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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Quality Interstaters ready to invade Tassie carnivals

Quality Interstaters ready to invade Tassie carnivals

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Running field the best this century
The Advocate
20 Dec, 2010

THE Basslink Christmas Carnivals Series will boast the best line-up of runners for more than 10 years, including national champions and Stawell Gift winners.
Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania elite athlete coordinator Rod Walker said while the contingent of mainland runners targeting the Coastal carnivals may not be as big as in recent years, it had plenty of depth.

The series started at Rosebery on Saturday, but the main interstate assault will start at Latrobe on Boxing Day, followed by Devonport next week and Burnie on New Year's Day.

"We haven't got the quantity of past years, but we've certainly got the quality," Walker said.

"And it's spread across the board with some excellent male and female sprinters as well as some very good middle distance runners," he said.

"It's certainly going to be an exciting series.

"One of the good things is that many of the athletes are coming for most of the series too, instead of just targeting one carnival or another as they have done in the past."

The line-up includes previous Stawell Gift winners Adrian Mott (Victoria) and Tom Burbidge (ACT), as well as Victorian Doug Greenbough, who finished third this year and Brendan Matthews, who has also been a two-time finalist.

South Australian trainer Paul Young is bringing a small, but strong stable, including reigning Burnie Gift winner Alicia Wrench-Doody and South Australian Athlete of the Year Lucy Buckley.

"Paul's only bringing six, but they're all quality runners," Walker said.

South Australian 100m champion Robbie James is also in the group along with Australian 800m champion James Boden.

Australian junior track team coach Mark Beckingham will also bring a strong line-up with him, including Australian 100m champion Lisa Green.

A number of interstate sprinters entered for the carnivals are also capable middle distance runners, ensuring some top class 400m running during the series, with the 400m Devonport Gift likely to have its best field for a number of years.

A highlight of the series will be an interstate relay at the Burnie Carnival, featuring teams from Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.

The 4x200m relay will feature three male runners and one female runner in what should be a popular event with the crowd.

2 Women's carnival fields are top-class on Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:09 pm



Former Devonport Gift winner Tabatha West will
return for another carnival assault this year.

Women's carnival fields are top-class
The Examiner
11 Dec, 2010

THE quality of female runners competing at the Tasmanian Christmas carnivals is the best for many years, according to athletics co-ordinator Rod Walker.
Walker said that in past years one or two elite women had been the highlights of the carnivals but some of the best sprinters were coming to Tasmania for the series.

"With the exception of Sally Pearson, we have the best sprinters available in Australia," he said.

The depth of talent would make for some very interesting racing at the major carnivals at Latrobe, Devonport and Burnie.

The list is headed by Australian 100 metre champion and Commonwealth Games runner Melissa Breen, who is coming to the carnivals for the first time with the Matt Beckenham stable from Canberra.

Former Devonport winners Cara White and Tabatha West were returning to aim for more glory and 2009 Burnie Gift winner Alicia Wrench-Doody would also run.

Wrench-Doody is on the comeback after an injury-riddled season.

Wrench-Doody is the only woman to have won both the Burnie and Bay Sheffield Gifts and she is coming from South Australia with the consistent Lucy Buckley.

Devonport has been given a lift with the entry of James Boden who last ran at Devonport and Burnie in 2008-09 and has gone on to prove himself one of the best middle distance performers in South Australia.

Boden is part of the strong Paul Young group of runners from Adelaide with his stable including Wrench-Doody, Buckley, Robbie James, Andrea Di Paolo and Jordan Tronnolone.

Pole vaulting will make another appearance at the Devonport carnival on December 29-30.

With the support of coach Mark Stewart from the Box Hill Athletic Club some of Australia's promising vaulters will give a demonstration.

The include 15-year-old Brodie Cross who has been a multiple junior championship winner in Victoria and on the national scene.

Other vaulters include James Filshie, Joel Pocklington and Steven Cain.

Filshie, 28, has won two national bronze medals and is presently ranked sixth in Australia.

He claims falling of an escalator as one of his achievements.

Pocklington was a crowd favourite last year and although he has been hampered by injury can be expected to entertain again.

They will be joined by promising junior Paris McCathrion and another of Victoria's top female vaulters.

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