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St Bernards Wrap

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1 St Bernards Wrap on Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:39 pm


St Bernard’s 5th Feb 2012
The St Bernard’s carnival endured some of the toughest conditions seen for years as at first,
gale force winds and then torrential rain played havoc with athletes and officials. The St
Bernard’s officials led by John Raffle stuck to the task with zeal and the day was responsible for
some fine running performances including the Furness 70 metres and 800 metre classic.
Once again Nila carried out her duties without any computer software, and all results had to be done
manually. This will obviously mean that the results from the weekend make take longer than usual to
be placed on the VAL website. Nila definitely got the three votes for her efforts over the weekend.
It would be appreciated if anyone is able to chip in and give Coxy a hand to pack up on Friday night after
the Stonnington meeting as he has a busy weekend coming up with a double day at Ballarat.

70 metres Keilor East RSL Sandy Hurst Memorial Open
With eight heats of the 70 metres it was winners only into the final and with the wind playing
“hard ball” with the times it was never going to be easy to predict the winner. Eventually it was
70 metre specialist John Cara (6.75m) who scored a narrow win from Nick Sampieri and
Mohamad Zeed (4m) in 7.65. John has competed with the VAL for several years, and had
considerable success, but rarely ventures further than the straight track for his racing. It was a
pleasing result for Nick Sampieri as it was his first final since finishing second in the 2007
Stawell Gift. Mohamad Zeed is certainly an up and coming athlete who was to win later in the

800 metres North Suburban Club, Women’s and Vet’s.
David Haigh (36m) came with a flashing run to overcome Rosamond Gilden (104m) in the last
few metres to win running away in the first of the 800 metre finals in the time of 2.03.54. The
early leader Kathryn Heagney (190m), forced to lead into the wind, battled on to finish third.
David, second to Gilden in the fastest heat, turned the tables in the final with a more aggressive
run. It was only in the last 100 metres that Haigh looked a legitimate winning chance. After last
week’s report on Dave and Ange’s love of fine cuisine their dinner club has been booked out
until after Easter. They recommend Ansonia on Lydiard for those venturing to Ballarat for the
weekend and White Charlie’s for a late supper and drinks after Stonnington.

70 metres Civic Packaging and MGB insurances Women’s
In a back marker dominated finish Melissa Howard (2.25m) held out Kendra Hubbard (0.25m)
to add to her growing tally of VAL wins in the time of 8.83. Sara Kersten‐Murphy (7.5m) finished
third in a promising effort. Younger runners Sara Blizzard (5.5m) and Kate Jones (5m) continue
to show improvement with consistent competition.

100 metres RACV under 20’s
Another five heats of the RACV series were held at St Bernard’s with the winner Cam Moss (3m)
defeating Jordon Keast (8.25m) and Luca Ranellone (7.75m) in 11.04. Moss is clearly an athlete
of great promise as in his short VAL career he has shown good speed from tight marks. Keast
and Ranellone continue to make finals of the RACV series and look likely to make the grand
final. Nick Fiedler coaches Moss and must surely have grander plans for the youngster.

Don Furness Memorial 70 metres
With $5000 on offer the Furness was sure to be a quality final however after John Nicolosi
(4.25m) clocked the fastest heat of 7.62 he was going to be very hard to beat. Stawell Gift
winner Adrian Mott (.05m) won his heat in 7.69 and former Furness winner Kevin Brittain
(1.5m) won the first heat in 7.83. Khan Marr (0.75m) was another impressive heat winner in
7.75. In the final Nicolosi raced to an early lead but looked in trouble when Marr appeared to
have him covered. However Nicolosi gave a definite kick in the last few strides to secure a good
win. Marr finished second just ahead of Brittain who nosed Mott out for third. Nick Sampieri
(4.5m) made the final to continue his return to racing.

