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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Tim Eschebach talks about his Stawell Gift experience & the Newcastle Gift

Tim Eschebach talks about his Stawell Gift experience & the Newcastle Gift

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Only just found this. Good news item from Channel 9 about Stawell Gift finalist Tim Eschebach.



Tim Eschebach ready for Newcastle Gift

Newcastle Herald
Dec. 10, 2013

THORNTON sprinter Tim Eschebach turned his focus to 120-metre professional racing four years ago as a way to improve his 400m running.

Now 25, Eschebach is a finalist in the richest professional sprint in the southern hemisphere – the Stawell Gift – and the face of the inaugural $1500 Newcastle Gift.

The event is one of three new competitions at the January 17-18 Hunter Track Classic.

The Newcastle Gift will take in men’s and women’s 120m races and a 300m mixed handicap will start on Friday, January 17 at No.1 Sportsground or Newcastle Athletics Field. The final will be held at Hunter Sports Centre the following night as part of the overall classic program.

The Twilight 2 Miler, headlined by Irish Olympic silver medallist Sonia O’Sullivan, will be run in the National Park precinct on the Friday night.

The classic, first held in 2010, will also introduce in 2014 the Hunter’s Fastest Kid competition for under-8, 12 and 16 sprinters. Heats will be held on the Friday night and the top eight in each division will progress to the finals on Saturday night.

Eschebach will race on January 17 along with 2012 Stawell Gift winner Mitchell Williams-Swain and said the Newcastle Gift concept would fill a void in Hunter athletics.

‘‘For me it’s the first event of the season,’’ Eschebach said.

‘‘But I also want to encourage other athletes to have a run in the Gift and support the pro racing in Newcastle.

‘‘It’s good to have it in conjunction with the Hunter Track Classic because a lot of the time there’s a separation where amateur guys will just do amateur events and the professional guys just do pro races.’’

After a six-month break, the Port Stephens lifeguard is hoping to build towards another campaign on the professional circuit and shot at improving on his sixth this year in the the Stawell Gift.

‘‘It was just phenomenal to just be on the track in the final and be a part of it this year,’’ Eschebach said.

Hunter Classic Classic organiser Scott Westcott hoped the Newcastle Gift and other additions to the 2014 program would increase interest in the event.

‘‘To me, the Hunter Track Classic is about bringing all the parts of the athletics community together,’’ Westcott said.

‘‘Little Athletics, the recreational running community, the professional runners and your more serious athletes.

‘‘For me, it’s just broadening the reach of what athletics is.’’

Westcott said 2009 world discus champion Dani Samuels would compete in the shot put at the classic and he hoped to have more Olympians enter in the coming weeks.

Last year Olympians Toea Wisil, from Papua New Guinea and Mitchell Watt and Ryan Gregson headlined the event.

Westcott said he hoped Newcastle’s two-time Olympian in the discus, Benn Harradine, would sign on, while he had received expressions of interest from New Zealand and US athletes.

Meanwhile, Westcott was looking to the next generation of Australian stars in sprinter Nick Hough and decathlete Jake Stein, who have won gold at world youth level, to shine at the Hunter Track Classic.

The pair and Hunter multi-event champions Matthew Harris and Sophie Stanwell were part of the officials launch of the classic along with Eschebach.

Hough, Stein, Harris and Stanwell will all use the Hunter event as part of the campaigns for Commonwealth Games qualifying.

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