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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Gaffney storms home in wet and windy condition to snag gift victory

Gaffney storms home in wet and windy condition to snag gift victory

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Gaffney storms home in wet and windy condition to snag gift victory

The Advocate
Dec. 16, 2012, 10:30 p.m.

SOMERSET'S Morgan Gaffney took advantage of conditions favouring backmarkers to win the Professional Cross Country Club of Tasmania women's 100 metre Gift on a wet and windy day at West Park.

With a strong head wind, Gaffney stormed home over the last 20m from her 3m handicap to narrowly defeat Sorell's Kimberley Bush and Latrobe's Carmen Oakley in a time of 12.79 seconds.

``I always run a lot better when there's a strong wind, because I'm pretty strong in there,'' Gaffney said.

``Down in the blocks, I knew I had to get out faster than the other girls to get anywhere.

``But in the last 20 metres I put the foot down and realised that I could probably get it.

``It was a hard race, the wind was shocking, but it's good to get one win for the season anyway.''

Gaffney's focus has been on the track this year, as opposed to the upcoming carnivals, but she said she enjoyed the carnivals too much to not take part.

``I'm really looking at my track season this year, rather than my pro carnivals,'' Gaffney said.

``But I love them, so I can't not go and enjoy them.

``It gives me a confidence booster that's for sure, but I'm just looking to go to the carnivals just to run them, I love running and I love the carnivals, they're such a good atmosphere and if I pick up a place it's just a bonus really.''

The West Park men's Gift was a similarly close affair in tough conditions.

Launceston 16-year-old Jacob Despard won from a handicap of six metres, beating home backmarker Andrew Robinson from 4.75m in 11.25 seconds.

Fellow Launceston athlete Ryan O'Halloran finished in third place.

``I was pretty happy with my preparation, I seemed to improve as the day went on,'' Jacob said.

``In my semi, I passed the people in front of me and kind of just cruised through.

``In the final, I expected Robbo (Andrew Robinson) to come up on my shoulder early, but I got to the finish and he wasn't there.

``This would be the biggest win I've had.''

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