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MEGA GALLERY | Teens Matt Rizzo and Liv Ryan win 2017 Stawell gifts

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.


Stawell Gift key in Commonwealth Games proposal

This year’s Stawell Gift Easter carnival weekend pumped an estimated $4.5-million into the Stawell district economy.
Northern Grampians Mayor Tony Driscoll said fine weather combined with a huge field for this year’s events helped to attract a ‘massive’ crowd across the three days of competition.
Figures from the gate show the crowd up by nine percent on last year.
“From a municipality perspective we’re looking at roughly 12,000 people visiting the region over the Easter break and a direct economic benefit of about $4.5-million, which is no mean feat,” Cr Driscoll said.
“We’ve had a great gift, great crowds and great participation levels.
“This carnival has been exceptionally good. There are also other measurable benefits such as the direct creation of 23 jobs.
“We’re now looking forward to next year.”
The Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift is Australia’s richest professional footrace carnival and has been part of the national sporting consciousness for 136 years.

Liv Ryan celebrates with her coach Craig Mair after the  2017 Strickland Family Women's Gift at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan celebrates with her coach Craig Mair after the 2017 Strickland Family Women’s Gift at the Stawell Gift.


The huge weekend of athletics action culminated in teenagers Matt Rizzo and Liv Ryan winning the Stawell and Strickland Family women’s gifts respectively.
Langwarrin’s Rizzo, 18, hot favourite after running off 7.5 metres and recording the fastest heat time, shone in the semi-finals before clinching the $40,000 final.
He won from Nathan Riali and Arthur Postle 70-metre race winner Kyle Grubnic and has now set his sights on state and national representation.
“I’ve been taught to sprint to get across that line first and that’s exactly what I did in the final,” Rizzo said.
“Last year I wanted to win it so badly but it didn’t happen. This year’s win will honestly change my life. It’s a dream come true.
 “Too many blokes go in and say I’m happy to be here at Stawell, or they’re happy to be in the final, and that’s when it’s lost.
“You don’t think about it, you just get in there, get on your blocks and run.”
Donvale’s Ryan, 16, now has a gift title and the $40,000 cash to match it after winning the women’s final.
The victory followed her triumph in an under-17 girls 100-metre race last year.
As well as the gift, Ryan completed a double by also winning a 70-metre sprint title an hour later.
“Winning the double is amazing, I just had to focus after the gift and get down the track in the 70 metres. I’m thrilled,” she said. 
Ryan created history by being the only athlete to win the women’s gift after finishing third in her heat. 
“It was a fast heat and it wasn’t the perfect race, my heat run, and I just had to keep pushing through. The semi-final win gave me a massive confidence boost,” she said.
Ryan won from Bridget Powell and Maddie Coates.
In other results, Burnie’s Daniel Reeves won the 800-metre handicap in 1:51.29 from Lonain Burnett and Daniel Lawler.
Australian 800-metre record holder Alex Rowe looked strong at the bell in the Herb Hedemann Invitation 1600m but could not catch 24-year-old Mitch Cashion, and Wangaratta’s Anna Pasquali bolted home to win the Lorraine Donnan women’s 400 metres by nearly two seconds ahead of Kim McDonough and Jody Richards.
In the Bill McManus Backmarkers 400 metres, Jack Anderson from Glen Iris won from veteran Paul Tancredi and Jake Hilson. 
In one of the closest events of the day, Queensland backmarker Ryan Bedford dipped late to pip 2013 women’s 400-metre winner Kendra Hubbard in a photo finish with Leigh Bennett third.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo in yellow easliy wins the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo in yellow easliy wins the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo reieves the starters gun casing from starter Maurice Campbell after winning the Stawell Gift.

Matthew Rizzo reieves the starters gun casing from starter Maurice Campbell after winning the Stawell Gift.

Tijmarri Sanderson-Milera wins the Backmarkers Invitational at the Stawell Gift.

Tijmarri Sanderson-Milera wins the Backmarkers Invitational at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan with the starter's casing at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan with the starter’s casing at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the  2017 Strickland Family Women's Gift at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the 2017 Strickland Family Women’s Gift at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the  2017 Strickland Family Women's Gift at the Stawell Gift from Bridget Powell, Areegra, in green, was second.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the 2017 Strickland Family Women’s Gift at the Stawell Gift from Bridget Powell, Areegra, in green, was second.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the  2017 Strickland Family Women's Gift at the Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan, pink, wins the 2017 Strickland Family Women’s Gift at the Stawell Gift.

