Thornton Highland Games: Report and results

Action from Thornton Highland Games 2019. Pics: Ian Grieve, SHGAAction from Thornton Highland Games 2019. Pics: Ian Grieve, SHGA
Action from Thornton Highland Games 2019. Pics: Ian Grieve, SHGA
The weather played the game and a fair crowd was drawn to Memorial Park for the 166th Thornton Highland Games.

There was good fields for the running, cycling, heavy events and highland dancing.

Chieftain for the day was former top Games athlete Ian Whyte who was born and brought up in Thornton.

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The class acts in the track and field events were Ben Potrykus, Pitreavie AC, in the running and Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey, in the cycling.

Action from Thornton Highland Games 2019.Action from Thornton Highland Games 2019.
Action from Thornton Highland Games 2019.

Both won three races apiece.

The Games organisers were pleased to see current top heavy event competitor Vlad Tulacek of the Czech Republic among the competitors and he didn’t let the watching public down by winning six events and sharing top spot in the caber with Stuart Anderson.

Despite being only less than 24 hours after the City of Edinburgh Running Festival in the capital there was a great turn out of runners for both the Open and Youth running events.

The destination of the top prize of the day, the £200 for the 90m handicap, was decided by a photo finish which showed that backmarker Douglas Young, Kelso, had inched out Samantha Turnbull TLJT with Fraser Neil, Kelso close up in third.

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Highland dancers.Highland dancers.
Highland dancers.

Filling the minor places was Graeme Armstrong, Edinburgh, and Natasha Turnbull, TLJT, who had qualified as the fastest loser.

The other finalist Ben Lyall, Kelso, unfortunately pulled up injured midway through the race.

The 200 metres final saw four runners flash over the line almost in unison with Natasha Turnbull just holding on from Tommy Donnelly, Australia, Daniel Paxton, Hawick and Fraser Neil, Kelso.

There was local success in the Youth 90m handicap with Robbie Morrison,Kirkcaldy, bursting through to pip Hawick duo Ryan McMichen and Charlie Rae.

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There was a female 1-2-3 in the Youth 200 metres handicap with Larkhall YMCA duo Sophie Evans and Jade Gray coming home ahead of Ebony Newton, Australia.

It was great to see double figure numbers in the 800m, 1600m and 3200m events.

In the 800m the evergreen Donald Bradley, Inverness, continued his fine vein of form to break the tape in 1:54.51 ahead of Sean Bates, Tullibody and Craig Bell, Forfar.

The finish to the 1600 metres had the crowd on their feet. John Thomson, Glenrothes looked like following up his previous weeks win at Ceres as he held a fair lead with 200 metres remaining.

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But a tremendous last lap run from backmarker Ben Potrykus, Pitreavie AC, brought him right back into contention and he got up in the last strides to deny Thomson a local win.

Thomson again had to settle for minor honours behind Potrykus in the 3200 metres handicap finishing in third place with the pair of them seperated by Colin Lamont, Pitreavie AC.

Potrykus competed a great day by racing to victory in the 400 metres again coming through late to deny former New Year Sprint winner Daniel Paxton, Hawick and Fraser Neil, Kelso.

Erin McFarlane, Pitreavie AC, emulated her brother Kyle from the previous year by winning the Youth 800 metres handicap from Anstruther duo Archie Suttie and Lucy Nuttall with Hannah Steel, Lothian RC in fourth.

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Archie Suttie replicated his performance at Strathmore Games last month in winning the Youth 1600 metres.

The Anstruther youngster was relentless from gun to tape which he broke in 4:41.85 a second slower than when Shane Fenton won the same race 50 years ago!

Jamie Anderson followed his club mate over the line a distant second with Erin McFarlane in third and Hannah Steel again 4th.

In the cycling, Craig Hamilton, Edinburgh, took the opening 1600 metres from Paul Anderson, Perth, and Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey.

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The remainder of the afternoon belonged to the latter who won the 3200m 4800m and Deil tak the Hindmost.

In the 3200m Anderson was again runner up with Steven Walker Dalgety Bay in third.

