Terang Gift Carnival at Terang Recreation Reserve - December 1st 2013
The Terang Athletic Club conducted their seventh VAL carnival on Sunday under ideal conditions with sunny weather and a well grassed track. The times were extremely fast for a pre-Christmas gift with the 70 metres won in 7.67, the Gift in 12.6, the 800 metres in 1.56.7 and the 1600 metres in 4.14. Ken Plummer, Richard Wearmouth and the rest of the Terang committee are to be commended on the standard of their track preparation and diversity of their program. By splitting the 70 metres, the Terang club provided another event for the outmarkers and a more competitive event for the backmarkers. The club worked to support the previous day’s meeting in Warrnambool, providing a generous bonus incentive. The double header will hopefully remain on the VAL calendar for future years.
Jack McCunnie Frontmarkers Handicap - 70 metres
After only a few runs, Angela Byrt (4.5m) recorded her first VAL win by comfortably winning the frontmarkers division of the 70 metres. With the handicaps back to scratch for the event, Angela (4.5m) recorded a time of 8.43 to defeat John Hilditch (4.75m) and Jonathon Rogers (2m), in a time similar to her 8.42 in the heat. Angela comes to the VAL with an impressive amateur record and is sure to add to her tally. Angela is coached by Mandi Cole.
VRTA-VAL Under 20s Handicap - 120 metres
Accustomed to running against stronger fields, Conor Nunn (12m) looked very comfortable in the under 20s division, recording a heat time of 12.85 and 12.87 in the final. The only real threat to Conor was Tiffany Boatman (24m) who he narrowly defeated in their heat. Fraser Heard (13m) ran a heat time of 13.07. In the final, he improved, recording 12.93 to finish second. In third place was Tiffany Boatman. It was to be the last time Tiffany was to be defeated for the afternoon as she dominated her remaining events. Conor is coached by Peter O’Dwyer at Ballarat, the scene of Conor’s biggest win, the Ballarat 400 metres.
Jack McCunnie Backmarkers Handicap - 70 metres
Re-handicapped half a metre following his win in Warrnambool, Luke Stevens (3.5m) easily won the backmarkers event in Terang and put himself in the running for an additional bonus. Generously donated by the Warrnambool Council and the Terang Club, the $500 bonus was pocketed by Stevens for winning the same event in Warrnambool. In the Terang heats, Luke recorded the fastest time of 7.71 which had him two meters clear of his nearest rival. He maintained that margin in the final to defeat Carl Morehouse (2.75m) and Matthew Hargreaves (3m) in 7.67. The final was a classy field with Stawell Gift winner Matthew Wiltshire (2.75m), Stawell Gift finalist Adam Coote and multiple gift winners Rob Lehmann (5.5m) and Cam Dunbar (4.25m) amongst the unplaced runners.
Having recently viewed the John “Bulldog” Henry training contract, with a group of high profile lawyers, this writer was unable to find any clause relating to a bonus payment. One can only assume the young Luke has officially been the first runner to avoid the stringent JH accounting “chop.”
Terang Lions Club / W.A.Molan & Sons Open Handicap - 800 metres
David Haigh (58m) in the red jacket was a regular sight on VAL tracks in the nineties but with the passage of time and with David concentrating on his telecommunications empire, he has gradually moved up the colour range. However on Sunday at Terang, Haigh “in the colour of honour” was back to his old self. After a “calculated” heat placing, he was like all red finalists, coloured up for a good hour before the event and warming up on the grandstand side of the ground. In the final, he timed his run a la cyclist Mark Cavendish and raced past the mere mortals to win his fifty eighth sash. Gary Blake (170m) was the fastest qualifier and looked certain to win past the 200 metres. However, just as “Blakey” was about to phone through an order to the Camperdown branch of Dan Murphy’s, the red runner appeared. Blake held on for second with Hugo Sarpa (114m) showing a return to form after years of constant injuries. At the presentation Haigh demanded and expected that in all future events, regardless of handicap, that he would wear red. One would expect that within 24 hours of his win, Angela will have him back to normal.
Tony Arundell Women’s & Veterans’ Handicap - 120 metres
After her placing in the under-age event, Tiffany Boatman (20.5m) stepped up to the women’s and veterans’ 120 metres to clock the fastest heat with a 13.46. Tiffany handled the veterans with ease and ran away with the final with at least a metre to spare from Richard Wearmouth (19m). Having won at Warrnambool the previous day, Richard was eliminated from bonus contention by his second placing. Third placing went to Tom Hecimovic (18m) and the winner’s time was 13.34. Tiffany was joined in the final by her sister Julia (18.25) who finished last. The sisters are coached by Marcus Cooper in Ararat.