100 metres Strathmore Bendigo Bank handicap
Mohamad Zeed (6.25m) opened his VAL winning account with a nice win in the St Bernard’s
100 metres final in the time of 10.75. He defeated the Paul Bolton duo of Michael Bolton (6m)
and Benjamin Weaver (5.25m). Mohamad was only the fourth fastest qualifier after the heats
with a win in 10.87 but the times may have been misleading. In heat ten Matthew Eddy (6.75m)
clocked the fastest heat of 10.61 with second and third also qualifying for the semi finals, in
times quicker than Zeed. However those from heat ten failed to get onto the podium, perhaps
implying that the wind readings were suspect in the conditions. At 27 years of age Mohamad is
a late starter to the VAL style of racing but has shown that on Sunday’s performances he is up
for the challenge. It was great to see Michael Bolton get into the placings as he has been
plagued by injuries over the last few seasons.

800 metres Strathmore Bendigo Bank
The Bendigo Bank 800 metres is the richest 800 metres on the VAL circuit with a prize pool of
$4250 and always attracts a quality field. This year the three heats were won by Derek Collinge
(1.59.94), Jayson Hayes‐Hornibrook (1.56.13) and Cody Williamson (1.55.53) with an additional
seven also making their way into the final. One of those seven, the former Tasmanian Trent
Lowry (50m), was able to improve on his second to Collinge (40m) in the heat and win the final
from Williamson(44m) and Hayes‐Hornibrook (52m). Early in the race Craig Harris (80m) set a
solid tempo with Darren Naismith (64m) tracking him for the first lap. At the 250 metres mark
Hayes‐Hornibrook and Collinge made a drive at the leaders but were followed by Lowry who
surged to the front on the home turn. Trent quickly had the race at his mercy and was a
convincing five metre winner. Cody Williamson who settled well back early flew over the final
100 metres to finish second just ahead of a Hayes‐Hornibrook, who just ran out of steam in the
straight. Backmarkers Josh Nolan (26m) and Justin Murphy (28m) never really got into the race
with the quick early speed. Lowry is coached by Matthew McDonough and considering the
weather conditions the winner’s time of 1.51.99 was a very good run.

300m St Bernard’s Old Collegians F.C Gold Sponsors Women’s & Vet’s.
The final of the women’s and Veterans 300 metres was like having an old rusty tin can in a china
shop. As the eight runners lined up for the final the line of seven delightful ladies was spoilt by
the appearance of, you guessed it, Sir Richard Falconer Dunbar. Rick, winner of the two
previous St Bernard’s 300’s, was attempting a threepete but wasn’t to get any favours from the
ladies. In the final Mandy Emmett (62m) led from Dunbar (60m) who tried to take the lead, only
to find that his ambition had gone a little faster than his legs. By the time the home turn was
reached anyone of six had a winning chance but Eleni Gilden (40m) swept down the outside to
win from Tara Domaschenz (45m) and the fast finishing backmarker Stephanie Mollica(27m).
Eleni and her sister Rosamond, also in the final, are competitive in races over all distances and
continue to add to their winning tallys. Eleni, or was it Rosamond, was the winner of the Stawell
ladies 800 metres in 2010.

300 metres Montara Winery Open.
Jay Blake (35m) cruised around the St Bernard’s track to record his first open win in the
Victorian Athletic League from Chris Roche(31m) and Rhys Parkinson (21m) in the time of
34.38. Blakey, who obviously gets his sporting ability from his mother, has been competing in
more sprint events of late and the extra speed he has gained has made him hard to catch over
the longer trips. Anyone watching the final on Sunday can be assured that many of the finalist
will be in action at Bendigo late on a Sunday evening. Jay is trained by Benny Tancredi who no
doubt is an excellent coach, but has of yet been able to get Blake senior to the post.

