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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Hargreaves brothers all a strong chance

Hargreaves brothers all a strong chance

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1 Hargreaves brothers all a strong chance on Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:09 am


Hargreaves brothers all a strong chance
26 Dec, 2011 01:00 AM

ODDS are tomorrow's Latrobe Gift final will feature the name Hargreaves.

Victorian sprinters and brothers Matt, Chris and Shaun Hargreaves will all contest tomorrow's Gift and are all in with a strong chance of taking home the top title.

From the stable of former elite runner and last year's National Trainer of the Year, John Henry, the brothers, in particular Matt and Chris, have had recorded some solid results leading into the Basslink Christmas Carnivals Series.

Taking out the prestigious Queanbeyan Gift last weekend in a time of 12.25, Chris beat red-hot favourite and comeback king Josh Ross in the final.

Matt, who was named the Victorian and National Sprinter of the Year last season, also had a winning result at this month's Melbourne Zatopek meet, winning the 300m event.

"There are some strong runners competing this year but the boys are in some good form and will no doubt be very competitive," Henry said.

"When we've come over in the past, we tend to race well there and go back to Victoria with some good form."

A total of seven heats will be run in tomorrow's Gift.

Shaun will start the Hargreaves' chances in heat five and has the biggest challenge on his hands when he takes on Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brendan Cole.

Cole will start off 6m and Shaun off 7.75m, with local runner Brendan Smart all in the heat off 11.25m.

Chris, off 7.25m, will battle it out in the sixth heat, up against Max Waldron off 6m.

While Matt will contest the final heat off 6.50m.

Henry will also bring a number of first time Tasmanian competitors to this year's carnivals including Clinton Gray, Rhyce Parkinson along with strong women's Gift contender and National Female Sprinter of the Year, Laura Jane Hilditch.

He praised Latrobe for making the switch in dates from Boxing Day to December 27.

"It has certainly led to a higher quality in athletes attending," he said.

"When it was held on Boxing Day it put too much pressure on people coming over from the mainland as, in the past, we either caught flights on Christmas Day or had to get up at 5am on the morning of the carnival to fly over."

2 Hometown Gift win is on Oakley's wish list on Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:14 am


Hometown Gift win is on Oakley's wish list
26 Dec, 2011 01:00 AM

WITH a run of strong performances under her belt leading into her hometown carnival, Latrobe favourite Carmen Oakley looks set to take it right up to her visiting counterparts in tomorrow's women's Gift.

Taking out the women's Gift at the first event of the carnival season last month, the Central Coast Carnival, Oakley then went on to win the Professional Cross Country Club of Tasmania Women's Gift just two weeks later at West Park.

Also placing second in the 100m and 200m handicaps at the Launceston Pro-Am this year, Oakley, who is more of a 400m runner, is hoping her good sprint form continues tomorrow.

"I'm really happy with how I am running at the moment so I should be competitive," she said.

"Latrobe is my hometown Gift, so I'm looking forward to getting out there and giving it my all."

Oakley will run off 11m in the first heat and will go up against Australian sprint champion and backmarker Melissa Breen along with last year's Gift winner Abbey Walters.

Oakley will lead from the front in her heat, with Breen nearly off scratch on 0.25 and Walters off 8.75.

"I've never raced against Melissa before, so I'm looking forward to racing against her to see how I go," she said.

"Abbey de la Motte is in good form at the moment and Michelle Davis is a real threat across all distances at the moment, so there will be plenty of competition and to be honest, it is anyone's race to win.

"I'm out in front, which I'm happy with and will hopefully make the most of."

It has been a busy year for Oakley, who finished the fourth year in her medicine degree and married her long time partner just two weeks ago.

"It has been a bit of a challenge to try and fit in training around everything that has been going on," she said.

"But I'm fit and ready for the season."

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