Sprint victor cheered by first games win of season

Conor Hedley with the 110m final trophy.
Conor Hedley with the 110m final trophy.

Morpeth music production student Conor Hedley’s need for speed secured victory in this year’s Oxton Games Sprint in Scotland.

The win was the 22-year-old’s first on the Border games circuit this season, but it has given him a hunger for more.

“Before I came here, we decided this would be the last games I participated in this season,” he said.

“Now I have the winning bug, who knows, though?”

Coached by his grandfather Brian Hedley, also a regular on the Borders circuit in his youth, the Morpeth Harrier has made the two-hour-plus drive over the Scottish border from Ellingham throughout the summer and was delighted to have something to show for it at last.

“I came second at Jedburgh, so that was a close call, but I haven’t done much since,” he said.

“It’s quite a trek every weekend, but it’s worth it, and this win will make up for the petrol money.”

Running off 8.5 metres, Hedley blitzed his heat and cross tie to make the 110m final alongside Cory Wilson (Hawick), Fraser Neil (Kelso), Craig Gillan (TLJT), Connor Gillon (Kelso) and Angus Johnstone (TLJT).

With Wilson (11.5m) and Johnstone (14m) well in front of him, Hedley had some work to do from the off, but he stayed focused to drift through to take the tape in 11.46 seconds, with Wilson and Johnstone finishing second and third respectively.

“Straight from the heat, I knew I was feeling good, and when you know you are going well in the early stages, it’s definitely motivational for the rest of the event,” he said after the final.

“It felt amazing. It’s been a long hard season and a lot of work, but it has paid off today, and I’m really chuffed.”

A bumper afternoon of foot-racing events on the Justicehall track began in brilliant sunshine, but the weather deteriorated throughout, with some rain showers being followed by breezy conditions which saw temperatures plummet.

That failed to faze either athletes or spectators, however, with a good turnout of both being in attendance.