Runners lap it up at the Frankston Gift

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Crowd favourite: Australian sprinter Morgan Mitchell with some of the Frankston Little Athletes. Picture supplied

MORE than 400 VAL athletes crowded the Frankston Football Oval on Sunday 14 January for the much-anticipated return of the Frankston Gift.

The gift which hadn’t been run for more than six years went off “without a hitch” and was well supported by local runners and little athletes.

Frankston Athletic Club president Andrew Wells said about 80 runners from the Frankston Athletic Club and Little Athletics Centre competed at the gift with everyone enjoying having the gift back at the Frankston Oval.

“It was a fantastic day with quite a good number there and the weather was kind to us,” Wells said.

“Having the gift back at the Frankston Football Oval with the old grandstand and the podium in the background made it sort of feel like the big gift they have at Stawell.

“It was good to have it back in Frankston. All of the sponsors were happy with the day and a lot of them are now on our backs to make sure we get our next one up and running.”

Harrison Kerr added his name to the Men’s 70m Gift winners list with a raw time of 7.554 seconds defeating Tim Rooke in the final. In the Women’s gift, Stephanie Richards defeated Stephanie Jinks in a raw time of 8.495 seconds.

In the first running of the sporting clubs relay, the Frankston Dolphins narrowly defeated the Peninsula Strikers women while the Victorian Police Force celebrated their victory in the Emergency Services relay.

When it came to highlights from the day, Wells said most of the 70m races were very close finishes but it was towards the end of the day when the backmarker, Jesse Dunsmore, in the two mile event came from last to finish up winning by about a quarter of the track.

Australian 400m sprinter, Morgan Mitchell, also made an appearance at the gift signing little athlete’s caps as well as attending a luncheon. Dunkley MP Chris Crewther also attended the event to show his support for having the Gift back in Frankston.

First published in the Frankston Times – 22 January 2018

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