Young ‘Harrier’ Harris Morrison celebrated a double at New Year with victory in the youths 200m and 800m at the famous New Year Sprint in Musselburgh; the most enduring open athletics event in the UK which is now in its 150th year.
Harris representing Greenock Glenpark Harriers contested firstly the 800m Handicap. A steady start over the first 400m had Harris following the leading group into the final 200m before gradually increasing pace to move into close contention for the top places. Entering the home straight Harris unleashed a sprint finish that saw him overhaul the leaders and open up a gap to claim a convincing victory in the first youth event of the day, in a time of 1.58minutes off a 130m handicap.
This was particularly impressive as he had to catch up 10 metres on the eventual runner-up Caleb McLeod of Pitreavie, who had beaten him in the National championships at Aberdeen in August.
Some 10 minutes later Harris again stepped onto the track in the heat of his 200m and despite the short recovery secured entry to the final with a fine run. In the final, a determined Harris accelerated to top speed hitting the home straight in the lead and despite older athletes chasing him down he showed maturity to hold technique to claim his second victory of the day. From a handicap of 44m Harris recorded a time of 21.53 seconds, finishing over ½ a second clear of Pitreavie’s Rebecca Grieve, a triple Gold medal winner at the Scottish Indoor Nationals.
Harris is only the second local athlete to claim a win in the historic competition; the other being British Internationalist sprinter Craig Fleming in 2010; giving him an excellent finish to 2018 with a springboard for an optimistic 2019.