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PROTRACK » GENERAL » 17yo Greg Kelly wins Scottish New Year Sprint

17yo Greg Kelly wins Scottish New Year Sprint

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1 17yo Greg Kelly wins Scottish New Year Sprint on Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:45 pm



Greg Kelly wins New Year Sprint at Musselburgh

Edinburgh Evening News
Sunday 01 January 2017

East Kilbride’s Greg Kelly emulated 2015 champion Cameron Tindle as a teenage winner of the world-famous New Year Sprint at Musselburgh Racecourse today.

The 17-year-old started off 8.25 metres and cruised home fully two yards clear in 11.54 seconds as he repeated his semi-final victory over Lasswade long jumper Jordan Charters with fellow teenager Emily Dagg close behind in third.

Despite a gap of barely 90 minutes between semi and final, Kelly stayed in form to clinch to victory in the 148th running of the 110m dash and earn a handsome crystal trophy and a first prize of £4000, although the cold and blustery conditions ruined any prospect of adding a big money bonus, which veteran promoter Frank Hanlon had offered for a superfast time.

The newly-crowned champion and his proud father were unconcerned, however, and a beaming Kelly admitted: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet, to be honest. This is just the biggest race and it’s mad for me to have won it.

“I felt confident I could do it after beating Jordan in the semi-finals, but there’s such stiff competition that you can never really think you’re going to win. I knew Jordan was one of my biggest threats, so I treated the semi like a final.

“Getting a walkover in Friday’s heats was a good thing because people didn’t really know what I was capable of. I wanted to have a good hard race on Friday, but my first real run was the semi-final.

“2016 was a brilliant year for me. I won the 100m and 200m double at the national championships and competed for Scotland at the Celtic Games in Swansea, which was a great experience.

“Doing the Highland Games during the summer compliments my other races really well, so I plan to keep competing as a professional.”

Dagg, also 17, had created quite an impression during Friday’s qualifying heats at Meadowmill Sports Centre when she clocked the quickest time of the day – a sizzling 11.50 – off 20.5m. A repetition of that would have been good enough to win, but the unfavourable weather and the switch from synthetic track to grass made direct comparisons fairly meaningless.

“I’m really pleased,” said Dagg after going four places better than last year.

“Getting to the final again was a bonus and I felt I ran well, so I have no regrets.

“I tried not to think about it too much after running fast on Friday. I didn’t do so well in the semi and there was a wee doubt that I might not make the final, but the times in the other races were slower than mine, so I got through.

“I tried to put a wee bit more aggression into my run in the final and I managed to block out the people behind me until I saw them when we hit the finishing line.

Last edited by Admin on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:57 pm; edited 3 times in total



Long jumper Jordan Charters favourite for New Year Sprint

Edinburgh News
Saturday 31 December 2016

Jordan Charters, the powerful 21-year-old Lasswade AC long jumper, is the 5/4 favourite for the £4000 first prize in the 148th New Year Sprint, the final of which will be held tomorrow during the National Hunt Meeting at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Emily Dagg (Jedburgh), who was fastest in the heats at Meadowmill Sports Arena, East Lothian, yesterday, and is bidding to become only the second-ever female winner, is next at 2/1, and Greg Kelly (East Kilbride), who was second at both Peebles and CERF last summer, is at 5-2 despite having a walkover in the very first heat.

Dagg is looking to follow clubmate Jaz Tomlinson who made history last year by becoming the first female winner in the 147 years of the 110m professional handicap. From her start of 20.5 metres Dagg won heat four in the day’s fastest time of 11.50 seconds, despite a swirling crosswind which hindered more than helped the runners. She beat Edinburgh AC team-mate Sarah Malone, with Kieran Kivlin (Edinburgh) third.

Charters attracted significant support after winning heat three impressively in 11.66 secs, appearing to take his foot off the gas before the line.

Kelly missed out on a seeded place in the cross-overs (semi-finals) tomorrow as these are decided on times and he cruised through on his own in approximately 11.9 secs, much slower than the others. But the teenager, who was second fastest junior over 200m in Scotland last season with a time of 21.89 secs, must have done enough to convince his backers at least.

Kelly will clash with Charters in the fourth of the four cross-ties but, with fastest losers also qualifying, both could still go through to the final which will be run two hours later.

Dagg will be favourite to win the first cross-tie in which Calum McWilliam, a clubmate of Kelly and a fastest loser from heat 11, might be the dark horse.

Heat two winner Stacey Downie (EAC) goes in the second cross-tie with clubmate Ellie McGinty also there, while Craig Knowles (Corstorphine AC), who took the fifth heat impressively, goes in the third cross-tie.

