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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Leo King, Michelle Young claim honours at Terang Gift in trying conditions

Leo King, Michelle Young claim honours at Terang Gift in trying conditions

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Leo King, Michelle Young claim honours at Terang Gift in trying conditions

By Nick Brown
Warrnambool Standard
December 2 2018 - 4:00PM

Gift King: Sydney's Leo King won the Roy Northeast Terang Gift on Sunday. Picture: Nick Brown.

Croyden’s Michelle Young says she feels like the monkey is now off her back.

The 32-year-old won the Jill McKenzie Women’s Gift in a time of 14.36 at Terang on Sunday.

Young, who is coached by Todd Ireland, said the result showed perseverance does pay off.

"It was pretty good considering two years ago I made eight finals and came second three times," she said.

"So it was good to finally not be the bridesmaid I guess and comes away with the win.

"And the conditions were probably not favourable for someone of my stature.

“It was very blowy and very tough so it was a huge surprise to actually win.”

The Croyden-based sprinter, who has competed regularly for four season, admitted it had been a testing few years without getting the result she was after.

But she said she hoped the win at Terang would be the breakthrough she needed to experience more victories.

"It gets pretty frustrating and it gets hard with the expectation that I am going to make a final and might win, so to win today is just a weight off my shoulders," she said.

"I just trusted in the program and process that my coach Todd had in place and just believe that good will come.

"And I am just hoping that the win brings on a bit more success this season and hopefully now I will be able to enjoy it with the weight off my shoulders."

Young’s time was slightly quicker than last year’s winner Megan McMahon who won in 14.99 at Terang.

In the men’s it was Sydney’s Leo King who claimed the Roy Northeast Terang Gift.

King won the event in a time of 12.75 with a diving finish to beat a strong field of competitors.

He said the long trip from Sydney to Terang was now well worth the effort.

"I flew down then I came up (to Terang) Saturday night on the train which took four hours, stayed with a mate the night and now I will take the train back tonight and fly home Monday morning,” he said.

"But it feels great to win because I have been working towards for this a while.

"I have been doing well in the New South Wales gifts so I thought I might as well give Victoria a good go and I am very happy with this.

"I have been training really hard and had a good off-season, I kept up all of the running despite uni exams and everything going on.”

The third-year university student admitted his busy schedule off the track had made preparation a challenge.

He said not only time restraints but also the mental aspect of having the pressure of exams put him to the test.

"It is always hard balancing exams with training and especially when you have all of these competitions," he said.

"We have had a whole bunch of competitions in the last few weeks and balancing it all has been tough.

"I am not too bad at it but I know a lot of my training partners say it is a struggle."

King said his win would be celebrated only briefly as he made his return trip back to Sydney.

He said his schedule would remain busy with a few more gifts coming up before enjoying a few weeks of holidays.

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