ODDS-ON favourite Martyn Paterson denied Hawick a third consecutive New Year sprint winner with a top-notch show at Musselburgh last weekend, writes John Slorance.
Picked out as a potential winner of the £4,000 first prize in our preview article a few weeks ago, Paterson, a second-year accountancy student at Stirling University, caught the eye back in July when emerging third in the Jedburgh Games 110m handicap, in which he adopted a standing start instead of using blocks.
Although not winning his heat last Friday, he nevertheless qualified for the cross-ties as a fastest loser – and came back with a vengeance by blowing away the opposition with a sizzling run to gain victory in a very impressive time of 11.74 seconds.
Paterson, 18, who has his sights set on making the Scottish team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, then did it all again in the final by soaring home in 11.91 seconds.
Bidding to become the first lady to win the New Year sprint, Fiona Cleet, of Edinburgh, whose elder brother Duncan was also in the final, gained second place. Jedburgh teenager Seb Harrison emerged third.
Hawick sprinters Leigh Marshall, Ross Borthwick and Davie Rae all reached the cross ties of the event.
Marshall, pictured, and Borthwick both won their heats, while Rae earned his spot as a fastest loser. Misfortune was to hit the Teri trio –all of whom run with the Drew Bryson/Lee Notman school – with Borthwick and Rae in particular being cursed with bad luck as they did not even manage to get a run. Taking up the story, Rae said: “Ross suffered an injury after winning his heat and had to withdraw from the cross-ties. This was really unfortunate but was just the start. And an hour before I was due to run in my cross-tie I pulled up with a groin strain and wasn’t able to run either.
“It was bad enough one of us being injured, but for two of us to have to pull out through injuries was unbelieveable.”
Marshall ran in his semi-final but Lady Luck was also not shining on the 2008 winner who jumped the gun and was pulled back a metre as a penalty.
A disappointed Marshall said: “I thought I had a chance of winning the cross-tie but that went when I was pulled a metre for a false start. In all honesty I didn’t think I had jumped the gun. I felt I had got off to a brilliant start as I came out of the blocks perfectly. But after being flagged down I was really gutted. It’s something I’ll just have to live with though.”
Although not winning an event outright, Hawick youngsters gave their all in the 60 and 90m youths’ races which where split into age groups.
Ten-year-old Phillipa Robertson, who has making her New Year racing debut, gave an impressive show when winning her heat in the 60m for under-12s.
She then gained third place in the final which included another young Teri runner in Daniel Elliot.
In the over-12s’ 60m handicap, Bethan Douglas and Sam Bandeen both reached the final, while Ryan Elliot was a finalist in the 90m handicap for the same age group.