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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Teenager Tindle wins the Scottish New Year Sprint at Musselburgh

Teenager Tindle wins the Scottish New Year Sprint at Musselburgh

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Teenager Tindle wins Musselburgh New Year Sprint

Cameron Tindle wins the New Years Day sprint. Picture: Julie Bull

The Scotsman
01 January 2015

CAMERON TINDLE, a senior Year 12 pupil at Berwick Academy who wants to run for Scotland in the forthcoming Indoor international at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, became the fourth 16-year-old to win annual New Year Sprint in the last decade at a windy, rainy Musselburgh Racecourse yesterday.

The 2-1 odds on favourite after again impressing in winning his semi-final yesterday easing up, Tindle (Edinburgh AC) was spurred by the presence of Borders training partner Jasmine Tomlinson up ahead of him, dived for the line and then had an agonising wait while officials scrutinised the photo finish.

“That was a shock. I really had to hunt her down,” said Galashiels-born Tindle. When the result was announced, Tindle had won in 11.97 secs, just .03 of a second clear of, not Tomlinson, who was third in 12.05, but Ryan Houten (Cardrona 11m), who was timed at 12.00.

Fourth in 12.08 secs was Stacey Downie (EAC) the evens second favourite and fastest heat winner, who was unable to reproduce her first-day form and mount a real challenge to be come the first female winner.

But it transpired she had a tight hamstring. “I felt it with 40 metres to go and it got worse the more I ran,” she said.

Tindle, who will add the £4000 first prize to his Trust Fund to set against his substantial training and competition expenses, was suitably respectful of the traditions of the 145-year-old famous professional handicap. “It’s a massive achievement to win of course,” he said, “but handicap running is a lot different from normal and I was chasing people here instead of starting level with them.”

Though he did not think Tindle ran as well in the final as he had in his two previous races – “Jasmine was getting nowhere near him in our trials” – Chirnside-born Gray described the victory as “one of the greatest days in my sporting life”, though quick to acknowledge the help he had received in preparation from his co-coach, Jedburgh’s Bruce Scott.

Gray’s New Year roots go back a long way as his father coached Brian Kelly who went on to steer another 16-year-old, Pat Swan, to the title ten years ago.

Tindle has high hopes of giving both Gray and Scott even more to be proud of and must be capable of a rapid revision of his 2013 personal best times of 6.98 secs for 60 metres indoors and 21.72 outdoors. He may even compete in a league match at the Emirates Arena on Sunday to strengthen his claims for an individual 60 metres place in the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix on 24 January. The first two cross-ties were disappointing with Eoin Lowther (Jedburgh) taking the first in 11.95 secs from Pitreavie hurdler Ewan Dyer (11.96), with joint back-marker Morro Bajo (Edinburgh AC, 4.25m) third in 12.07 and eventually going through as a fastest loser.

Houten, who delighted his coach Charlie Russell (Innerleithen), won the second cross-tie or semi-final in 11.97 with Craig Sowerby (12.04) also through and Downie won the third in 11.97, the only qualifier.

Tindle scorched through in 11.87 in the fourth semi from Tomlinson (12.11), while Dunfermline female hope Gemma Nicol’s luck at last ran out, third in 12.22.

The stage was set for an intriguing final but, with the packed stand expectant for the scheduled 2.09 start, the runners were asked to stand down again and then went after the next horse race.

Perhaps the vital moment had gone.

Last edited by Admin on Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total



Cameron Tindle stakes claim for New Year Sprint

The Scotsman
01 January 2015

SO the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

Cameron Tindle (Edinburgh AC), the 16-year-old Berwick-based schoolboy is currently probably the best sprinter in Scotland bar none.

There were gasps, followed by applause, from the knowledgeable crowd of a few hundred who had gathered for the first day of the 146th annual New Year Sprint Handicap when Tindle swept through the field from his modest start of five metres to win the 12th and final heat at Musselburgh Racecourse yesterday.

That earned him the position of odds-on 4-6 favourite to win the £4,000 first prize in today’s final, due to be held during a break in the traditional National Hunt meeting, at 2.09 pm.

