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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Seven Tassie sprinters out to emulate 1941 Stawell Gift winner Ken Hutton

Seven Tassie sprinters out to emulate 1941 Stawell Gift winner Ken Hutton

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Seven vie for Stawell fame

Hobart Mercury
March 26, 2013

Simon Bresnehan - the last Tasmanian to make the Stawell Gift final

NOT since 1941, when the Ken Hutton was victorious, has a Tasmanian won the Stawell Gift.

In fact the last Tasmanian to make the final was Simon Bresnehan in 1999.

This Easter weekend, seven young Tasmanian men will head to the Victorian mining town in an attempt to add themselves to one of the most sought-after lists in Australian sport.

It's older than the Olympics, running annually since 1878, with the exception of four occasions.

Not only does the winner pocket a cool $40,000, but live TV and instant fame are all on offer to he who can run 120m off their mark better than 200 others.

This year also carries the added bragging rights that, albeit given the handicap, you could defeat the former Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell who boasts a 100m personal best of 9.72 seconds. Powell is a triple 100m Olympic finalist and has broken 10 seconds for the 100m on more occasions than any other human.

Our men lining up include in-form duo Jesse Usoalii and Jacob Despard who took the state sprint crowns at the weekend.

Both teenagers have tasted success already this year with Despard taking the Burnie Gift and Usoalii the Hobart Gift.

Trainer Ray Quarrell ensures his two other charges of Luke Whitney and Andrew Robinson also carry strong form at present and have both been awarded a more generous handicap than their contemporaries.

State 400m champion Jarred Gilroy is also heading over for a run and given recent form, could be a feature in one of the many races.

Simon Calvert and Matt Brooks will also be among the Tasmanian group.

Barbados sprinter Jade Bailey starts as the scratchmarker for the women's gift, on her second attempt at the race.

Hobart pair Kiara Chambers and Lilly Castle will both be looking to convert recent fast track times to the grass. As will the quickest resident from Bruny Island, Michelle Davis.

Going for three days, the weekend has races from 70m, through to the 3200m. Last year Douglas Hamerlok came agonisingly close to victory in the 3200m, finishing second by a stride.

Since then his running resume has been significantly bolstered and he will again line up a chance to take the spoils. Hamerlok will be joined in the two-mile race by masters champion Darren Brown.

All will be revealed on Easter Monday.

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