AN EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Borders athlete has run his way into the history books by winning the 155th New Year Sprint.

Hawick youngster Ryan McMichan took the prestigious title at Grangemouth on Saturday (January 6).

He received the Eric Liddell Trophy and a cheque for £4,000.

“It is the biggest win of my career so far,” McMichan told Scottish Athletics. “I knew I had three races in me today because I have been training hard and done plenty of work in terms of endurance.

“I tried to stay positive and warm between the semi final and the final. I got away to a good start and always felt I was gaining on the others.

“I finished strongly and I was pretty sure in the moment that I’d won the title.”

Usually held at Musselburgh Racecourse, the 155th edition of the 110m race went ahead at Grangemouth Stadium.

First place in each heat qualified for the semi finals as well as the next 12 fastest times.

Tweed Leader Jed Track’s (TLJT) Evie Renwick won heat one with an 11.94-second run.

Gala Harrier Karalee Lindsay did not make it out of heat seven with a time of 13.9.

TLJT’s Rojin Barskanmay and Peeblesshire athlete Stacey Downie – who took the crown in the 153rd edition of the sprint in 2022 – did not start in heat eight.

Iskan Barskanmay, of TLJT, took top spot with an 11.74 run in heat nine.

There was more good news for TLJT in the following race as Gordon Armstrong qualified in first place. Peebles youngster Louis Whyte was one of three others behind Armstrong to progress from a quick heat.

McMichan took heat 12 in a time of 11.47 seconds.

The semi finals took place after 1pm. First place guaranteed a place in the showpiece event, as did the next four quickest times.

Armstrong’s 11.62-second effort sent him into the final, with Renwick missing out.

Iskan Barskanmay did not qualify out of the next semi final heat.

McMichan recorded the second quickest time of the semis – 11.44 seconds – to make it into the final, with Whyte finishing bottom of that heat.

In the final, McMichan, who started the iconic handicap off 8.5m, finished a full metre clear of Central AC’s Lewis Miller. Greenock’s Simon Okiti took third, while Armstrong finished fourth.

The Hawick youngster scorched home in a time of 11.35 seconds to take the crown.