But, in truth, there had been a scramble to place bets on the youngster from just over the English border from the moment the bookies set up their stands yesterday morning.

Not that Tindle still does not have work to do and, with a dire forecast of significant rain for today, the heavy grass track could become a quagmire better suited to other, more experienced rivals.

But his coach Henry Gray is quietly confident: “He may never get another chance as good as this and I believe he’ll do it.”

The youngster has marvellous cadence and effective leg speed. He weighs less than 10 stone and has still to train with weights, so who knows how good he could be in the future.

First Tindle must negotiate the cross-ties or semi-finals which are also interspersed throughout today’s race meeting, with the first at 12.35pm and Tindle’s, the fourth, at 1.15pm in which he will clash with last year’s winner Dylan Ali (Hawick), who has so far made a spirited defence of his title and also won the Invitation Back-markers event yesterday.

Surprisingly Tindle was not the fastest qualifier from the heats, that honour belonging to his clubmate Stacey Downie, who won the first heat in 11.72 secs from her start of 17.5 metres, compare to Tindle’s 11.82, but by then quite a fresh headwind faced the runners so it was difficult the assess the relative merits of the times.

Downie, a 27-year-old PE teacher at Peebles High School, had more than a metre to spare over second-placed Craig Sowerby (Seaton) who clocked 11.90 with Jazmine Tomlinson (Tweedbank 22m) going through in third place in 12.09 secs and joint back-marker Greg Louden (Lasswade, 4.25m) unusually making it through despite being fourth in 12.13.

Downie was a 5-2 bet last night, as was Ryan Houten (Cardrona, 11m) who is trained by Downie’s former coach Charlie Russell and won heat five in 11.82.

Former runner-up Gemma Nicol (Dunfermline 17.5m) looked sluggish in heat eight and was beaten by English international 400 metres hurdler Liam Collins (Newcastle 9.5m) who clocked 12.09.

Nicol was second in 12.10 to go through and then turned out again in the 90 metres events and was more pleased with her form: “I’d always intended to run all these races but I’m so pleased I did,” said the 27-year-old, who is bidding for her seventh Big Sprint final and is looking for a “tow” in Tindle’s semi-final, in which Jazmine Tomlinson also goes.

Nicol was even more delighted for the T20 disability athlete she coaches Owen Miller (Dunfermline 70m), who just held off Ruaridh Miller (EAC 70m) in a desperate finish to the brutal Four Furlongs handicap run along the rails – alost entirely into the wind.

“He really wanted to win today,” said Nicol of her charge Miller.

Several more of the Big Sprint qualifiers also turned out in the Pat Chester 90 metres Handicap with victory going to Eoin Lowther (Jedburgh).



146th New Year Sprint: Report

16 year old schoolboy Cameron Tindle of Edinburgh AC breasted the tape with only inches to spare to clinch the the gold medal and four thousand pound first prize of the 146th New Year Sprint which was held on 31st December 2014 and 1st January 2015 at Musselburgh Racecourse near Edinburgh.

Tindle, who ran off the second back mark of 5 metres, started the final as hot favourite at 2/1 on having set the fastest cross-tie (semi-final) time by a metre. In the event he was pushed all the way to the line by another 16 year old, Ryan Houten of Cardrona (11.0m), winning by less than a foot. Very close in third place was Jazmine Tomlinson of TLJT (22.0m) who was the only runner to improve their time from the cross-ties. Stacey Downie of Edinburgh AC (17.5m) was inches behind in fourth with very fast finishing Ewen Dyer of Pitreavie AC (7.75m) just inches behind in fifth.

Cameron Tindle (red bib) taking victory in the New Year Sprint final.
Photo: Grossick Racing Photography.  

The outstanding performances in the New Year Sprint final belied the adverse conditions that saw the runners battling against the wind, rain and cold. That the athletes - not just the Big Sprint finalists, but all who took part - rose to meet the challenges set by the weather is a testament to their character and demonstrates why the New Year Sprint meeting presents the toughest but most rewarding of tests, thereby holding a unique position in the sporting calendar.