Roy Northeast / Picone’s Pharmacy Terang Gift - 120 metres
Marcus Cooper not only coaches an extremely promising group of young guns at Ararat but he obviously finds time to do a little training himself. In his heat of the Terang Gift, Marcus (12.5m) cleared out to defeat Rhys Parkinson (8.25m) by over two metres and clearly recorded the fastest heat time. His semi-final win was similar as he accounted for Cam Dunbar (7.25m) in the time of 12.68, with the other semi-final going to Parkinson in 12.94. In the final Cooper repeated his previous two runs by defeating Parkinson and Dunbar. The winning time in the final was 12.61,the fastest of the day. The ease of the win would give Marcus an excellent chance of winning another of the pre-Christmas gifts.
Women’s and Veterans’ Star Printing / Terang Community Op Shop Handicap - 300 metres
After strolling away with the shorter women’s and veterans’ events, Tiffany Boatman tried her hand around the bend and qualified for the final of the 300 metres with a solid heat win in the time of 37.15. Narelle Lehmann (41m) marginally out pointed Tiffany with a heat time of 37.13. Lauren Parisi was not far away with a run of 37.24. However, in the final it was Boatman who found extra and charged home down the final straight to overtake Parisi and Dennis King (55m). Boatman recorded the fastest of the day with 36.25. Danielle McDowell was fourth in the final and was eliminated from the bonus prize.
Laurie Heffernan / Terang Newsagency Handicap - 1600 metres
Stefan Catalano (325m) returned to the scene of his maiden win when he won his second Terang 1600 metre event in convincing style. In 2012 Stefan won off the handicap of 375m, won by sixty metres and crossed the line with a victory salute. In Sunday’s event his winning margin was only a few metres but he was still able to raise the arm to celebrate his win. Stefan was always in control of the event from his handicap and held on to defeat Luke Searle (100m) and Phil O’Brien (140m) in the time of 4.14.7. Catalano’s only moment of concern was nearing the bell when Luke Searle passed Phillip O’Brien, who had chased hard in second place, and looked a serious threat going down the back straight on the last occasion. But Stefan responded well enough to the challenge to win. Catalano competed in the recent Melton 800 metres series, winning a heat and finishing close up in the final. Luke Searle’s second came on the back of his win in the 3200 metres at Meadowglen. Sefan is coached by Terry McGarity.
Wheatsheaf Hotel Open Handicap – 400 metres
The final event of the day was the 400 metres and was taken out by novice athlete Luka Cosic (32m) who overcame a second placing in his heat. Luka’s time was 47.83 and he defeated Callum James (24m) and Jacob Reed (40m). It was a good class final with Matt Hargreaves the backmarker of four metres breaking fifty seconds on the grass track. Susan Sinclair (72m), who narrowly defeated Cosic in the fastest heat, was unable finish the race off after a full weekend of racing. This race was the final chance for the $500 bonus to be split with eventual winner Luke Stevens. Michael Marantelli, the only live chance, clearly couldn’t handle the pressure when he asked the starter if “Chays Da Burnin Arrow” had made the final.
(1) Athletes are reminded that they must wear a singlet and not t-shirts, when competing in VAL events.
(2) Maryborough: Due to time and programming restrictions, the under 20s 800 metres event at Maryborough will be a straight out final of eighteen runners. The field will be selected on “first entered, first in” with the remaining nominations being emergencies. The emergencies not obtaining a run will have their entry fee refunded.
(3) Facebook: Many of the clubs and gift meetings are now on Facebook .
(4) For instant results of events at VAL carnivals, follow @VictorianAthLea on Twitter. (Editor’s note: Sadly the person tweeting has a loose understanding of how to use capital letters).
(5) The Victorian Cross Country League is once again sponsoring a series of 1600m novice events throughout the season with a final staged at Stawell. To be eligible for the Stawell event, Victorian runners must have competed in at least one of the novice events. Interstate athletes do not have to fill this criterion to be eligible for the Easter final.
(6) Sportzbiz will also be conducting their 400 metres novice series throughout the season. This series has proved extremely popular over the years and has seen the emergence of many talented athletes. This final is also conducted at Easter.
(7) The Victorian Runners and Trainers Association is sponsoring an under 20s sprint series (100m and 120m). This series is open to runners nineteen or younger as of 1st October 2013. The final is also conducted at Stawell in 2014.
(8) The Victorian Athletic League is sponsoring events for athletes under seventeen years of age during the season. No season final is held for these events. There will also be under twenty, 800 metres events held at different venues throughout the season. These events will be sponsored jointly by the VAL and VRTA.