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PROTRACK » GENERAL » 2011 Maryborough Gift Review

2011 Maryborough Gift Review

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1 2011 Maryborough Gift Review on Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:47 am

youngy

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Whilst I would have loved to be in Burnie for obvious rasons, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 Maryborough Gift carnival - the 150th Highland Gathering. From the start right through to the 15 plus minute fireworks display, there was plenty of action to be enjoyed. The heavy events, especially the caber toss and the sheaf toss are something you don't normally get a chance to watch and it soon catches your eye as the punters in the grandstand start to go whooooaaaa as the big guy tries to throw the caber end over end.

As far as I know Maryborough is the only running meet in the world with a sheaf toss and it fascinates me how the hell they get the bar to stay up there. The blackboard they use to record the height of the bar looks like it was the same one they've used for 100 years. How many registered sheaf tossers are there & how does one qualify for the novice sheaf toss?..... I'm wondering what one has to do to get a start?

The one unfortunate aspect of the meet was the condition of the track. In October it had apparently been dug up by some cretin looking for gold and the combination of the wrong grass being used to repair it and the locust plague had rendered it sub-standard for a meet of its standing. Nevertheless it didn't detract from the races as a spectacle, especially the Gift.

THE GIFT

The VAL needs to get a scoreboard that records the time of each heat, like the SAAL does. I missed the time of a few heats being read, so it would be convenient if they had a board up where they could signal the time for a few moments.

The first heat had the eventual winner - Matt Carter. My first chance to see the new improved Carter after last year's win. He smashed them early and looked in charge mid race to comfortably win from Kevin Brittain (5.50) and last year's runner up Fabrice Melanie (8.75). Carter didn't look any stronger or bigger....just faster!

Heat 2 went to Geelong Sprint Team coach Peter Walsh who even as he advances through his mid 30's conmtinues to be competitive off a mark like 7.75m. He ran a faster time than Carter did in heat 2, but looked to be working a tad harder to get past Craig Rollinson (8.25) and Nick Magree (8.75). Flashy outfits the Walshy Geelong crew, certainly stood out during the day.

Heat 3 - I missed the result but didn't look that fast and no one from this heat featured in the final. Fletcher (5.75) & Mifsud (10.75) made the semis so I assume they ran 1-2.

Heat 4 - Shaun Hargreaves (6.00m back to 5.00m) broke and went back 1m and it probably cost him a semi final berth. Simon Menz (9.00) won in a time of 12.85, comfortably from Sean Law (7.00) and Nathaniel Coull (10.25). There was one runner in this heat that I felt looked a little too comfortable and I made a note of it in my program. I will watch him with interest next time I go to a VAL meet.

Heat 5 - My interest here was obviously Dale Woodhams and after a poor 70m heat I wasn't expecting anthing flash. A combination of a recurring back & hamstring problem and a recent virus has rendered Dale struggling. It was ordinary, unacceptable and I've got to fix it before we go back to our next VAL meet. At least he showed the character to drive the 7 plus hours to Maryborough and front up in his heat. A lot of runners would have bailed out.

The heat was won by Gavin O'Neal (11.50) from Cam Dunbar (7.25) and Daniel Sammut (9.25) in 12.91. Good run by O'Neal but he would need to find a bit to final. I was looking for a better showing from Patrick Hammond from NSW but he was well beaten.

Heat 6 - I thought Paul Cracroft-Wilson (8.00) ran well despite the slow time of 13.01. It wasn't a tough heat so it was one you would expect the Queenslander should win. He was the only runner from this heat to advance to the semis. Bendigo's Glenn Stephens (12.00) was 2nd with local country lad Matthew Wiltshire (8.00) 3rd.

Heat 7 - Solid heat with all four runners who fronted making the semis. Ballarat trainer/athlete Rob Lehmann at age 39 and off 10.50m did very well to hold off ACT's Steven Sheppard (7.25), SA's Brad Letton (9.50) & another Ballarat based runner in Bros Kelly (6.25). Kelly looked a little rusty early but came home strongly to qualify fro the semis. 12.83 was competitive and suggested a couple of them would be in the mix come semi final time.

Heat 8 - I missed the time of this heat but inaugural Woodside Gift winner Matt Hargreaves (4.25) looked very good in winning from David Tinney (8.00). Hargreaves continues to get better and will probably pick up another quality win before the end of the season. Both 1st & 2nd advanced to the semis.