Walker took 2nd prize in the 4800m with Craig Hamilton in third.The same duo also occupied the minor placings in the Deil.

Isaac Small, Deeside, has dominated the Youth cycle events this season and that continued at Memorial Park with victory in both the 800m and 1600m races.

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Ross Easthaugh, Grampian Tigers and brothers Victor and Magnus Atkinson Muir of Ord filled the minor placings.

In the heavy events Vlad Tulacek of the Czech Republic had a great day.

The current SHGA league leader won the 16lb and 22lb shot putt, 16lb and 22lb hammers, 28lb weight for distance 56lb weight for height and shared first place in the caber with Stuart Anderson, Lochearnhead.

Dan Carlin, Renfrew, Greg Walker, Fettercairn, and Dave Melenuek, Aberdeen, were also among the prizes.



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90m - 1 Douglas Young, Kelso 9.50; 2 Samantha Turnbull, TLJT 3; Fraser Neil, Kelso.

200m - 1 Natasha Turnbull, TLJT 19.27; 2 Tommy Donnelly, Australia; 3 Daniel Paxton, Hawick.

400m - 1 Ben Potrykus, Pitreavie AC 50.59; 2 Daniel Paxton; 3 Fraser Neil.

800m - 1 Donald Bradley, Inverness 1:54.51; 2 Sean Bates, Tullibody; 3 Craig Bell, Forfar.

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1600m - 1 Ben Potrykus 4:24.33; 2 John Thomson, Glenrothes; 3 Donald Bradley.

3200m - 1 Ben Potrykus 9:55.68; 2 Colin Lamont, Pitreavie AC; 3 John Thomson.

Youth 90m - 1 Robbie Morrison, Kirkcaldy 9.96; 2 Ryan McMichen, Hawick; 3 Charlie Rae, Hawick.

Youth 200m - 1 Sophie Evans, Larkhall YM 21.43; 2 Jade Gray, Larkhall YM; 3 Ebony Newton, Australia.

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Youth 800m - 1 Erin McFarlane, Pitreavie AC 2:01.00; 2 Archie Suttie, Anstruther; 3 Lucy Nuttall, Anstruther.

Youth 1600m - 1 Archie Suttie 4:41.85; 2 Jamie Anderson, Anstruther; 3 Erin McFarlane.


1600m - 1 Craig Hamilton, Edinburgh; 2 Paul Anderson, Perth; 3 Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey.

3200m - 1 Charles Fletcher; 2 Paul Anderson; 3 Steven Walker, Dalgety Bay.

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4800m -1 Charles Fletcher; 2 Steven Walker; 3 Craig Hamilton.

Deil tak the Hindmost - 1 Charles Fletcher; 2 Craig Hamilton; 3 Steven Walker.

Youth 800m - 1 Isaac Small, Deeside; 2 Victor Atkinson, Muir of Ord; 3 Ross Easthaugh, Grampian Tigers.

Youth 1600m - 1 Isaac Small; 2 Rory Easthaugh; 3 Victor Atkinson.

Heavy Events:

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16lb Shot Putt - 1 Vladislav Tulacek, Czech Republic 55.4; 2 Dan Carlin, Renfrew; 3 David Melnicuk, Aberdeen.

22lb Shot Putt- 1 Vladislav Tulacek 46’ 1’’; 2 Dan Carlin; 3 David Melnicuk.

28lb Weight for Distance - 1 Vladislav Tulacek 78’ 6’’; 2 Stuart Anderson, Lochearnhead; 3 Dan Carlin.

16lb Hammer- 1 Vladislav Tulacek 131’ 2’’; 2 Dan Carlin; 3 Greg Walker, Fettercairn.

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22lb Hammer - 1Vladislav Tulacek 106’ 10’’; 2 Dan Carlin; 3 Greg Walker.

56lb Weight over Bar - 1 Vladislav Tulacek 16’; 2 Dan Carlin; 3 Stuart Anderson.

Caber - 1 = Vladislav Tulacek & Stuart Anderson; 3 Dan Carlin.

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