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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Hippo Athletic Club at the Bay by Michael Marantelli

Hippo Athletic Club at the Bay by Michael Marantelli

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Stone the crows, Loz wins again!

By Michael Marantelli
hippo athletic club website
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A strong contingent of HAC diehards made the trip to Adelaide late last year for South Australia’s biggest Pro Running Carnival, the Bay Sheffield.

The Bay proved to be a mixed carnival for the Hippo crew, the major highlight, Lauren Crowe’s convincing win in the Women’s 1600m handicap. Loz set off at break neck speed from the gun, leaving the backmarkers in her wake. In a race record, she won by a whopping 50+ metres. Lauren’s win at the Bay means she’s recorded wins at the two biggest Pro Running carnivals in the same calendar year after winning the Restricted Mile at Easter in Stawell. Lauren would be the HAC’s only winner for the carnival but that isn’t to say there were no other highlights

Stephanie Mollica ran tenaciously in the Women’s 550 final only to have victory snatched away from her in the shadows of the post. Despite the loss, Steph ran a cracking race and should be confident of producing some good 400m times on the track before the season concludes. Boyfriend, Dave Spence continued his love affair with Colley Reserve in the backmarkers 1600m. Despite some indifferent form of late Dave managed to produce his best when it mattered most, finishing in 2nd place. Interestingly, that was Dave’s 6th consecutive podium in the backmarkers 1600m at the Bay Sheffield (1 first, 4 seconds, 1 third). It would take a brave man to bet against Spencey making it seven in a row next year (hopefully back on top the podium!).

Bendigo boy, Josh Nolan was debuting for the HAC at the Bay in 2011. Despite having his first run around the tight turns of Colley Reserve, Josh ran a great race in the prestigious Select Mile, finishing 2nd, losing a narrow photo finish. Michael Ryde was also in the race, but there are rumours circulating that he ran quicker to his getaway cab then he did at any stage during the race.

The $30,000 Bay Sheffield featured just the one HAC runner. But one is all that it takes to win the event! Well, at least that’s what we were thinking after Coote comfortably won his heat within a couple of metres of the fastest heat time. In his Semi Final, Bear recovered well after a poor start but unfortunately wasn’t able to bridge the gap he gave up in the early stages, finishing 2nd. Jordan Tronnolone, who won Coote’s Semi Final would go on to finish 2nd in the final behind Jordan Caldow who claimed back to back Bay Sheffield’s.

The Vets 550 at the Bay Sheffield has become a happy hunting ground for the HAC in recent years. When Chris Brown qualified for the final this time around we looked set to continue the tradition. Alas, in the final Browny’s ‘string’ went ‘pop’ for the 12th time in three weeks and he wound up finishing in last position. Despite suffering yet another six week injury, Chris managed to front up and race within a day down in Tassie. What an inspiration!

The final event of the carnival was the Frontmarkers 1600m. Unfortunately, there was no Jaeger bomb challenge this time around for Snax to participate in, but that didn’t take anything away from the race itself. Ash Sandison ran a gutsy race before eventually finishing in 4th position. Sando looked to have a podium spot sewn up until he was sneak ‘goed’ on the line for what would have been a much sought after and richly deserved podium.

So another Bay Sheffield has come and gone. A mixed bag for the HAC, but whether the results be good, bad or indifferent the 125th edition of the Bay Sheffield was not short on entertainment and excitement.

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