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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Marcus Cooper stable is growing

Marcus Cooper stable is growing

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1 Marcus Cooper stable is growing on Tue May 10, 2016 5:12 pm



Marcus Cooper stable is growing

Stawell Times
May 10, 2016

ARARAT running coach Marcus Cooper has lauded his stable’s success over the 2015-16 season.

The season wrapped up following the Stawell Gift carnival, held over March 16-28. It has been a successful period for Cooper and his charges, with members reaching finals at the Stawell Gift.

“They did really well,” Cooper said.

Zach McFarlane finished fifth in the novice 100-metre final while Stawell’s Angus Burns reached the under 17 boys’ 100-metre handicap final.

For the girls, Alice Astbury and Monique Scott both ran in the final of the girls’ under-17 100 metre handicap event.

Cooper himself reached the 100-metre Masters’ Handicap semi-finals, a remarkable achievement from 44-year old who struggled with injury over the course of the season. The veteran runner has been battling lower back issues that are affecting his feet.

“It has been a hard season. I’ve been frustrated and haven’t been running flat out,” Cooper said.

“I’m onto it now and should be back well before next season.”

Once his body is right, Cooper’s attentions will turn to competing at the World Masters Athletic Championships in October. The Masters will be held in Perth and Cooper is looking forward to the event.

“I thought seeing as they’re in Australia this year, I thought I’d go for it,” he said.

One of the highlights of the stable over the season were wins to Paddy Turner and Jake Miocic at the Ararat Gift in March.

Running off 48 metres, Turner took out the 400-metre Restricted Sportsbiz in 47.19 seconds while Miocic finished first in the 70 metres open event. He came off seven metres to win in 7.609 seconds.

Another stable runner that is one to watch is Stawell’s Tom Walker. Walker is a distance runner and ran in the 1600-metre Victory Restricted Handicap final at Stawell. While he didn’t place, the teenager showed plenty of potential.

“I’m excited by Tom. He finished in front of one of the Kenyans and the other just beat him on the line. I’m very happy where he’s at,” Cooper said.

Cooper praised his stable for their effort and commitment shown throughout the season.

“The amount of improvement shown in all of the runners was enormous,” he said.

“Their keenness and willingness to start training is there. I’m forcing them to have a break. There are so many kids who want to go kicking some goals.”

Cooper’s stable has increased from 15 in 2014-15 to over 20. While Cooper wasn’t sure of the exact figure, he said there were at least another 10 runners joining in.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said.

According to Cooper, there are a couple of reasons behind the increase.

“The kids are getting to do something. It’s good for their health and fitness, plus it’s a good sport. It’s catching on,” he said.

“Also, those that are pretty good at the sports they already play want to be better. I have senior footy players train with me. I’d like to say to the footballers to come down and get themselves themselves fitter – it’s a real success.”

The Marcus Cooper running stable returns to the track on June 12, with training session held 3-4 times per week.

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