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Bendigo Wrap

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1 Bendigo Wrap on Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:33 pm


With thanks to Marra.

Bendigo 8th & 9th 2014

For the two day Bendigo carnival the track was fast and weather very warm with a big crowd in attendance for the final session. The running for that final session was some of the best seen all season and augers well for a very tough Stawell program.

Special thanks to Neil McDonald and the Bendigo running fraternity who have worked extremely hard to keep Bendigo at the fore front of carnivals on the Victorian Athletic League calendar. The Black Opal, Black Pearl, Back markers mile and 800 metres events are still amongst the most sought after throughout the season.

70 metres Shamrock Sprint

Lawrence Coop (10.25m) has had a very competitive season and it certainly got even better at Bendigo when he “scooted” down the straight in the fastest heat with a time of 7.58. His road to the final was just as easy with a comfortable semi final win in 7.59. William Kerr (8.25m), another young runner enjoying a good season, went through to the final with a semi final win in 7.60. The remaining semi final was won by Cam Dunbar (5.25m) in 7.65. Nothing much changed for the final with those three runners finishing in that order. Coop, only just lasted but maintained his consistent running with a win in 7.569 from Kerr in 7.571. Cam Dunbar finished in third place with the time of 7.60. Lawrence is coached at Ballarat by Doug Armstrong.

Gold & Opal Club 120m Women’s

Sarah Blizzard (9.25m) another young athlete enjoying her running this season cleared out in the final of the women’s gift. With seven heats, Sarah made her way through to the final as the only non heat winner, having finished second to Alice Platten (8.25m). In the final she quickly raced past Jacqueline McCann (10.75m) and Belinda Carusi (10.75) to open up a commanding lead. She cruised to the line to record 14.02 in winning from Carusi and Platten. Sarah is coached at Ararat by Marcus Cooper.

120 metres VRTA under 20s

William Kerr (10m) is enjoying a month to remember with his win in the VRTA under 20s being his third win in as many weeks. After recent wins at Trinity and Stonnington, Kerr has improved with confidence gained from his successes and ran on strongly to win by half a metre. Hamish Adams (12.5m) recorded the fastest heat time at 12.64 with Kerr 12.70, but in the final Kerr held on strongly to defeat Rhys Gillson (8m) and Troy Carey (13.75m). William, coached by Craig Mair, registered a winning time of 12.66.

City of Greater Bendigo 120m Bendigo Thousand

Robert Spencer (8.5m) scored the biggest win of his career in Adelaide recently when he took home the winner’s cheque in the time honoured Camden Classic over 400 metres. On Sunday he “upped the ante” by adding another traditional running classic to his list of race wins. The Bendigo Thousand, first run in 1947, may have slipped marginally in the pecking order of big gifts but is still a very much sought after trophy, and with the history surrounding the race is sure to be for some time. In a very even series of heats, Robert, a recent finalist at Ballarat, had a comfortable heat win with a time of 12.58 and went into the semi finals as one of the main chances. Others to register quick times were Marcus Cooper (12m &12.42), Edward Ware (8.25m & 12.51) and John Howe (12.59 & 6m). The first semi final went to Cam Dunbar (7.75m) in the time of 12.56 but that time was blown away in the second semi with Spencer clocking 12.38 and appearing to win with ease. His winning margin was over two metres with Sam Jamieson (4.5m &12.61) finishing second. The third semi final saw Marcus Cooper progress with a run of 12.54. Also progressing to the final were Kevin Brittain (5.75m & 12.54), Edward Ware (8.25m & 12.64) and Jamieson. In the final Spencer only began fairly but quickly mustered enough speed to hit the front before the eighty metre mark and won by a clear margin. Sam Jamieson flashed home from his back mark for second with Mark Hignett hanging on for third. The race was another win for the Hippo Athletic Club.

City of Greater Bendigo 300 metres veterans

The 300 metres veterans handicap, only a recent addition to the Bendigo program, produced a good final field with Sonya Pollard (62m) adding to her season’s tally of wins. Sonya, already a winner at Ararat, Geelong and Trinity, had her easiest win of the season when she led all the way in the final. With Sonya setting a solid pace off her handicap the field virtually remained in single file until the home turn. With very few runners in the field improving on their placings Craig Lancaster (52m) finished second just ahead of Kim McDonough (52m) and John Hilditch (34m). The winning time was 35.04, slightly slower than Pollard’s heat time of 34.86.

400 metres Sportzbiz Novice.

With most places in the SportzBiz final already assured the chase for the final few spots was on in earnest and Bendigo’s division of the series narrowed the field a little further. A timing malfunction in the first heat meant that no times were available and the final field was determined by placings, rather than times. The four heats were all won by Bendigo athletes and the Bendigo “cartel” looked almost certain to take home the winning cheque. In the final Kaitlyn Bryce (93m) had an early battle with co-marker Danielle McDowell until Kaitlyn finally broke clear before the home turn. She entered the home straight with a clear margin and held on well for her first VAL win. Troy Carey (47m) ran on well for second and Kyle Hilson (85m) battled hard to hold his third place. The winning time was 46.41 and Bryce is coached by John Knott in Bendigo.

Flack Advisory 400 metres Women’s Pearl  

The Black Pearl 400 metres, sponsored by Bendigo’s most generous business, Flack Advisory Services Group, added a touch of glamour to the usually male dominated Sunday night of athletics at Tom Flood Stadium. Tiffany Boatman (43m) started the season with a double at Terang and has been a regular finalist throughout the season since. On Sunday evening she added the Black Pearl to her season’s haul with a strong win in 52.73. Boatman broke away from race favourite Natasha McDowell (43m) before the home turn and won by four metres from her, with Alice Platten (10m) making up a great deal of ground to finish third.  Tiffany is coached by Marcus Cooper at Ararat.