Both Jazmine Tomlinson and Stacey Downie of Edinburgh AC (17.5m) were long odds favourites at 7/2 to win the Big Sprint and claim the honour of the first ever female winner. On the first day of racing Stacey had won her heat in the fastest time of the day and subequently won her cross-tie in commanding style.

Eoin Lowther of Jedburgh was one of the most impressive, and successful, athletes of the meeting. On the first day of competition he showed a clean pair of heels in all 3 rounds of the 90 metres winning the final (off 12.25m) by almost 2 metres from Holly McKay of Jedforest AC (23.0m), having easily won his heat in the Big Sprint, albeit in a slow time. On the second day Lowther won his cross-tie of the New Year Sprint and came in seventh in the final.

The final of the 90 metres Open produced a blanket finish behind Lowther with Liam Collins of Newcastle (9.5m), a European Masters hurdles gold medalist, just a foot behind Holly McKay in third place, very closely followed by David McKay of Kelso (14.75m), Commonwealth Games athlete Gemma Nicol of Dunfermline T & F (14.5m) and Rachel Robertson of Lasswade AC (19.5m). Just 0.05 secs separated third and last places.

Holly McKay had earlier won the highly competitive unaugural Ladies 90 metres final where the first 3 runners were awarded the same time! The photo-finish equipment showed Gemma Nicol being edged out into second place with Rachel Robertson third.

David McKay won a blistering 90 metres Vets final that included several runners aged 50 years plus who showed a real turn of speed. William Bates of Tullibody (14.0m) was second ahead of former New Year Sprint winner Doug Donald of Oakham (13.75m), who earlier in the year had contributed to a Masters relay world record. Third was Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (16.5m) followed by Kevin Turner of Dalkeith (18.5m) and Albert Eland of Great Broughton (25.5m) in the English Lake District.

The middle distance events took the form of Open and Youths 4 furlong (880 yards, approx 800 metres) races held on the long finishing straight used for the horse racing. Josh Abbott of Chirnside Chasers (175m), the winner of the 60 metres aged under 13 event 2 years ago, showed his versatility by winning the Youths 4 furlong event. Second was James Adam of Pitreavie AC (85m) and third Jack Amos of Jedforest AC (150m).

The Open 4 furlong race was won by Owen Miller of Dunfermline T & F (70m) from Ruaeridh Miller of Edinburgh AC, also off 70m, and Oliver Laband of Axbridge (80m) who was also third last year.

The Youths sprint races were hotly contested as usual. The 90 metres saw a dramatic finish as one of the smallest and youngest competitors, Amy Campbell of Hawick (23.0m), held off one of the tallest and oldest, Greg Kelly of East Kilbide AC (8.0m) to win by just less than a metre. Amy displayed the same impressive fluent style that saw her win her heat in the fastest time. Max Leslie of Edinburgh AC (18.5m) was third in the same time as Greg with young Jake Houten of Cardrona (24.0m) inches behind in fourth.

Only half a metre separated the first 4 runners in the 60 metres Youths age under 13 final with Jake Houten of Cardrona (16.0m) holding off Luke McLean of Peebles (15.5m) with Max Hope of Hawick (17.0m) third and Sam Archiebald of Leitherburn (15.0m) in fourth.

Despite girls outnumbering boys by two to one in the 60 metres Youths age under 16 event, it was a male who prevailed with Greg Kelly of East Kilbride AC (5.0m) going one better than his second place in the 90 metres. Greg won by half a metre from Cameron Caldwell of TLJT (6.5m) with Caris Brus of Galashiels (14.0m) in third and Megan Busby of Carlisle (10.5m) fourth.

The 110 metres Backmarkers Invitation handicap event gave the spectators an opportunity to see seven of the fastest sprinters fighting it out together. A tremendous finish from last year's new Year Sprint winner Dylan Ali of Hawick gave him victory over Greg Louden of Lasswade AC with Anthony Daffurn of Harrow AC third.

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