The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Cass shows class in timely win

- – Keith Lofthouse

Jess Cass could hardly have picked a better time to celebrate her first win from 12 starts this season with Stawell Amateur Athletic Club – just two days after her 35th birthday and with wedding preparatio­ns well underway.

In the wake of a brace of race cancellati­ons due to COVID-19, her win rounded off a perfect week after she enjoyed her fill of ‘running, cake and wine’ after the lockdown was lifted.

Due to marry Luke Maffescion­i, her partner for the past four years, in October, Cass ran fastest of the 11 females who contested the eight-kilometre handicap on a sunny Saturday.

Surging to the lead from greybeards Gary Saunders and Terry Jenkins with an uphill 1.5 kilometres to run, she held on grimly to defy the fast-closing Drew Christian, who was just 12 seconds in arrears. Cass’s training mate, Michelle Dunn, was a brave third.

Cass’s sixth win since first joining the club in 2016 compensate­d for the race she thought she had won on July 12, but lost in extraordin­ary circumstan­ces, before the lockdown.

She was first across the line in a 6.5-kilometre handicap, but Jakob Davis was the winner having started early, due to football commitment­s, and running overall fastest time in a solo effort.

Cass, a running enthusiast who injects speed and hill sessions into her training routine every week, had thought about a start in the Melbourne Marathon in October. But she settled on her priorities when locking in a wedding date.

“My goal now is to run every race on the club calendar this season because that’s something I’ve never done before,” she said.

In one-kilometre sub-juniors, Kade Santuccion­e was locked in a ding-dong battle with Mitchell Cass, which helped forge a win over Jerome Baker and Grace Monaghan who finally separated them on handicap.

The club remains in Stawell for a 10-kilometre Run for Ray Scott at Rifle Range Road on Saturday.

Fun runners are welcome.

 ??  ?? Jess Cass
Jess Cass

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