Rookie wins af­ter bat­tle of the ages

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport -

For 6.4 kilo­me­tres of a 6.5-kilo­me­tre Con­con­gella Vine­yards Hand­i­cap on Satur­day it was a war of at­tri­tion be­tween a fresh-faced rookie and a wily vet­eran… and it came down to a 100-me­tre sprint that fi­nally blew the grey­beard away.

Michelle Dunn’s first win with the Stawell Ama­teur Ath­letic Club was well over­due af­ter her rare run of four con­sec­u­tive sec­onds; twice to fel­low rook­ies and twice to run­ners at least twice her age.

A gen­er­a­tion sep­a­rated Dunn from the 71-year-old runner-up Terry Jenk­ins but a mere five sec­onds sep­a­rated them at the fin­ish.

Dunn was the fourth first-sea­son fe­male to win this year and now, at the half-way mark in 2019, the hon­ours are shared evenly with the men. In the sub-ju­niors one kilo­me­tre dash it was the boys’ time to shine with Jerome Baker hold­ing on bravely to win nar­rowly from Nate Lyons and Char­lie Dunn.

The club trav­els to Hor­sham on Satur­day to join in a 6.5-kilo­me­tre run. All ages are wel­come.

Van shakes off in­jury

Adrian van Raaphorst, Stawell and Ararat Cross Coun­try Club’s most durable runner, again showed his re­mark­able re­sis­tance to in­jury when he de­fied five weeks of ham­string is­sues to win the eight-kilo­me­tre Thomp­son Fam­ily Hand­i­cap on Sun­day.

Shoul­ders pump­ing in his typ­i­cally pug­na­cious style, the former school teacher punched his way to the lead in the last quar­ter of the race and greeted the time­keep­ers with a 37 se­cond mar­gin over San­dra Bar­wick, with Jack Troun­son a sim­i­lar dis­tance be­hind in third.

Sur­pris­ingly, it was van Raaphorst’s first win in the 21st run­ning of the race, one of the very few in the club’s 20-race sea­son to have eluded the 585-run vet­eran.

His only ab­sence in the club’s past 103 races was at Great Western in 2016 when he got the race dates con­fused. He is cer­tain to line-up again in the eight-kilo­me­tre Troun­son Fam­ily Hand­i­cap at Ararat on Sun­day. Fun run­ners are wel­come.

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