Ryan Bedford, red, wins the Jack Donaldson 200m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Ryan Bedford, red, wins the Jack Donaldson 200m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Daniel Reeves wins the NGSC 800m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Daniel Reeves wins the NGSC 800m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Anna Pasquali wins the Lorraine Donnan Women's Handicp 400m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Anna Pasquali wins the Lorraine Donnan Women’s Handicp 400m at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Bethany Zmak, purple, wins the Little Athletics 400m Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Bethany Zmak, purple, wins the Little Athletics 400m Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Jack Anderson after the 400m Backmarkers' Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Jack Anderson after the 400m Backmarkers’ Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Jack Anderson outlasts Paul Tancredi in the 400m Backmarkers' Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Jack Anderson outlasts Paul Tancredi in the 400m Backmarkers’ Handicap at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Eventual winner Jack Anderson, in green sets off with the field in the 400m Backmarkers' Handicap final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Eventual winner Jack Anderson, in green sets off with the field in the 400m Backmarkers’ Handicap final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Eventual winner Matthew Rizzo easily wins his semi fianl at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Eventual winner Matthew Rizzo easily wins his semi fianl at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Nathan Riali in white, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Nathan Riali in white, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Bib stewards have the best seat in the house at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Bib stewards have the best seat in the house at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Oscar Reading, Imogen Lowe and Madison Dalziel at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Oscar Reading, Imogen Lowe and Madison Dalziel at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Michael Voulmard celebrates after his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Michael Voulmard celebrates after his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Michael Romanin in white, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Michael Romanin in white, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Kyle Grubnic, yellow, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Kyle Grubnic, yellow, wins his semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Taylah Perry, yellow, wins through to the final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Taylah Perry, yellow, wins through to the final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mel Breen and Sarah Blizzard embrace after Sarah won her way through to the final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mel Breen and Sarah Blizzard embrace after Sarah won her way through to the final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mel Breen rushes to congratulate Sarah Blizzard after Sarah's semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mel Breen rushes to congratulate Sarah Blizzard after Sarah’s semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan wins her semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Liv Ryan wins her semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Ararat's Sarah Blizzard in yellow, wins her semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Ararat’s Sarah Blizzard in yellow, wins her semi at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Catherine Hannell, pink, and Karlee Bailey, black, in their semi final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Catherine Hannell, pink, and Karlee Bailey, black, in their semi final at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mitchell Cashion won the Herb Hedeman 1600 at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Mitchell Cashion won the Herb Hedeman 1600 at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Melissa Breen in her semi final at the Stawell Gift.

Melissa Breen in her semi final at the Stawell Gift.

Olivia Goder, Mary Baxter and Chanel Baxter, 3, at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Olivia Goder, Mary Baxter and Chanel Baxter, 3, at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Rupert Lugo and Kiara Reddingius at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Rupert Lugo and Kiara Reddingius at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Josh Eschebach and Peta bell at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Josh Eschebach and Peta bell at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Ally Dell and Alexandra Dingle at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Ally Dell and Alexandra Dingle at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Chanel Baxter at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Chanel Baxter at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

James Collier and Laura-Jane Hilditch at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

James Collier and Laura-Jane Hilditch at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Mary Baxter and Chanel Baxter at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Mary Baxter and Chanel Baxter at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Christofer Hargreaves and Elly Graf at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Christofer Hargreaves and Elly Graf at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Winners Danny Archer, Katie Rock and Peta Bell at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Winners Danny Archer, Katie Rock and Peta Bell at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Chanel Baxter stole the show at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Chanel Baxter stole the show at Stawell Gift fashions on the field.

Cam Dunbar in black wins heat 21 at the Stawell Gift.

Cam Dunbar in black wins heat 21 at the Stawell Gift.

Backmarker Luke Stevens leads the field down the track for heat 22 at the Stawell Gift.

Backmarker Luke Stevens leads the field down the track for heat 22 at the Stawell Gift.

Bikramjet Singh wins heat 22 at the Stawell Gift.

Bikramjet Singh wins heat 22 at the Stawell Gift.

Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m backmarker Philo Saunders at the Stawell Gift.

Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m backmarker Philo Saunders at the Stawell Gift.

Toea Wisil in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Toea Wisil in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Amie Mittiga edges out Melissa Breen in haet 10 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Amie Mittiga edges out Melissa Breen in haet 10 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Stawell's Ashley Cowen, number 20, in the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Stawell’s Ashley Cowen, number 20, in the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Amie Mittiga in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Amie Mittiga in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Sarah Blizzard, in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Sarah Blizzard, in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Sophie Taylor wins heat 13 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Sophie Taylor wins heat 13 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Caitlin Hawks, in yellow, wins heat 14 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Caitlin Hawks, in yellow, wins heat 14 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Evan Javis, pink, wins heat 1 from Matt Carr, red, and Jason Polglase, blue, at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Evan Javis, pink, wins heat 1 from Matt Carr, red, and Jason Polglase, blue, at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Jessica Payne in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Jessica Payne in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Darcy Trewin, Jack Reading and Romy Moloney at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Darcy Trewin, Jack Reading and Romy Moloney at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Toea Wisil wins heat 9 of the womens Stawell Gift in 13.84 seconds.

Toea Wisil wins heat 9 of the womens Stawell Gift in 13.84 seconds.

Start of the heats at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Start of the heats at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Starter Maurice Capmbell at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Starter Maurice Capmbell at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Ararat's Sarah Blizzard wins heat 11 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Ararat’s Sarah Blizzard wins heat 11 in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Niamh Henry, Hettie Driscoll and Anna Pasquali in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Niamh Henry, Hettie Driscoll and Anna Pasquali in the womens Stawell Gift heats.

Stawell's Tom Walker celebrates with his mates after winning the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Stawell’s Tom Walker celebrates with his mates after winning the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Starter Maurice Capmbell at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Starter Maurice Capmbell at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Stawell's Tom Walker celebrates winning the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Stawell’s Tom Walker celebrates winning the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers Handicap 1600m at the Stawell Gift.

Isaac Dunmall  at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

Isaac Dunmall at the 2017 Stawell Gift.

The entire April 19, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=41765

Posted on Apr 19 2017

Posted by on Apr 19 2017. Filed under FEATURED, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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