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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Wiltshire has eight weeks count down to Stawell Gift

Wiltshire has eight weeks count down to Stawell Gift

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http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/ballarats-wiltshire-powers-home/2452444.aspx

Ballarat's Wiltshire powers home

BY MELANIE WHELAN
Ballarat Courier
13 Feb, 2012




EACH week Matt Wiltshire feels he is getting fitter and fitter.
He hoped his progress would continue in an eight-week countdown to the Stawell Gift.

Wiltshire valiantly carried the hopes of Ballarat through a strong Ballarat Gift campaign at the weekend.

Strong in the heats, Wiltshire – off 6.75m – missed the final by 0.04 seconds as a fastest qualifier after finishing second to backmarker Adrian Mott in semi-final one.

So he dug deep and took out the 70m open title.

“I was a bit stiff to miss out on the Gift final so I put all my concentration into this one,” Wiltshire said.

“This is only the second 70m I’ve done – usually I just race the 120m but I thought I may as well try both in Ballarat.

“I had a win early in the season and my mark was back a bit in the 120m, so I had a real crack at winning this one next.”

Wiltshire posted the fastest semi-final time, crossing the line in 7.51seconds, to reach yesterday’s final.

He powered off the 5m-mark yesterday to hunt down stablemate Tara Domaschenz, who started as frontmarker on 11.75m, to claim the win in 7.53 seconds.

Domaschenz was runner-up in 7.54.

“I just made sure I beat Tara – that was the main thing,” Wiltshire quipped.

The victory is Wiltshire’s second before a home crowd.

Wiltshire claimed the 120m novice/restricted final at Eureka Stadium last year.

He worked hard in the off-season to strengthen his race.

Results have shown in three finals in the Victorian Athletic League, pre-Ballarat, including a win in the Peninsula Gift 120m and a runner-up finish in the Warragul Gift 120m.

Wiltshire took to the beach in the Christmas-New Year break in a boot camp with the Peter O’Dwyer stable.

He says the Ocean Grove-based training drills have been the key to his continued improvement.

“I feel like I’m getting fitter and fitter,” Wiltshire said.

“Beach training has helped heaps in making me stronger and much fitter for the rest of the season.

“Hopefully I’ll keep getting better.”

Wiltshire drew on family and friends in the crowd for his 70m victory.

He wanted to ensure he had success for those watching and cheering him along and said there was nothing quite like winning in Ballarat.

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