Heat 9 - Matthew Harvey (8.75) surprised a few at the Bay Sheffield carnival last week and once again looked solid in winning heat 9. I was surprised Tiu couldn't make up the 0.25m as based on his Bay Sheff 70m run he should have been in front at some stage. Like a few runners on the circuit, I've got the impression, Tiu is a better 70m runner than he is a Gift runner. Commonwealth Games 400m relay gold medallist Brendan Cole ran on well for 3rd but not fast enough to join Harvey & Tiu in the semis. Harvey's time of 12.84 was heavily affected by the head wind of -3.5.

Heat 10 - Similar to the final heat at the Bay Sheffield - the 10th and final heat was full of interest with Bay Sheff finalist Richard Hankin up against the Paul Bolton trained Ben Weaver. No matter what happened both were deistined to make the final. Unfortunately it's another where I missed the time, but it looked quick with Weaver just holding off Hankin on the line in a terrific head to head contest.

SEMI FINALS
SF1

A cracker of a start by Weaver had him moving through the field and soon up with Magree. The backmarker Carter was basically chasing Weaver all the way and just missed catching him on the line. Weaver in a time of 12.69 won from Carter and Magree but there was not much between them and one got the feeling that they could have run this semi three times and got three different results. All 3 placegetters advanced to the final.

SF2
On paper it was probably the softest of the 3 semis. Simon Menz beat fellow Ballarat runner Bros Kelly with Craig Rollinson in 3rd place. Time was 12.76. As it turned out the first 2 advanced to the final.

SF3
I thought this was an easy path for Hankin and he won comfortably from experienced old campaigners in Peter Walsh and Rob Lehmann in 12.69. All 3 placegetters advanced to the final. After his very good run in the Bay Sheff, especially the semi final, Hankin looked to have continued his terrific form from the Bay and was looking dangerous for the final.

FINAL
Betting had Hankin 6/4 favourite from Carter and Weaver which probably was a true reflection of the chances in the final. Winner was always going to come from the back half of the final field.

When the gun went, Carter got the best of the start and soon mowed down Bros Kelly and was after Hankin & Weaver. The yellow of Weaver was prominent in the last 30m and seemed to be holding the white of Hankin, however Carter was irrepressible and just kept storming past them and finally got to Weaver and won by about 3/4 metre.

Fantastic run by Carter, especially as he was 2.75m back from his 2010 winning mark.

The time of 12.87 was the slowest winning time for a Maryborough Gift final since it was first run in 1891 and probably reflected the state of the track & overall conditions.

Carter joined Cameron MacKenzie (1997 & 1998) as the only two athletes to have won consecutive Maryborough Gifts.

Carter also becomes the sixth athlete to win two Maryborough Gifts joining MacKenzie; South Australian L C Martin (1920 & 1923, who was trained by legendary SA trainer George Holder); Howard Fox (1968 & 1971), Ballarat's Ian Anderson (1976 & 1979) and Australian 4 x 100m relay representative David Baxter (1999 & 2002).

Bruce Gulliver has done a fantastic job with Matt Carter and with young Tom Templeton who flashed home to win the 70m open, Bruce has some exciting talent to work with.


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2 Re: 2011 Maryborough Gift Review on Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:28 pm

Good One

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Good report, youngy. Great run by Matt Carter. What would that be for 100m? Would Carter run 10.5?

One more. what was better Gander at the Bay or Carter at at Maryborough?

3 Re: 2011 Maryborough Gift Review on Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:26 pm

Panther

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Based on comparisons to Hankin, Ganders run is better than Carters. Gander gave Hankin more start and beat him by more than what Carter did. The marks are back in Vic so the 2.25m for Carter is a little flattering because Gander would have probably have 0.75m in Vic.
Carter would definately run below 10.70 and he looks like he would run about 10.55

4 Re: 2011 Maryborough Gift Review on Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:40 pm

Leopard

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Templeton looks to be just as good as Carter. Templeton gave Hankin 2m start in the 70 and caught him. As a contrast Carter gave Hankin 3.25m start in the Gift and caught him.
Interestingly Templeton was marked 2m in front of Carter in the Gift but didn't start in the Gift. Templeton looks to be a special talent and maybe the one to watch even though he doesn't own his mark because he is OGA and could be re-adjusted anytime without winning or running PB's. Templeton will shock many when he runs amateurs.

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