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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Ballarat Matt backs the Warrnambool/Terang Gifts (& other related news articles)

Ballarat Matt backs the Warrnambool/Terang Gifts (& other related news articles)

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2012 Stawell champion backs Warrnambool, Terang gifts

The Standard
Nov. 29, 2013

STAWELL Gift winner Matthew Wiltshire has thrown his support behind a south-west sprint double-header.

The Ballarat runner will compete in the Warrnambool and Terang gifts this weekend as he looks to kick-start his pro running season.

Warrnambool last ran a gift in 2000, while Terang is preparing for its seventh consecutive running of the 120-metre sprint.

Both events are part of the Victorian Athletic League calendar.

“It’s a good initiative bringing Warrnambool into the pro running circuit,” Wiltshire said.

“It draws more numbers that way and it’s good to have a double-header first up to see how everyone is travelling. It’s always good to see a gift back. The Peninsula Gift came back in 2012 and I was fortunate to win that.”

Support for the Saturday and Sunday double-header is reflected in the Terang Gift’s entry increase.

It has attracted 290 entries — up 70 on 2012.

“Because it is a fair distance from the Melbourne area, they think ‘is it worth it?’, but this will definitely bring more people,” Wiltshire said.

“I did the Terang Gift for the first time last year and it was an enjoyable experience.”

Wiltshire’s aim this weekend is to make a final of one of the gifts and perform strongly in the 70m events.

He said it was harder to win gifts now he was a backmarker running off 3.75m.

He said winning a second Stawell Gift next year would be a tough ask. His sights are set on either the Ballarat or Maryborough gifts.

“I have won a 70m (run) at Ballarat. It was awesome because my family was there and the local community. To win that gift is something I’d like to do.”

Wiltshire won the 2012 Stawell Gift in 12.22 seconds from Melbourne’s Doug Greenough and  former Pomborneit runner Adam Coote. He said winning the esteemed race was a life-changer.

“The hype hasn’t worn off. I don’t think it ever will. It’s fantastic being known as a Stawell Gift winner.”

Wiltshire wants to move into amateur running. His long-term goal is running the 200m at the Olympics.

Last edited by youngy on Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Warrnambool Gift 'has promise'

The Standard
Nov. 30, 2013

IT may be a long way from Stawell Gift standards, but organisers say the newly revived Warrnambool Gift has promise.

Victorian Athletic League (VAL) chief executive officer Tom Burbidge said 200 entries had been received for the 16-race event.

“Entries are well over 200 with about 100 individual athletes expected,” he said. “It’s not at the heights of the Stawell Gift but for a first-year event it’s very encouraging. They are good entries for modest prizemoney.

“It’s still very much in its infancy but we are confident it will continue to grow as we get more local people involved.”

It’s the first time the Warrnambool Gift has been held in 13 years and forms part of a double-header with the Terang Gift tomorrow.

A $4800 prize pool is up for grabs with a $500 bonus for athletes who can win races today and in Terang tomorrow.

Burbidge said forming part of a double-header had helped bring in strong entries.

“We have found the double-header works well with country events. We do similar for our Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga events in January.

“It’s allowed a good partnership with the Terang Gift committee who are very keen to promote both events.”

Burbidge said the VAL would make some future changes to the event. “For us we will look to have a bit more local involvement as we move forward,” he said.

Racing will start at the Jetty Flat Athletics Centre from 1pm today and from 12.30pm at the Terang Recreation Reserve tomorrow.

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Dermott's hometown debut

The Standard
Nov. 30, 2013

TERANG runner Dermott O’Connor has watched others tackle his home gift with interest.

Now he’s preparing to make his Victorian Athletic League (VAL) debut. Instead of watching the 120-metre sprint heats at Terang Recreation Reserve, he’ll be waiting for the starter’s gun.

O’Connor, 17, is entered in six events this weekend — three at Warrnambool’s gift meeting today and three at Terang tomorrow.

He is most excited about running in the Terang Gift heats.

“I had a bit of a chat to some pro runners who have run previously and they have said they had a good experience and that’s what I am really here for,” O’Connor said.

“Win, lose or draw it doesn’t bother me as long as I have a good time out there.

“I always imagined what it would be like and this year, about two or three months ago, I thought maybe if I train well enough I’d put myself in a position to at least be competitive.”

The south-west double-header will kickstart his VAL season.

“I might take time off after this weekend because it will be a pretty heavy load but I think I will run in the Maryborough Gift and maybe Ballarat,” O’Connor said.

“I am hoping to keep in touch with it this season and who knows what will happen.” The Mercy Regional College student said running was in his blood.

“It’s a big thing in my family. All my brothers, my dad and extended family, and my mum — back in the day — are good runners,” he said.

“From a young age I had a keen interest in the sport.”

O’Connor, who is a trainee at Warrnambool Racing Club, said he joined Terang Athletic Club when he was 12.

“They were fantastic and helped me get started,” he said. “Jill McKenzie and Richard Wearmouth helped my technique and got me here and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

Terang will be well-represented at its home meeting with Jacob Densley (gift and 400m), Anthony O’Connor (800m and 1600m), Xavier O’Connor (800m and 1600m) and Richard Wearmouth (70m, 120m veterans and 300m veterans) all competing.

The Terang Gift has attracted 290 entries, 70 up on 2012.

Stawell Gift winner Matthew Wiltshire, Carl Morehouse, Adam Cabble, Matthew Hargreaves, Matthew Harvey, AFL boundary umpire Adam Coote and 2012 winner Jay Blake are some of the main hopes in the Terang Gift.

Warrnambool’s meeting starts at 1pm today, with Terang to kick off its event from 12.30pm tomorrow.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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