The VCCL 1600 metres Novice.
The St Bernard’s division of the Victorian Cross Country League novice series was taken out by
Luke Wilke (205m) from Peter Cowell (260) and Tayla Sproule (360m) in the time of 4.23.63.
Luke has been working up to a win in this series following a very handy second in the Ringwood
division. He also finished runner up at Noble Park last year before finishing seventh in the
Stawell final. Peter Cowell, a late starter in the VAL, has a win just around the corner and Tayla
Sproule is a young runner who competes regularly in these events, with a third at Waverley late
last year. Not only the winner but all entrants qualify for the novice final conducted on Easter
Sunday. Although runners must still enter through the usual procedure.
2000m Peter Nathan Gold Sponsors Open
The last event of the day was the distance event over 2k with only a small field willing to tackle
the conditions at the end of a difficult day. The winner was Michael Marantelli (60m) from
Matthew Smith (150m) and Craig Harris (185m) in the time of 5.35.72. The field settled down in
Indian file but as the leaders started to bunch with six hundred metres to travel Marantelli ,
who had gained steady ground from the rear, made his run on the group and strode to the lead
with more than a lap to travel. Once in front he was always going to be hard to run down and
won clearly from Matthew Smith who stuck to his task resolutely. Craig Harris also battled on
well to hold third place. It was pleasing to see the winner has dispensed of his usual animated
signals as he crosses the winning line. Michael is also a past student at St Bernard’s and
previous winner of this event in 2009.

St Bernard’s under 14y Boys sprint
After competing in the novice 1600 metres moments before, Franky Campesi came with a
withering run to claim victory in the boys division of the St Bernard’s kids sprint. Just as Jake
Hilson was being claimed the winner Franky lunged at the tape to win by 2/1000ths of a
second. Sebastian McKerrow, who had prepared for the event on a diet of lollies and
continuously playing cricket with anyone in the vicinity, finished third. Incidentally, for future
reference, Seb is a sucker for a bean ball. In the race, there was nearly a boil over when the out
marker, four year old Hugo Walsh, shot out with an early lead and only compounded in the
shadows of the post. Hugo was trained to the minute and gave the late instructions handed out
by track attendant Noel Rexter the scant respect that they deserved.

St Bernard’s under 14y Girls sprint
In the girls division, in a close and controversial finish Kate Blennerhassett defeated Clare Lewis
and Eliza Gollant. Kate had a good lead with 5 metres to go but appeared to prop at the finishing gate,
causing confusion for the judges. Kate with winning form at last year’s Noble Park meeting was well
tutored in the starting section of the race but needs to ask uncle Cam how to finish the race off. Eliza
Gollant, daughter of Luke the St Bernard’s treasurer , has competed in this event each year and must be
close to win. Last year’s winner Meg Lehman struggled in the event after receiving advice from her
father. Meg, a tip, mum’s the winner in that area.

Notes of interest
Anyone that may be interested in race calling and thinks they would like to try their hand at the craft,
please let Mark Howard know. He will organise an opportunity for you to call a heat or two.
We have another bumper weekend coming with two excellent Classic meetings,Stonnington on Friday
evening and then Ballarat Saturday and Sunday. Stonnington, not only has two $15,000 classic gift races,
but also has excellent 1600’s and a 550 metres event in the group 1 and classic category. Also another
round of the RACV and Broo series. Ballarat has their marquee event, the $25,000 Ballarat gift and a
complete range of quality support events, including a 3200 metres. Another round of the Sportzbiz 400
metres novice and the all important VAL relay to add a little interest. Both these carnivals will be
conducted under lights (Ballarat Saturday night only) which gives the clubs the opportunity to showcase
professional foot running at its best.
The Noble Park invitation 2k Classic is valued at $1500,with a great trophy; if interested in gaining a spot
talk to Mark O’Brien.
Both Noble Park and Burramine are conducting a wide range of under age athletic events for the kids
but entry must be made before the day. To enter for Noble Park, as follows below
a.; b.0402 083 699 c. Fax: 03 9794 5371
Action starts at 9.30am and lunch is provided for the competitors.
and for Burramine;
Mr. Chris Whitelock: 8 Steneker Cresc. Yarrawonga 3730. Ph: 03 5744 2648
catering for distances 100m,200m and 400metres and ages from 8 year old with a special under 21’s
event ( for non registered runners). Free entry

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