VAL News

2012 Warragul Gift

Posted in: Warragul

Wrap Up 

Warragul  15th December 2012.
After overnight showers the surface at Western Oval was damp but in good racing order for the 2012 Drouin Community Bank Warragul Gift. With eight events catering for all athletes, the woodchop providing plenty of extra entertainment and an enthralling mascot race the day was full of excitement and close finishes. The day remained overcast but thankfully the rain stayed away. “Fitzy’s” run of the meet was a close call with Simon giving the nod to new runner Geoff Pitman from Katherine Clarke. Pittman’s win off 13 metres, in the 300 metres veteran’s, in his first season with the VAL was first class and only just touched off Katherine’s run of 57.36 off 1 metre in the Broo 400 metres. Simon Fitzpatrick’s win in the 400 metres open final off 10 metres was certainly a worthy entrant in the award but the ever humble Simon was happy to bestow his blessing on Pittman’s win. Rosamond Gilden’s double was also a worthy contender.   
Tom Burbidge wishes to advise athletes and supporters that anyone requiring accommodation at the Albury & Wodonga Gift meeting on January 27th can book at the Quest apartments. The apartments range from singles to three bed room apartments. Quest are a valued sponsor of the gift meeting and it is only through the generosity of such sponsors that the Victorian Athletic League can maintain a strong and competitive circuit. Further details are available on the Albury entry page. 
Ideal Electrical 70 metres Open
Andrew Waldron (6.5m) won his first open event with the VAL in a close but handy win from Matthew Eddy (4.75m) and Matthew Hargreaves (2.5m) in 7.96. Andrew‘s only previous win was a victory at St Alban’s in 2009. Waldron ran the fastest heat time, defeating Edward Ware and Luke Versace, and with only eight heats went straight through to the final. 
Legible Signs 800 metres Open
Cameron Yorke (34m),coming off an extensive Nick Fieldler training program, sprinted up the home straight to win the 800 metres open by five metres from Ian Speed (64m) and John Morris (82m) in 1.59.27 on a slow track. With only two heats, spots in the final were not hard to come by and the dawdling tempo set in these heats made that fact obvious. In the first heat John Morris and Ian Speed gradually made ground on the front marker Celia Cosgriff (130m) to hit the finish together in a comfortable 2.02.2. In the second heat Doug Gittens (160m) the clear early leader tired badly with Yorke and David Haigh (56m) ambling to the line in a rather pedestrian 2.05.3. In the final Cosgriff once again set the early speed from Speed and Morris, with the backmarkers maintaining better contact with the middle group. Yorke made his winning run with 250 metres to travel and quickly put the race beyond doubt. 
La Concierge 120 metres Women’s and Veteran’s
After  a series of second placings last season and a VRTA second already this season, Rosamond Gilden (18.5m) put her name on the winners list with a extremely narrow win in the Women’s  and Veterans 120 metres. Rosamond edged out Tony “ the explosion” O’Shea(23m) by 1/1000th of a second with Eleni Gilden (17.25m) in third place. Rosamond, now coached by her father, ran the trip in 13.44, the exact time she clocked in her heat. 
Drouin Community Bank 120 metres Gift
In another close finish the judges took several minutes to decide that Noddy Angelakos (12.25) was the winner of the main event from Rhys Parkinson (10.5m) and Jay Blake (14.5m). Noddy’s time of 12.58 was the fastest of the day and a mere 1/1000th of a second ahead of Parkinson. Matthew Hargreaves was the fastest heat winner but was unable to improve on his time and made his way into the final as a semi place getter. Jay Blake, having a “ break out season”,  made  another gift final and was close up at the finish for his third. Noddy, in his seventh season and now coached by Robert Furness, is having a good month with a win at Northcote last weekend in the 70 metres. Rhys Parkinson, right in the thick of the action this season, heads to Tasmania where a forward showing is assured at Latrobe and Devonport. 
Concave 300 metres Veterans
Geoff Pittman (13m), new to the VAL, came with a barn storming run in his heat to record the fastest heat time in 36.93. In the final he finished with the same power to take out the event from John MacKay (29m) and Gary Blake (67m) in 37.00. On the home turn “Blakey” looked assured of a victory when he kicked clear but tired over the last few metres to finish third. The win was very similar to Andrew Wilcox’s win last week at Northcote as he too came from the rear on the home turn to grab a thrilling win. Tony O’Shea, who is bypassing Maryborough for Daylesford, looks hard to beat on the tight Cricket Willow oval. Pittman was awarded the Simon Fitzpatrick “run of the meet” award for his performance. Unfortunately Fitzy is a not for profit conglomerate and Geoff will have to be happy with Simon’s best wishes.   
