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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Border Watch Mt Gambier Gift Review

Border Watch Mt Gambier Gift Review

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1 Border Watch Mt Gambier Gift Review on Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:11 pm



Adelaide sprinter claims thrilling classic win
Border Watch
December 8, 2010

Six years of hard slogging in the world of professional athletics paid big dividends for Adelaide based sprinter Wallace Long-Scafidi in Mount Gambier on Saturday.

Long-Scafidi (20) claimed the $10,000 Mount Gambier RSL Classic final in a thrilling 120m finish.
Held at Vansittart Park amid glorious sunshine, Long-Scafidi – running out of the Anthony Tohl stable – blitzed a star studded field, which included Ben Koschade (2nd), Canadian Ira Thomson (3rd), 2007 Bay Sheffield winner Damian Tohl (4th), Brad Letton (5th) and Ryan Hancock (6th).

It was the 10th anniversary of the Mount Gambier Gift Carnival and about 1000 patrons enjoyed some fantastic athletic action.

Anthony Tohl won the Bay Sheffield in 1981 and his son, Damian was running in his second Mount Gambier final after finishing second in 2007 to Dale Woodhams.

Ryan Hancock was in his third final after finishing 4th in both 2006 and 2008.

But Saturday belonged to Long-Scafidi.

“It is without doubt the best I’ve ever run,” he enthused.

“I really have got to thank Anthony Tohl a lot, he has helped me so much.”

“And I really want to thank the Mount Gambier committee and the sponsors, because the prizemoney at this time of the year means plenty to me.”

Long-Scafidi picked up a cool $7000 for his 12.55 seconds final.

Earlier in the day he had won the opening heat of the RSL Classic in 12.75 seconds, defeating Sean Law, the highly fancied Robbie James and former Mount Gambier man and 1997 Stawell Gift champion, Daniel Millard.

In the semi-finals, Long-Scafidi had to pick up the pace even further, stopping the clock at 12.60 seconds and edging out Ira Thomson and backmarker Carl Morehouse in a nervously close finish.

Running off a 7.5m handicap, Long-Scafidi – for the trivia minded athletics buffs – became the sixth runner in 10 years to win the RSL Classic wearing the blue silks.

His previous best performance in a professional footrace was the 2007 Camden Classic, where he won the 400m final in style.

“This Mount Gambier win ranks much higher for me though,” he said.

“The quality of the field, not just the final, but in the heats and semis was much tougher.”

The fastest heat time belonged to David Gross, who ran 12.55 seconds off his 10.50m handicap. but he was found wanting in the semis, being well beaten by final qualifiers, Hancock and Koschade.

The 2009 defending RSL Classic champion, Shaun Hargreaves did not get past the heats, finishing fourth behind Neil Thomas, Lyall Weir and Dylan Hicks.

Hargreaves however did enjoy the 400m handicap, finishing second in the final to Matt Cousins.

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