when I was down on my mark.
“I really wanted to do well as there were three car loads of my family at the games supporting me. This made me try all the harder and I’m very happy I won for them and for myself.”
David Hush (19m), Drew Bryson (20.5m) and John Paxton (14.5m) all put victory Hawick’s way when triumphing in their heats in the 90m handicap.
Winner of the St Ronans Games 110m handicap the weeks before, Hush then won his cross tie to book a place in the final.
Bryson also secured a spot in the last showdown by coming second in the other cross tie.
It was Bonchester’s Martha Douglas (20.5m), however, who did the business in the final.
Running under the banner of Jed AC, 18-year-old Douglas scorched to victory in 9.73 seconds, to lift the £1,000 prize.
Selkirk’s Craig Bruce came in behind, with Hush and Bryson finishing third and fourth respectively.
Hawick youngsters Cian Riddell (13.5m) and Tom Fowler (7m) sailed to wins in their heats in the junior 90m handicap.
And in the final both gave their all, Fowler taking second place after being edged out by Aidan Bambrick of Jed AC (13.5m) in 11.95 seconds.
Veteran Francis Cannon (210m) gave an excellent account of himself in the 800m handicap.
Cannon led the field with half a lap to go, only to be overhauled by Cieran Turton of Edinburgh (75m) coming down the home straight.
The capital man strode on to take the honours in one minute 53.50 seconds. Cannon finished second.
Reece Taylor (100m) showed up well in the 1,600m handicap. During the last lap, in particular, Taylor really looked the part with some purposeful running. The Teri distance runner, however, couldn’t catch race leader Wayne McIntosh of Kelso (195m), who emerged the victor in four minutes 21.82 seconds.
Greg Turnbull, of TLJT, was crowned 90m sprint champion with a time of 9.96 seconds. Hawick sprinter Leigh Marshall came in second.
n HAWICK failed to produce a winner at Oxton Games on Saturday.
David Hush was fourth in the final of the 110m handicap, while Rory Anderson came in third in the 1,600m handicap.
In the youths events, Andrew Palmer came fourth in the final of the 90m handicap. And Bonchester’s Martha Douglas triumphed in the 200m handicap.