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Nathaniel Warren on track for sixth Stawell Amateur Athletic Club title

Nathaniel Warren and Tom Walker

Nathaniel Warren and Tom Walker

Stawell Amateur Athletic Club reigning champion Nathaniel Warren is on target for a sixth title, despite finishing behind a talented fun runner in a 6.5-kilometre Concongella Vineyards Handicap.
Warren, 29, is perhaps the fastest policeman in the state over a distance, but, by his own admission, ‘couldn’t keep up’ with promising schoolboy Tom Walker who recently competed with distinction at state level in Canberra.
“He was just ambling along beside me. I was doing it hard and Tom was doing it so easily, it didn’t sound like he was breathing,” he said.
“Eventually I had to tell him to press on and not let me slow him down, and he just scooted away. His running style is flawless. He’s already proven himself and I hope he keeps at it.”
Walker, who turns 16 in November, ran the distance on muddy, uneven ground in the vineyard in 25.19 minutes, with Warren 44 seconds behind when he reached the timekeepers.
The hectic early pace might have helped Warren to his second win this season.
Without Walker, Warren would have been running on his own in front and might have caused him to relax enough to reverse his three-second win over Keith Lofthouse after handicaps were adjusted.
Third in the race was Jess Cass who continued her sparkling form, and dramatic improvement this season.
In sub-juniors Tex Tracey held on grimly to account for Horsham visitors, brothers Jay and Jordan Nitschke.
The club travels to Halls Gap on Saturday for a five-kilometre King of the Mountain run.
Fun runners are invited to meet at the cricket ground from 9.30am.
Cross country
An aborted trip to the iconic Birdsville races enabled Jack Trounson to shake the ‘bridesmaid’ tag and break through for his first win of the season with Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club at Dunneworthy Common.
But in winning the five-kilometre handicap after a titanic tussle with Peter Gibson, Trounson lumbered Gibson, his good mate and training partner, with the bridesmaid tag.
Trounson’s win ended a run of eight seconds and thirds, but Gibson’s frustrating run of seconds, thirds and fourths was extended to 12 from his past 14 starts when he failed by 100ths of a second to pip Trounson on the post in the 31st running of the race.
It would have been Gibson’s fourth win in the race since 2000.
“Gibbo was unlucky,” veteran Trounson said after his 631st club run and ‘more than 30’ race wins.
“I’d have been on my way to Birdsville but for one of the blokes pulling out with health issues. I shouldn’t even be here.”
Third in the race was the club’s most senior runner John Hertz, who was having only his third start this season after a long absence.
In the tightest finish of the season, 17 seconds separated first to fifth while 23 seconds came between the next six to test the mettle of timekeepers.
The club returns to Stawell Ironbarks on Sunday for a five-kilometre Clem Hall Memorial Handicap from Three Jacks Reserve.
Fun runners are offered free entry before races start at 9.45am.

The entire August 31, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online.

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Posted on Aug 31 2016

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