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PROTRACK » GENERAL » VRTA Presentation Night

VRTA Presentation Night

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1 VRTA Presentation Night on Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:57 pm


2 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:36 pm


Hi everyone, now that all the fun, controversy and glamour of Stawell has abated, it's time to get tickets for the VRTA Awards night.

Buy tickets online at

Tickets on sale until April 29th!

3 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:21 pm


Is that correct, free food & a drink for $45, seems good value? Is that a sit down meal? SAAL is $60 (adult), I think for 3 course meal & a band!

4 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:34 pm


There is seating, but it's finger food (plenty of it too from past years).

The Dan O'Connell has proven to be a really nice venue for the awards night of recent times. Well attended and a nice atmosphere.

Check out for photos of the function area.

5 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:05 am


Having a look at the nominated athletes for the voted awards and one really stood out for me. I must admit that I was looking at younger athletes for this category. However, it was by far the best performance of the year. Watching Ricky Dunbar win the 100m Masters at Geelong, seeing his family and friends surround him and to hear his speech was second to none. I hope he takes the trophy home.

6 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:34 am


Hi All,

If you haven't already seen the final list of nominations for each of the awards, please see below. We would love to see as many of you there, particularly those who have been nominated. Ticket sales have been extended until Mon 2nd May and please be advised that NO tickets will be available for purchase on the night.

For those that want a little more information on the process for determining the shortlists for the voted awards, it is as follows: We receive nominations from you guys as well as suggest nominations ourselves. The long list of potential nominations along with all relevant information is compiled, such as a list of performances (wins and placings) for Athlete of the Year, Emerging Talent & Coach of the Year, and is presented to the VRTA Committee. Based on this information, the committee then decide on a shortlist and vote on the winner. FYI, only VRTA registered members are eligible to win an award.

VRTA Final Nominations and Shortlists


Female Athlete
Sarah Blizzard
Celia Cosgriff
Talia Martin
Jessica Payne
Karly Tafft

Master’s Athlete
James Deane
Cam Dunbar
Sean Quilty
Scott Shillito
Shane Thiele

Lawrence Coop
Cam Dunbar
Ryan Mcnamara
Nathan Riali
Timothy Rosen

Middle Distance
Cam Clayton
Justin Cohen
James Deane
Jack Doderico
Ryan Hage
Cody Williamson

Distance Athlete
Mark Andrews
Alex Bacalja
Stefan Catalano
Cam Clayton
James Deane

Under 17
Tom Griffin
Jake Ireland
Lachlan Milligan
Luke Mitchell
Olivia Ryan

Athlete Under 20
Matt Burleigh
Sarah Huntington
Ryan Mcnamara
Daniel Richardson
Lee Tzilantonis


Athlete of the Year
Alex Bacalja
Cam Clayton
James Deane
Jessica Payne

Coach of the Year
Doug Armstrong
Nick Fiedler
John Henry
Todd Ireland
Terry McGarity
Shane McKenzie
Peter O'Dwyer

Meeting of the Year
Yarra Ranges

Sandy Hirst Emerging Talent
Keely Henderson
Ashley Kenshole
Harrison Kerr
Talia Martin
Jody Richards
Matthew Rizzo
Lee Tzillantonis

VRTA- VAL Service Award
Ricky Dunbar
Neil Macdonald
Terry McGarity
Andrew Mulhan
Terry O’Donnell

Male Performance of the Year
James Alexander- 2nd Bendigo Invite 800, 9m, 1.51.37min
Cam Clayton- 1st Rye 800m, 4m, 1.55.28min
Luke Stevens- 4th Yarra Ranges 300, scratch, 33.07sec
Luke Stevens- 4th Bendigo Black Opal, Scratch, 45.85sec

Female Performance of the Year
Kayla Bunevicius- 1st Ringwood Women’s 100, 4.5m, 11.75sec
Celia Cosgriff- 1st Wangaratta Open 800, 126m, 1.52.98min
Caitlyn Hawks- 1st Bendigo Women’s 400m, 23m, 54.09sec
Keely Henderson- 1st Stonnington Women’s Gift, 8.50m, 11.68sec
Tayla Sproule- 1st Stawell Women’s/Master’s 1600, 195m, 4.20.92min

Master’s Performance of the Year
James Deane- 1st Bendigo 1600 Open, 115, 4.07.82min
Ricky Dunbar- 1st Geelong Master’s 100m, 29.25m, 11.11sec
Craig Foley- 1st Keilor Gift, 12.5m, 12.66sec
Jacqui McCann- 1st Geelong Women’s Gift, 10.5m, 12.10sec
Peter O’Dwyer- 2nd Ballarat 300 Masters, 14m, 35.11sec
Leigh Phelan- 2nd Bendigo Opal, 34m, 45.59sec

Junior Performance of the Year
Keely Henderson- 1st Stonnington Women’s Gift, 8.50m, 11.68sec
Ashley Kenshole- 1st Yarra Ranges 550, 33m, 1.08.38min
Jack Lacey- 1st Bendigo Black Opal, 34m, 44.98sec
Talia Martin- 1st Stawell Women’s Gift, 13m, 13.69sec
Ryan McNamara- 1st Stonnington Gift, 5.75m, 10.50sec
Dylan Moore- 1st Stawell Frontmarker’s 1600, 165m, 4.03.95min
Jess Payne- 1st Northcote Women’s 300, 16m, 38.27sec
Nicholas Repalust- 1st Maribyrnong 70m Open, 4.25m, 7.80sec
Matthew Rizzo- 1st Ararat Gift, 7.5m, 12.45sec
Daniel Sonsini- 1st Bendigo 70, 5.25m, 7.51sec
Tayla Sproule- 1st Stawell Women’s/Master’s 1600, 195m, 4.20.92min

7 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Mon May 02, 2016 9:58 am


Today is the last day to purchase tickets!

