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At around 5pm in Friday 5th of July 2019 final preparations were taking place at Meggetland in squally rain and wind, not the weather we were hoping for. Luckily the skies cleared and we were able to enjoy dry conditions for the rest of the evening, even though the temperature could have been a bit higher!

As always, we started with the youth sprint races with the 90m B race won by Neco Lennie from the highly successful T.L.J.T. with Eve Rathie and Craig Tindle filling the minor placings.
It was great to see a big entry from Piteavie A.C. this year and they were rewarded in the 90m A race with Rebecca Grieve winning from Sean and Ryan McMichan.

Eve Rathie again figured in the 200m B race where she was third behind the impressive winner Hope Stewart from Hawick with Tiegan Gibb third. Sean McMichan who had been runner up in the 90m got his just rewards with an impressive win in the 200m A race, with Samantha Dagg and Kai Lennie in the minor places.

Aaron Glendinning was to play a big part in the longer youth races and the Leithenburn runner duly obliged in the 400m from the T.L.J.T pair Tess Renwick and Nico Lennie. He couldn’t do the double in the 800m though as the hugely entertaining Jason White continued his rapid improvement with a win from Robbie Welsh, and Aaron third.

The Ladies Invitation was hotly contested this year and in the closest finish of the night Mhairi Hederson of Earlston just got home from Lasswade’s Rhianna Sterricks with Emily Dagg finishing strongly in third place.

The 400m is quickly becoming a popular race on the Borders Circuit and a really healthy field lined up for the “long sprint”. The long journey made by Lea Stephenson proved worthwhile as the Englishman powered down the back straight to win from Kelso’s Gordon Armstrong. Angus Johnstone stayed on to finish third.

Euan Smith Central A.C, son of the vastly experienced Cammy was the narrow winner of the 200m. In a very close finish he just pipped newcomer Cameron Keelan from Pitreavie on the line, with last year’s sprint winner Douglas Young a fast finishing third.

Langholm’s Ryan Milligan has been in top form all Summer and he was to continue in that vein with a well merited win in the 1600m. The Gibson’s, that’s Andrew from Bo’ness and Graeme from Dunfermline tried all they could but Milligan was just too strong on the night.

The main events on the programme are the 800m sponsored by Nigel and Irene Jones and the 110m sponsored by Clarity IFA. The 800m run in two heats turned out to be a duel between veteran Wallace McGown from Sauchie and past winner Rory Anderson from Hawick. Both qualified from the same heat and the final was a close-run contest. McGown started 75m in front of Anderson and put in a big effort early on to keep the gap healthy. Down the back straight on the final lap, with his rival closing he put in one last effort to kick away. Anderson was having none of it though and his sprint finish just proved enough. Sarah Ross was a creditable third, continuing her come back to running.

     The 110 was to turn in to maybe the best CERF event since it started. Marcus Archer was just about pre- race favourite but the surprise early on was the magnificent running of master athlete Ian Horsburgh who’s heat time was close on a metre faster than anyone else. Experienced peds were wondering if he could keep it going for three runs. Elsewhere there were impressive heat wins for Lasswade’s Murray Blair and Archer himself. Horsburgh became clear favourite with an explosive 11.50 in his cross tie finding another metre on his heat. Archer also improved on his heat but looked to have it all to do in the final. Blair duly won his cross tie but wasn’t quite as impressive as his rivals. That was all to change in the final though. Both Horsburgh and Archer seemed to do their running OK, but the youngster Blair started brilliantly and just held on to win the big sprint. A great final!

A big thank you goes out to all of the sponsors, volunteers and athletes for making this another successful evening at Meggetland. See you all next year on the first Friday of July!

Graeme Armstrong