The Victorian Athletic League opened the 2012/13 season with the Victorian Runners and Trainers carnival at the Meadowglen stadium, Epping. The day was warm, sunny and windy with an excellent turnout of runners to contest the eight events and stable relay. The relay was won comfortably by the John Henry stable with Matthew Hargraves coming from behind in the last 100 metres to defeat Lachlan Taylor from the Walsh stable.
The VAL would like to welcome a new starter for season 2012/13. Pam Noden, who has worked with Athletics Victoria for several years, will this season be assisting Gary Mahon. Unfortunately Les Mollard, who was to be a part of the steward’s panel, has suffered a major leg injury and will be unavailable for this season. We wish Les a speedy and complete recovery.
The Victorian Athletic League are conducting a distance point’s series during season 2012/13, beginning last Sunday the 18th November at Meadowglen and finishing at Stawell. The aim of the series is to reward competitors who enter and compete regularly not necessarily those that win events. Points will be awarded for entry, competing and finishing order.
Entry, 1 point
Entry and completion of event, 2 points
Top five finish , additional 1 point (3pts)
Winner, additional 2 points (5pts )
The total prize pool will be a minimum of $2000.
Prize money will be paid down to 25th position.
The final prize pool and split will be finalised shortly.
The progressive tally will be updated regularly on the VAL website.
Races eligible for points are events from 1500 metres to 3200 metres, including novice events. Invitation races are excluded from the series.
Any further queries please contact Brian Marantelli.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium 70 metres.
Bros Kelly (4m) returned to the winners list when he made short work of the 70 metres at Epping in the time of 7.57. Bros always looked the one to beat after impressive runs in the heat and semi before defeating Jarrod Lindner (6.25m) and Gus Carty-Cowling (4.75m) in the final. It was the first win for Bros since winning at Northcote in 2009. He is trained by Bruce Gulliver.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium Open 200 metres
The main event on the program was the 200 metres Gift which was taken out by Carl Morehouse (8m) from Rhy Parkinson (16m) and Matthew Hargreaves (10m) in the time of 21.42. Morehouse has been one of the better sprinters in recent years and has always been extremely competitive in backmarkers events, however Sunday’s win was his first in an open event. Rhys Parkinson was responsible for a good performance, his best effort in a sprint event to date. The winner is coached by Nick Fiedler. Nick’s stable continues to grow each year, as does the size of his family. Nick has also installed a pool on the family estate and invites anyone in the area to please drop in for a swim. Of course lunch and cool drinks will be provided.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium Women’s 200 metres
Whilst the Open 200 metres was a clear cut win to Morehouse, the ladies 200 was a different matter with three runners crossing the line together in a very close finish. The winner was Celia Cosgriff (22m) by 1/100th of a second from Rosamond Gilden (17m) and Pamela Austin(17m) in the time of 24.49. Although Celia is the winner of many events on the VAL calendar, Sunday’s win was her first since Northcote 2010. Celia is also coached by Nick “the poolman” Fiedler.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium 550 metres.
The 550 metres final was a clear win to South Australian visitor Simon Thompson (62m) from Tom Kelly (58m) and Michael Marantelli (31m) in 1.11.45. Thompson, responsible for a poor tactical heat run, made sure of the final by never being in danger and running strongly to the line. Tom Kelly, after a couple of seasons of injury, showed a good return to form with a promising second. Marantelli grabbed third place right on the line but will surely do the decent thing and swap cheques with fourth placed Wayne James. Thompson is coached in South Australia by the 1985 Stawell Gift winner Paul Young. Simon Fitzpatrick running off the very tight mark of five metres put in a great performance to finish sixth, in between his race calling duties.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium Vets 300 metres.
Brett Maurer (5m) started the season on the right note with a strong win in the 300 metres veteran’s final. Brett charged home in the straight to defeat Adrian Fury (30m) and the fast finishing Cameron Yorke (4m). Fury looked certain to win only to be mown down in the last few metres. Mauer, trained by Max Warlow, ran the winning time of 36.38. Andrew Wilcox unfortunately broke down in the home straight with a leg injury.
400 metres Sportzbiz Novice.
The first of the Sportzbiz heats provided a fine display of running from promising young talent Buddy Williams (24m), winning in the slick time of 46.98. As has been the case since the inception of the Sportzbiz novice races, the heats were keenly contested with many chances in the final. Before the home turn, the out markers Danielle McDowell (87m) and Tarryn Fisher (80m) still held a clear lead but Williams came with a barnstorming run down the centre of the track to win from Thomas Skinner (50m) and McDowell. Buddy is trained by former VAL runner Justin Lewis.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium Wom/Vets 1600 metres
After a successful cross country season with the Victorian Cross Country League , Gary Blake (330m) registered his first VAL win with a solid run to hold out Martine Beer (305m) and Peter Cowell (175m) in the time of 4.29.19. Blake was always in a winning position, staying in touch with the early leaders Rob Kensole (390m) and Greg Whitecross (345m) before hitting the lead on the home turn to win by ten metres. Not Only did Gary have a very fruitful winter season, winning two races, he was also able to fit in his annual winter holiday in Europe, this time visiting the vineyards of France. Blakey, an excellent vintner, is putting together one of the better cellars in the state. Gary, trained by Ben Tancredi, is a late comer to the sport having followed his son Jay . Gary is an early leader in the Val distance series which continues throughout the season.
City of Whittlesea/Meadowglen Stadium 3200 metres.
Only a small field of ten runners contested the 3200 metres event with the winner, Michael Marantelli (140m), holding out his stable mate David Spence (180m) and Adrian Phelan (240m) in the time of 9.29.96.The field was led out by John Morris (290m) from Jeremy Grey (260m) and Luke Gray (290m) for the early part of the race until Phelan and Spence took up the running with 1200 metres to travel. Marantelli, coached by Mark Hipworth, was the backmarker for the event and made his ground gradually to be in a winning position at the half mile. He ran to the lead with a lap to go and held on well. Michael is another to return from holidays recently, having spent time helping various South American cantinas re-organise their stock and then staying around to help close their doors and turn out the lights.
Next Sunday week (December 2nd) the Val travel to Terang for an eight event program. Included in the program is a divided 70 metres event, giving front markers an opportunity to race for a $700 prize pool.