Warragul and Drouin Gazette 400 metres  Open
Once again the three heats of the 400 metres event were very even and contested by quality fields. Tom Paavola (20m), as at Northcote last week, was most authoritative in his narrow heat win in 52.19. Matthew Power (34m) and Simon Fitzpatrick (10m) were close up in the placings. Heat two and Tom Hecimovic (54m) ran the fastest time (50.94) and was installed the favourite for the final. In the third heat Steve Fabris (23m), Peter Spence (22m) and Doug Greenough (18m) hit the line together in 50.08 with Fabris given the judges nod. In the final, with Hecimovic leading out,Greenough was the first to make a move with Shaun Hargreaves (11m) tailing him towards the lead group. Matthew Power joined in before the home turn with Fitzpatrick  still in last place. However after turning for the run home Simon pulled to the outside and stormed home to a comprehensive win in 51.41. Tom Paavola finished second just ahead of Neil Brennan(32m). Fitzpatrick, coached by Mark Hipworth, spent a large part of the day at the microphone calling the athletics. His calling like his running is improving each week. 
Viatek  1600 metres Open
After the distance handicapper Graeme “place money only” Watkins savagely sliced Stefan Catalano’s handicap to 320 metres the question remained, was Stefan up to the task of winning three on the trot? As in the past two wins Stefan attacked early but this time was unable to reach the early lead to set up a commanding break. Robert Kensole (400m) held a good early lead from Martine Beer (350m), Rebecca Cato (335m) and a gap to Catalano. At the 800 metres the first to set out after the front markers , with no back markers in sight at this stage, was Andrew Soltys (225m) trailed up by Chris Palermo (190m). At the 500 metre point Beer kicked clear with Catalano into second place. Palermo was becoming prominent and Alex Bacalja (100m) started to work into the race but a long way off Martine Beer. Soltys tired and down the back straight the last time Beer was collared by Palermo with Bacalja battling into second place, Leon Brooks (300m) was working towards the minor placings. In the run to the line Palermo defeated a luckless Bacalja with Martine Beer hanging onto third. The winning time on the slow track was 4.25.5. The winner is trained in Geelong by Matthew McDonough. 
After the Warragul meeting the VAL $2000 distance points series is still headed by Stefan Catalano (12pts) from the consistent Alex Bacalja (11pts) and John Morris (10pts). Mark “ I love a points series” Hipworth (9pts) is quietly sneaking up the leader board into fourth place. Remember runners, the series pays down to 25th ($50). Updated weekly on the VAL website. 
Broo 400 metres Women’s Series
The first heat of the Broo series was conducted at Warragul on Saturday with Rosamond Gilden (26m) completing a double for the day with a clear win in the straight out final in 57.07. Rosamond defeated backmarker, Katherine Clarke (1m) by two metres with Danielle McDowell (44m) hanging onto third place. Gilden accumulated maximum points for her win and nearly ensures herself a place in the final. Katherine Clarke’s run was amazing, to clock 57.36 off her miserly metre handicap on a damp track. Danielli McDowell, who doesn’t miss a carnival, continued her consistent form and will continue to be competitive in these events. 
With” Coxy” still on the mend the VAL would like to thank all those that continue to help Ian with the set up and pack up of the equipment. Also runners please try to have your heat number and colour before you arrive at the colour tent, as it can become quite congested at the tent when athletes hold up the process with queries. The huge staff at the offices of the VAL Wrap would like to welcome Rebecca Cato on board for future carnivals. Rebecca, studying journalism, should rise quickly through the ranks at “wrap HQ”. The Victorian Athletic League would like to take this opportunity to wish runners, coaches, officials, sponsors and supporters a merry Christmas with a safe and happy new year. And good luck to those athletes venturing interstate to Tasmania and South Australia. Those not running interstate can have a couple of weeks break before an attack on Ararat, Maryborough and Cricket Willow in quick succession.