Bendigo Bank Black Opal 400 metres

As has been the case since its inception the Black Opal created a great deal of discussion before the heats were conducted on Saturday night. The young gun “inside evens” Stevens won the first heat in 46.81, defeating Brad Armstrong (36m) by three metres. The second heat saw Cam Moss (15m) produce his best form with an easy win in 47.66 from MCG winner Steve Fabris (15m). The third heat was won in 47.86 by John Adams (14m) from Mitchell Hocking (9m). Lawrence Coop (39m) destroyed the field in heat four to run 46.7 defeating Travis Pike (36m). The final heat was taken out by previous Opal winner Glen Stevens (36m) as he defeated Liam Procaccino (10m) in 47.72. The three semi finals looked evenly matched with many runners given a chance to make it through to the final. The first semi was won by Brad Armstrong who withstood a late challenge from John Adams, gaining a rails run in the home straight. The time was 47.38 with Adams also gaining an automatic start in the final. The second semi was won in a close finish by Arron Pooley (28m) defeating Shane Ezard (20m) and Iain Douglas (1m), both qualifying for the final. In the final heat the first four across the line qualified for the Black Opal as Cam Moss was a comfortable winner from Ryan Camille (21m), Eric Sapac (13m) and Lawrence Coop. The time was 46.37, the fastest of the night.  The final saw the field strung out over thirty eight metres with Douglas the backmarker on one metre and Coop the outmarker and early leader on thirty nine metres. Coop maintained a solid tempo but was passed at the half way point by Armstrong who decided to kick for home. He opened a break of three metre before the home over Coop with Moss, always well placed, looking very dangerous. As the field straightened Coop took the lead from Armstrong and Moss joined in, with Cameron Moss proving a little too strong over the final few metres. The Nick Fiedler coached Moss recorded the winning time of 46.37.  

Bendigo Advertiser 800m frontmarkers.

Corina Kapusta (114m) made it back to back Bendigo wins when she added the front markers 800 metres final to her 1600 metres win last year. The final field suffered two late withdrawals with the scratching of Max Lacey (38m) and Matthew Bateman (40m). Corina qualified for the final with a second in the heat to Martine Beer (108m) and the result looked between those runners once again until unfortunately Martine fell close to the line. Former classy sprinter James Clarke (4m), loving his move to distance running, ran on solidly for second place. Andrew Curran (4m) co-backmarker with Clarke finished third just ahead of Gordon Muir (18m). The winning time was 2.03.97

Ray Foley Memorial 800 metres

The best event of the first day’s racing was clearly the backmarkers 800 metres where a good field lined up for the prize pool of $2500. Alex Bacalja (32m) qualified fastest with a heat win in 1.54.12, next best being Craig Harris (64m) in 1.54.43. Backmarker in the final was two time winner of the Foley Memorial, Michael Marantelli running from scratch. Joel Donnar (26m) and Nicholas Martin (14m) fought out the first heat in a handy 1.55.84. The final was a strung out affair with runners keeping to a single file format for the first lap where Harris led from Daniel Veith (46m) and Darren Naismith (50m).  At the bell Donnar was in fifth place, followed up by Bacalja and Marantelli still in second last place. Robert Keenan (40m) made a move at the 200 metres and looked a chance with Donnar and Bacalja joining the leaders, Marantelli was very wide on the home turn making ground. In the run to the line Donnar recorded his biggest VAL victory from Bacalja and Marantelli. The winner is coached by Wayne James and recorded 1.53.43 with Bacalja 1.53.98 and Marantelli 1.54.03.

KLFM Frontmarkers Mile

Paul Boxshall (85m), well known in AV circles but new to the VAL this season, won the front markers division of the mile with ease at Bendigo on Sunday afternoon. Early in the event Tony Rendina (300m), Kyle Hilson (260m) and local hope Jessica O’Hara (260m) were moving along at a steady pace but not looking dangerous whereas Boxshall in the pink and white ,was the first of the colours to go forward in a solid drive. Paul moved into the race comfortably at the half way mark and although still in fifteenth place had the “fronties” covered. He always looked the winner from that point with only Arron Downes (45m), Gordon Muir (90m) and Daniel Veith (80m) making ground from the back. In the run to the line Boxshall scored by sixteen metres from the fast finishing James Deane (scratch) and Downes in third place.  With handicaps “dragged” back 100 metres the time appeared slow at 4.25.64 but the win was full of authority.

Win TV 1 mile Backmarkers

One of the highlights of the final day was the backmarkers mile with Brenton Rowe, running from scratch, standing a very handy field of middle distance athletes starts of up to 150 metres. With most of the field handicapped beyond 100 metres Michael Marantelli (45m) was the only runner able to give Rowe any cover for the majority of the race. After a lap there was a bunched pack of ten runners in the lead with a long gap to Marantelli and another to Rowe. Rowe tacked onto Marantelli with 700 metres to travel and drove past him not long after. Marantelli tried to sit with the backmarker but started to lose ground at the bell. Rowe moved within striking distance down the back straight and looked the likely winner. At the 200 metres Cam Clayton (125m), who had enjoyed a comfortable sit with the leading group, decided to go for home and the race quickly became a two man battle. In the home straight Rowe’s task started to tell and Clayton’s short course speed came into play to great effect. Cam was able to hold a three metre advantage on the line whilst Justin Murphy (105m) ran a good race for third place. Clayton, better known over shorter distances, showed at Stonnington with a great second place that he was up to win a premiers distance event. The “claytonator” is another form the successful Hippo Athletic stable.

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