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Burramine Gift

Posted in: Burramine


For the 63rd year the Victorian Athletic League ventured up to the North of the state for the running of the Burramine athletic carnival. The track was once again presented in perfect condition with circle runners having the unique privilege of their names attached to their handicap marks.  The predicted thunderstorms and torrential rain held off until the running events had concluded but it certainly came down in a flood shortly after. Many thanks to David Haigh and Paul Hughes who stayed behind to help Coxy load the VAL van, by the finish of packing all concerned were saturated.  The race winners were presented with their sashes and cheques at the Mulwala Club, who once again provided a great venue and greatly appreciated snacks and refreshments. Peter Lawless, Frances Connell and the Burramine committee continue to make this weekend a must for the VAL running community. Not only is the gift prize money well received but all the support races are well catered for with excellent cash and trophies.                                                                                          Burramine is second only to Stawell for the return of previous winners to their carnival, which certainly says a great deal about the hospitality of the Burramine committee and the prestige of the events. The same can be said for their sponsors with most of the races having names and sponsors, unchanged for many years.

Note: Congratulations to Peter Spence who was unable to compete at Burramine due to a prior engagement at the altar. We wish Peter and Lauren many more athletic carnivals together. The big question going around is when will big brother David sweep the lovely Steph away on a cloud of rose petals.


Kelly Brothers 70mts

The opening VAL race of the day was the Kelly Brothers sprint with a handy prize pool of $1250. The heats were evenly contested early but Simon Cary (9.75m) dashed most runners’ hopes with a very quick 7.67 in the second last heat. He went into the semi finals as clearly the one to beat, with only Vic Sharmer (9.25m & 7.71) looking likely to trouble him. Things changed when Bikramjeet Singh (6.5m) improved on his heat run to flashed across the line in the first semi to turn the tables on Cam Dunbar (5.25m) in 7.61, Sharmer was third. In the second semi Carey won but only just held out John Adams (4m) in the slower time of 7.67. The final had a touch of the sensational when Singh failed to finish, suffering a hamstring problem. Carey and Sharmer were locked together for the trip with Sharmer not quite able to make up the half metre leeway in the run to the line. Simon Cary went on to win in a close finish from Sharmer and Dunbar in third place. The winning time was 7.60.

John Gleeson Memorial 800mts

Another time honoured event at Burramine is the Gleeson Memorial 800mts which also carries a handsome prize pool of $800. The first of three heats was taken out by Dan Veith (64m) who showed no mercy to partner Celia Cosgriff (130m) in the quickest time of 1.56.3. The very consistent Lonain Burnett (52m) overcame front maker Stefan Catalano (136m) close to the finish line with the time of 1.58.49 in the second heat. The final heat was a tough affair with the event backmarker Michael Marantelli (18m) only just defeating former sprinter James Clarke (62m) on the line in 1.58.3. The final saw Catalano and Cosgriff maintain their lead comfortably over the first lap but heading into the back straight the final time Veith made a quick dash to go to the front and immediately open a good break on the backmarkers. Only Cameron Clayton (24m) was able to make any ground on Veith as he ran on strongly for second place ahead of James Clarke. The winning time was 1.55.38. The first three placegetters are coached by Mark Hipworth.

Burramine Women’s Gift 100m

Cassandra Anderson (21.75m) cleared out in her heat to defeat last week’s Bendigo Women’s Gift winner, Sarah Blizzard (6.25m) by three metres and clock the quickest heat time of 11.90. The only competitor capable of getting close to that time was in heat two where Samantha Pomroy (8.5m) recorded a time of 12.09.  The final was never in doubt as Cassandra held her handicap advantage easily in the run to the line in 11.72. Pomroy held on well for second with Blizzard finishing third after making her way into the final as a fastest non heat winner. For Cassandra, coached by Nick Feidler and originally from NSW, it was her first VAL victory.

