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Stawell’s Tom Walker, Jess Cass shine at Halls Gap

OUTSTANDING: Tom Walker and Jess Cass after running at Halls Gap.

OUTSTANDING: Tom Walker and Jess Cass after running at Halls Gap.

By KEITH LOFTHOUSE
Champion schoolboy athlete Tom Walker added another feather to his colourfully plumed cap when he brilliantly won Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s King of the Mountain at Halls Gap.
During the lead-up week, the 16-year-old speedster smashed peer-group runners to win 800, 1500 and 3000 metres events at Great Western regional schools athletics.
But in the five-kilometre King of the Mountain, Walker took on all comers, of all ages and led all the way to win easily.
Consistently the fastest runner all season, Walker shared the podium with the club’s most improved runner Jess Cass, who has been the fastest female this year.
Walker treated the lung-sapping uphills, tricky downhills and water hazards with disdain and clocked a sizzling 18.10 minutes but even that wasn’t enough to overhaul veteran campaigner Bob Freeland who won the handicap division of the race.
When named the overall winner, Freeland dropped his water bottle in shock and then told onlookers that injury caused him to seriously consider ‘pulling the plug’ on his 50-year running career.
“I thought I was finished; I didn’t think I’d ever win a race again,” the 68-year old said.
“I couldn’t get my feet right, and even after a long rest I struggled.
“I couldn’t get fit, but I persevered training on grass and I reckon that’s helped get me over some of my niggles. Of course, I’ve got to thank the handicapper, too.”
Having not won a race for two years, Freeland received a staggering 16-minute start from Walker, a tribute as much to the youngster’s brilliance as to the veteran’s recent lack of success.
In a sub-junior event, Jack Urquhart, Chloe Hunter and Jay Jay Nitschke won medals and earned bragging rights over their older siblings, Tom, Olivia and Jordan, who had to give them starts.
The club’s penultimate race of the season, a three-kilometre Chris Blake Handicap, will be at Stawell’s North Park running track on Saturday. Fun runners are welcome.

The entire September 27, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=49776

Posted on Sep 27 2017

Posted by on Sep 27 2017. Filed under 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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