The Stawell Gift has been held in all but four years since 1878, and is one of the world’s most famous and prestigious foot races.
Run on grass, athletes are handicapped according to form and ability, and start off varying marks accordingly. Runners race for glory and prize money with many more dollars working their way through the bookies ring. The main race is the Stawell Gift which is run over 120m up a slight gradient, and the final is traditionally held on Easter Monday.
UC Ginninderra Athletics Club members Sarah Blizzard and Australia’s fastest ever Woman Melissa Breen competed in the prestigious competition over Easter.
Mel Breen, race back marker, finished second in her heat of the 120m Womens Race while training partner Sarah went one better to win her heat. Both athletes made the Semi Finals where Mel couldn’t quite run down fellow Olympian Lauren Wells despite improving on her heat time to finish third.
Sarah pulled off an upset in her semi final beating current Oceania and Australian 100m Champion Toea Wisil to win the 5th race. In the Final the ABC named Sarah as a weekend favourite to take out the event and she did not disappoint finishing fifth overall in the prestigious competition.
Sarah had a huge weekend of racing including the 70m where she finished third in her heat on the Saturday to progress to the semi finals. In the Semis Sarah was nudged for third again just missing a place in the place in the final.
Blizzard has made a fist of the Stawell Gift for many years including in the 2014 where she finished runner-up to Holly Dobbyn in the women’s final. Sarah also recently won the Ballarat Gift 70m Final as Back marker.
Younger Ginninderra Little Athlete Chloe Smith did very well in her events including the 100m where she came second in her heat as well as fifth in her heat of the 400m. A great experience running alongside Australia’s best female sprinters.
Blizzard storms Ballarat Gift
Sarah sizzles in Stawell Final
UC’s Reece Edwards competed at the Rawlinson Track, Melbourne University in the MUAC 5000m Championship Event.
Reece ran a new Personal Best in 14:36.8 to finish 9th overall and just outside the automatic qualifier for the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney.
It was a staggering performance for the half marathon specialist who had only just recently run 14:46.12 at the NSW 5000m Championships.
The hope is that Reece and his training partner Bryce Anderson have done enough to convince the ACT Selectors of their place on the team to Sydney.
Mitch Anderson competed at the LAVic 2017 NCR Track & Field Championships at La Trobe University over the weekend. The NCR is a pre-requiste meet in order to qualify for the Victorian Championships.
Anderson enjoyed a fantastic two days of competition winning all his events including Personal Bests in the Triple Jump (12.05m) and Discus (46.54m) and near perfect performances in the Shot Put (12.05m) and the Long Jump.
Overnight Jordan Gusman has pipped Brett Robinson (Australian World Champs representative) at the Victorian Mile Championships in Melbourne. Team mate and training partner Joshua Johnson (4:03.2) placed 6th in a large field.
Jordan (3:57.9) and the top 3 finishers all ran under 4 minutes for the mile. This follows Ryan Gregson’s 1600m win in Ireland on Wednesday where he too ran sub-4 with a 3:56.49. Gusman’s time is a new Open Record for the Mile at UC Ginninderra.
The ACT Champs is set to light up on Saturday with the inclusion of Jordan and Joshua among a hot field in the Open Mens 1500m.
This Thursday, UC Tigers athlete and Team Telford runner Jordan Gusman will race in the Victorian Mile Championships at Melbourne University.
The event will be Jordan’s first for University of Canberra and he’s shown that he is in great form following a 3:39.85 performance last weekend at the Sydney Invitational. Joshua Johnson finished 5th in 3:44.23 in a great effort for him.
Jordan has already tasted success this season with a win in the Albie Thomas Mile, gold in the NSW 3000m Championships, first in the Mitchell Street Mile, 2nd placing in the Steigen Spectacular, and silver in the Burnie Ten.