Burramine Gift 120m

After a frustrating run of injuries and near misses in big race finals Mark Hignett (12m) held on to score a convincing win in the $8,000 Burramine Gift final. After the eight heats there were no clear favourites for the final with Cam Dunbar (7.75m) recording the fastest time of 12.57, just holding out Kevin Brittain (5.75m) in 12.59. Not far behind was 2010 winner Derek Collinge (9.75m) with a run of 12.62 and Hignett in 12.64. In the first semi final John Adams (7.75m) defeated Collinge in 12.51. Kevin Brittain over ran Hignett in the second semi final to win by a few centimetres in 12.48. In the third semi final Cam Dunbar won well but the time of 12.74 seemed out of the ordinary. In the final Hignett began extra well and, except for a late charge from Brittain, always looked the winner. He defeated John Adams by nearly a metre with Brittain very close in third place. The final time was 12.49, the fastest of the day.

Strathmerton Drilling and Muckatah Novice 100m

Leigh Miller (12m), new to VAL racing, broke his novice status with a comfortable win at Burramine, over 100 metres.  Leigh had an easy win in his heat and improved his time for the final to win by half a metre in 10.71. He defeated Samuel Grouios (14.25m) and Daniel Richardson (10.5m) in a very close finish for second place. Leigh is coached at Albury by Adrian Fury.

Peter Lawless Memorial Veterans’ 100m

Kevin Matthews (15.25m) made another of his regular trips from Canberra and went home with a slice of Victorian cash as he battled to the line determinedly to win the veterans’ sprint at Burramine. Kevin could only finish third in his heat but his time of 11.47 was quick enough to give him another chance at the final. In the final Kevin won by half a metre from Andrew Drummond (13.25m), another to make it to the final on fastest times, and Leigh Phelan (3m).  Also making her way through to the final was Kevin’s wife, Vicki, finishing in fifth place. Craig Lancaster (20m) was another finalist, courtesy of a walkover, a seldom occurrence at carnivals these days. Kevin is coached by the MattyB department in Canberra.


Victorian Athletic League under 20s 800m

Promising distance athlete, Ashley Cowen (12m), continued on with his successful season with a narrow win in a blanket finish in the 800 metre junior straight final.  Kyle Hilson (132m) and Meg Deane (156m), in her first VAL season, carted the field along at a steady pace and still had a handy lead at the bell. At that stage Cowen and co-back marker Jacob Reed (12m) were well back with a great deal of work to do. Down the back straight Tom Noden (90m) surged towards the lead and looked a definite chance as Cowen and Reed started to come into the race. As heads were turned for home Deane Hilson and Noden were still holding a lead but Cowen came with a powerful finish over the final few metres to grab a narrow victory. Reed trailed the winner home but just missed a top three finish. Cowen won by a body width from Hilson, Deane, Noden and Reed, two metre separated the first five placings. The winner’s time was 2.03.81                                                                                 Ashley, already a heat winner of this series at Maryborough, is assured of a place in the final at Stawell over the Easter weekend. He has also qualified for the restricted 1600 metres with a win in the Geelong division of the race.  It was another win to the Hippo Athletic Club.

Broo Women’s 400 metres Final

The successful Broo series came to its conclusion on Saturday with the final and $475 prize money going to Katrina Buckingham (44m). The final field was stretched out over seventy two metres with Alice Platten the back marker on scratch and Elissa Ward the out marker. The first runner to break single file formation was Susan Sinclair (28m) who moved two wide down the back straight to make ground. But, as Sinclair left those around her behind, Buckingham strode to the lead at the 200 metres point and opened up a very handy and what turned out to be a winning break. Katrina cruised to the line to win by five metres from Susan Sinclair and Jessica Payne (23m) in third place. The winner is coached by Robert Furness.  

Leo Burke Memorial 1600 metres    

With two laps to travel Aaron Downes (155m) seemed the only runner capable of running down the front markers in the Burke Memorial on Saturday. At that stage Jessica O’Hara (345m) was rolling along in front with only Stefan Catalano (310m) and Leon Brooks (330m) to keep her company. At this point Downes was the best of the back markers in about ninth place but still a fair way off the lead. Coming to the bell, O’Hara was still well clear from Brooks but Downes moved to fifth place and on the charge. As he moved into second place down the back, he quickly began to reel in the leader and passed Jessica before the home turn. Aaron was untroubled over the final stages of the event to defeat O’Hara by twelve metres with Cameron Clayton (100m) running home strongly for third. The winning time was 4.20.42. The race was yet another win for the Hippo Athletic club.