There was disappointment at the start of the 148th New Year Sprint meeting when Kelly, one of the early favourites, was given a walkover in the first of the 12 heats at Meadowmill. All four of his rivals for one reason or another opted out of running, leaving the tall teenager, who has a start of 8.25m for the 110m handicap, to stride down the track in majestic style with only a blustery westerly wind for opposition.

“It was a pity we didn’t see how Kelly, one of the favourites, was actually running,” said John Scott, coach to Charters, who finished fourth last year and who won heat three, easing up in 11.66 secs from a start of 10.25m.

“That was a nice relaxed run and he had the race won with a bit in hand,” added Scott, whose assessment is that today being a rest day could play a significant part in who ultimately wins.

“The race will be won or lost tomorrow [today],” he asserted, alluding to the role played by mental preparation in such events. But also to be considered will be the switch from the all-weather synthetic surface at Meadowmill to the much less predictable grass on the strip next to the jumps. That too will be a factor in assessing the chances of the fastest heat winner, Dagg.

Her coach Bruce Scott was quietly satisfied with her run: “She ran well and I still think she’s got a wee chance.

”Tomlinson ran bravely in heat 12, which was won in 11.85 secs by Charlie Carstairs (Lasswade AC), despite a ruthless three metres slash of her handicap from 20.5m to 17m, and she at least secured a fastest loser’s spot in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

Francis Smith (Rosyth), though disappointed with his own virus-affected sprint form – he went out in heat seven as did a former favourite Morro Bajo (EAC) – believes Tomlinson should have been treated more sympathetically by the handicapper Adam Crawford.

Not to be discounted is Knowles, who, from 7.5m, won heat five easing up 11.61 secs while Glen Desport (Hawick), 9.5m, was also impressive in taking heat eight in 11.66 secs.

McWilliam (East Kilbride) 9m, must have speed in hand after qualifying as a fastest loser from heat 11 which was won by Cameron Caldwell (TJLT) in 11.57 secs. McWilliam had been penalised a metre after false starting.

Ewan Dyer (Pitreavie AC) was a convincing winner of the 800m open handicap, clocking 1:51.45 from a start of 40 metres, while Matt Dougall (Galashiels) staged the best finish of the day in snatching the 1600m handicap by inches from Owen Miller (Fife AC).



New Year Sprint: Dagg tipped to bag place in Jaz club

Edinburgh Evening News
Thursday 29 December 2016

Bruce Scott, coach to last year’s history-making New Year Sprint winner Jaz Tomlinson, believes girl power can triumph again in the famous 110 metres professional handicap, the heats of which will be staged at Meadowmill Sports Centre, East Lothian tomorrow.

However, Jedburgh-based Scott is not expecting a repeat from the 19-year-old Galashiels College student, who was an 8-1 outsider when she stormed home last year from her mark of 20.5 metres to become the first female winner in the 147 years of the event.

“Jaz has nae chance off 17 metres but she’ll be there to defend her title,” said Scott, praising the way Tomlinson has handled her success.

“Jaz has been quite focused, running for Edinburgh AC quite successfully and reaching Scottish finals, having set personal best times for 60, 100 and 200 metres.”

But it is another member of the TJLT club, Emily Dagg, who Scott believes will offer their main challenge.

Dagg did well to reach the final last time, finishing seventh, a place ahead of the previous winner Cameron Tindle, this year’s backmarker, who will not run due to other priorities. Dagg also won the women’s Invitation Sprint at the CERF (City of Edinburgh Running Festival) meeting at Meggetland in July.

“Emily’s put in a lot of hard work in the gym and has got the same mark as Jaz had last time – she’s got a wee chance,” says Scott, who also believes Galashiels rookie Cameron Caldwell should go well.

In heat four, Dagg faces former winner Cumbie Bowers (Glenrothes, 8.5m) and Capital duo Kieran Kivlin, a former youths winner off 6.75m and Sarah Malone (EAC) off 19.5m.

Malone is one of three runners guided by veteran Meadowbank coach Bill Walker, the others being a former favourite – who has never quite lived up to his promise – Morro Bajo (EAC) in heat seven off 5.25m, where he has to give five metres to former Scottish 200m champion Francis Smith (Rosyth) and former Scottish champion Stacey Downie, off 17.25m in heat two.

Other Capital hopes rest on coach John Scott’s duo of long jumper Jordan Charters, who was fourth last time and is off 10.25m in heat three, where faces Tynedale Harrier Lea Stephenson, off 9m, and Ellie McGinty in heat six, off 19.5m.

From farther afield, two names are being mentioned as potential winners: Greg Kelly (East Kilbride AC), who is off 8.25m in the first of the 12 heats, and Glen Desport (Hawick, 9.5m) in heat eight.

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