The Warrnambool City Gift 30th November 2013-12-03
The first running of a Victorian Athletic League carnival at Warrnambool for several years took place on Saturday at Jetty Flat Reserve. The ground was in perfect condition with a breeze blowing into the face of the gift track runners.
The VAL would like to thank Luke Cann from the Warrnambool City Council for his involvement in organising the sponsorship and venue for the event. Thanks also to Carl McMeel, Paul Frusher, John Henry and Ian Cox for their assistance in marking and preparing the track on the Friday afternoon. A special mention to VAL CEO Tom Burbidge for the additional work required to plan and run a VAL club event. An excellent canteen and bar were supplied by the Russell Creek Cricket Club. Next year’s events will have more prize money and remain a part of a western district weekend. Thanks to all those that chipped in with odd jobs to help the day run smoothly and on time.
For instant results of events at VAL carnivals, follow @Victorianathlea on Twitter.
The City of Warrnambool 70 metres Open
The promising start to a VAL career continued for Luke Stevens(4m) when he won the opening heat of the day in the slick time of 7.63. The only occasion that this time was bettered was in the final when Luke improved to win in 7.60. Stevens won the final by over a metre from another novice runner in Angela Byrt (10.5m) with Shaun Hargreaves in third place. Luke, who has held his form after impressive runs at the Melton harness series, is coached by John Henry.
The City of Warrnambool 100 metres Gift
Carl Morehouse (4.5m), one of our better sprinters in recent years, won his first straight gift race since joining the VAL. Carl has won numerous backmarker events as well the VRTA 200 metres Gift, but Saturday was his first Gift win “up the middle”. The heat times were extremely close with the fastest being Craig Mair (11.5m) in a time of 11.01 and slowest, not far behind, Kevin Brittain (4.5m) in 11.25. The semi finals made the situation a little clearer when Morehouse recorded 10.92, a metre faster than Cam Dumbar’s semi time of 11.08. In the final Morehouse was able to run down Dunbar with a clear margin to spare in 10.87. Adam Coote (7.5m), a scratching from last year’s Stawell Gift semi finals, finished in third place.
The City of Warrnambool 300 metres Open
Wade “The Circle” Girotto(40m) defeated his former training partner Eric Sapac (20m) in the final of the 300 metres by a couple of metres with Jack Dooley (23m) in third place. Sapac recorded the fastest heat time of 35.22 with Girotto not far behind in 35.51. In the final, for a major part of the race it was Susan Sinclair (54m) who looked like causing an upset as she cleared out with a big lead but tired over the concluding stages. Chad Ryan (18m) was close up in fourth place and the back marker, Shaun Hargreaves (6m) produced another solid effort off his tough mark to finish fifth. Wade is now coached by John Henry and looks set for a successful season.
The City of Warrnambool 300 metres Women’s and Veterans’
Danielle McDowell opened her VAL winning account with a clear victory in the combined 300 metres final from Tara Domaschenz (37m) and Holly Dobbyn (32m). Danielle recorded the fastest heat but her winning final time of 37.34 was to eclipse that by nearly a second. She led out in the final and was never troubled in an all female finish. Danielle has been a solid supporter of the Victorian Athletic League in her short career and rarely misses a carnival. McDowell is coached by Terry McGarity.
The City of Warrnambool 550 metres Open
The 550 metre final became a one act affair when the out marker Leigh Rowbottom (85m) returned a heat time of 1.13.64, a clear margin over the next fastest, Robert Keenan (47m) in 1.14.4. In the final Rowbottom cleared out and was never in danger of losing as he scored by seven metres from Keenan and another good margin to Ben Mason (49m). The former VFL umpire recorded a winning final time of 1.13.6. The race was another coaching victory for Terry McGarity.
The City of Warrnambool 3200 metres Open
The 3200 metres event attracted only a small field of seven runners with five of those coming from the Hippo Athletic Club. The odd men out were David Haigh and Carl McMeel. The backmarker off the rather tight handicap of thirty metres was Michael Marantelli. He was able to gradually work his way through the field to hit the lead with more than two laps to travel and control the race from that point to win by about forty metres. Battling on well for second was David Spence (180m) who relegated Phillip O’Brien (220m) to third place. Matthew Bateman (380m) was fourth across the line but it was unsure if he was in the actual race or just trying to avoid his twin four year olds causing mayhem in the middle of the ground. Ben Mason was custodian at the time and is available for any babysitting duties during the VAL season (nappies are not a problem). Marantelli has built up an impressive 3200 metres record with his last five races resulting in four wins and a second.
The City of Warrnambool under 20s 100 metres
The under 20s event at Warrnambool was the first VAL win for Fraser Heard (11.50m) and the first of many for his coach Marcus Cooper over the weekend. Fraser recorded the fastest of the two heats with a 10.96 against Luke Stevens time of 11.05. In the final Fraser, did as he did in the heat, defeated Tyson Deane (14m) and Conor Nunn (10). His final time of 10.95 was centimetres better than his heat time.
The City of Warrnambool 100 metres Women’s and Veterans’
Richard Wearmouth(16.5m) returned to the winners list, after a five year drought, with a clear win in the Women’s & Veterans’ 100 metre final. Richard only narrowly defeated Jeff Sergent (14m) in the first round in the fastest of the heats. However in the final Richard put the issue beyond doubt with a clear win from Sergeant with Holly Dobbyn (12.25m) in third place. Richard was happy to get the win early in the weekend as he is heavily involved in the running of the Terang Athletic meeting the next day. The final winning time was 11.41 with second place recording 11.60.