We do hope to see all nominated athletes/coaches etc attend along with strong squad representation to make this memorable celebration.

Head to for tickets

8 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Tue May 03, 2016 3:24 pm


Is is strange that the trainer of roughly 3/4 of the nominated athletes is not nominated himself for the Coach of the Year?

9 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Tue May 03, 2016 3:36 pm


A few strange missed nominations
Hippo from coach of the year
2 notables missing from athlete of the year
And a couple from performances of the year

10 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Thu May 05, 2016 5:56 pm


In response to both Scoop and Mex:

1) Only VRTA registered members are eligible for the awards, which might account for some of those you thought were deserving;
2) Scoop, did you put forward any nominations for any of the awards?
3) Feel free to nominate to join the VRTA Committee and you will see how the process for coming up with nominees occurs and you can actively contribute to your sport. We are always looking for new members Smile

11 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Thu May 05, 2016 6:40 pm


In my opinion
Hippo had to be nominated for coach of the year
Lacey nominated for performance of the year for his black opal win
Cohen's Stawell 550m deserved a nomination
Rosen won numerous gifts and other races and didn't get nominated for athlete of the year 
Coop also should've been nominated for athlete of the year

Are they registered with VRTA Katie?

12 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Thu May 05, 2016 7:31 pm


Thank-you for providing your opinion Scoop, although the VRTA Cte are also entitled to theirs.

The first person mentioned is by their own choice, not registered.
Lacey, a training partner of mine is a well deserved nominee for Junior Performance of the Year and despite the quick time he ran, due to the mark he ran off, his performance was not comparable to the likes of Bacalja, Clayton and Stevens.
Similarly Cohen's Stawell 550 was fast and a great run from the front, but the Committee deemed his performance not comparable to the other 3 people nominated.
Final selection of nominees for Athlete of the Year is always a tough decision and involves a lot of discussion/ argument among the committee members. Rosen was definitely a contender and despite his 4 wins, the fact that they were all group 3 races, possibly went against him.
Coop, another great season, but only few wins.

13 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Fri May 06, 2016 11:47 am


I think that response is quite harsh Katie. And is insulting a large portion of pro runners.
Based off that though, how come Deane nominated for athlete of the year off only group 3/4 wins as a frontmarker?
Also none of them gifts. Isn't a Gift the biggest event at a particular meet? If that isn't considered important I guess athletes shouldn't turn up to smaller gifts? Including the VRTA gift?
Based on your response also, Cohen won a Classic at Stawell and Group 1 at Albury. Athlete of the year worthy? Did anyone else do that this year? I doubt it.
Coop also won a couple of group 2 races including the biggest 300m of the season.
As for Hippo, I was unaware he had not registered. That is an understandable omission.

14 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Fri May 06, 2016 5:34 pm


To he who calls himself Scoop,

This is no reflection on you, but you may have to change your username to something else. In a former life (Brunswick Footy Club) I was nicknamed Scoop and to make it easy for people to find me on facebook, I've used the old nickname for the footy mates to find me. There's a lot of Paul Youngs in the world.

Since you've been posting, people who have been around a while are getting me confused with the Scoop on Protrack. It's something I should have addressed when you first registered in December.

So if you can think of another username in the meantime, it would be appreciated.



15 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Tue May 10, 2016 7:46 am



Rather than you being harsh on Katie for a process you aren't involved in, how about you actually put your money where your mouth is and step up to the VRTA committee, then you can have your say in the voting process.

Like all guidelines/rules/criteria etc, if the majority do not like them or agree with them, then they have the option to change them, until then, the criteria is set. It has been published and is still the pinned post on the VRTA FB page. It's the same criteria that has been in use for a fairly long time. The committee have only massaged a few parts of it to suit more modern times.

To say it's an insult to a large proportion of Pro Runners, I feel it is a really naive and insular point of view. The committee discuss all the nominations, then evaluate them one by one and against other nominations. There is no bias, no prejudice. We'd like to reward everyone nominated, but we can't, so some athletes/performances/coaches etc miss out. But the awards and accolades are not why we do the sport, if it your sole driver, then maybe you are doing it for the wrong reasons?
As it's always been, Athlete of the Year is made up of nominated BACKMARKERS or athletes who earned their way to be BACKMARKERS throughout the season through their performances. Great examples are Cam and Luke, who can feature and win from the back marks in major races in impressive times and run consistently fast throughout the season.

The entire VRTA Committee stand by the nominations and stand by the winners of each voted category, again Scoop, if you have a differing opinion, then step up and join the committee, rather than being the self righteous armchair warrior.

16 Re: VRTA Presentation Night on Tue May 17, 2016 7:49 am


Hippo not a registered trainer is disappointing as his 'crash' did very well this year including 3/4 of the noms for athlete of he year. Fiedler a very worthy winner though, always seems to have his group up and about. In fact, all athletes and trainers were absolutely worthy.

Great season with a number of excellent results. I am looking forward to the banter across the winter.

Well done

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