McLardy , McShane Women’s and Veterans’ 300mts

Kaitlyn Bryce (56m) went into the final of the 300 metres with a stranglehold on the event with a heat time of 35.7, well clear of her competitors. However it appeared as if she may have missed her chance as she became held up for a run coming to the home turn. At this stage Kerrieanne Hocking (84m) and Vicki Matthews (83m) were in front and quickly joined by Samantha Hargreaves (70m) who made a charge at the leaders. Lauren Parisi (65m) and Kim McDonough (52m) also joined in, out wide on the home turn. Bryce was in the middle of the pack at this stage until a late split came and she burst through to win running away. Kaitlyn is coached at Bendigo by the Knott-Hocking team and she ran the winning time of 36.06.

Judd and Sons Tungamah 400mts

Another one of the time honoured events at Burramine is the Tungamah 400 metres and this year’s prize went to Jarrat Wood (37m). Jarrat and Tom Hecimovic (60m) recorded similar heat times in the low 48 second range and looked the main chances. Cameron Clayton (26m), fronting up again after placings in the 1600 metres and 800 metres finals, recorded a soft win in his heat with a time of 50.23. Glen Stephens (43m) continuing on from his Bendigo form, won his heat in 49.25. The last heat went to Nick Howard (44m) in 48.48. In the final the field stayed in single file before Glen Stephens made a move at the halfway mark and tried to go towards the lead. Calvin Gook (48m) took the lead before the home turn but was quickly joined by Jarrat Wood who raced away for an easy win. The winning time was 47.80.

Tom Hopkins Memorial Invitation 120m

Luke Stevens (1m) continues to stamp his first VAL season with quality wins from tight handicaps. He came from the virtual scratch mark on Saturday to defeat a good field of sprinters in 12.84. He raced to the line with nearly two metres to spare over Ben Weaver (3.25m) and David Tinney (4.25m). John Henry is the coach and Luke must be heading for any number of awards at the annual VRTA presentation evening. This year it will held on Saturday 24th May.  Details below from Katie Moore

Hi All,

See below for an update of the points awards. Close battles in all categories, it will come down to the wire.

The VRTA Presentation Night will be on Saturday 24th May, at the same venue as last year: The Dan O'Connell Hotel, 225 Canning St, Carlton, with a similar format. Put this date in your diaries! Further details on how to purchase tickets etc, will be available shortly.

Also, please send in your nominations for Male, Female, Veteran Performance of the Year and Meeting of the Year. A big thanks to those who have already done this.

Lastly, for those of you who have yourself or have a stable mate who has won a race or 2, and you have photos, we'd very much appreciate a copy of them to incorporate into the presentation night. Either email them to, or put them on a USB stick and give it to either myself or Lachy Taylor (this will be returned).

Many thanks and best of luck for the rest of the season,

Katie on behalf of the VRTA

Women (before the weekend)
Celia ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ Cosgriff 44
Jessica ‘the Paniac’ Payne 39
Karlee Bailey 33
Sarah Blizzard 30
Sonya Pollard 30
Tiffany Boatman 26
Danielle McDowell 25
Cara Boustead 25
Angela Byrt 22
Jessie Hart 22

Luke ‘Evens’ Stevens 77
Cam ‘Consistency’ Dunbar 76
Nathan Riali 66
David Fenollar 54
John Adams 40
Noddy Angelakos 40
Lawrence Coop 40
Lee Forrest 40
Shaun Hargreaves 39
Vladimir ‘Bolter’ Spencer 35
Sam Jamieson 35
Augustine Carty-Cowling 35

David Haigh 33
Andrew Drummond 31
Tom Hecimovic 31
Craig Lancaster 30
Robert Lehmann 28
Sonya Pollard 24
Gary Blake 23
Mark Hignett 22
Mark Hipworth 21
Kim McDonough 21

Middle Distance
David Haigh 29
Michael Marantelli 27
Cameron Clayton 24
Jacob Reed 23
Lawrence Coop 20
David Fenollar 20
Joel Donnar 17
Robert Keenan 17
Luke Versace 17
Lonain Burnett 16

Michael Marantelli 47
David Haigh 44
Charlie Brooks 32
David Spence 31
Cameron Clayton 28
Stefan Catalano 24
Daniel Veith 24
Matthew Bateman 23
Philip O’Brien 22
Joel Donnar 21