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"Beaut Cannons" powers to Henley Gift win

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Buchanan’s “Beaut Cannons” powers to Henley win

Local Coastal athlete Luke Buchanan’s tough winter preparation came to fruition when he won the 120m Henley Gift on Friday night. The much improved Buchanan has clearly turned up for the early SA Athletic League meets stronger & fitter than previous seasons. Looking a lot more powerful in the upper body following a strong off season of gym work, Buchanan (running off 13.25m) held off Ryan Hancock (9.25m) and Paul Taylor (11.75m) in 12.64secs to win his first Gift and the Luke Hildyard stable’s second Gift following Russell Scott’s 2009 Bay Sheffield title.

Later in the night, inspired by her husband’s impressive Gift win, Lauren Buchanan (36m) powered around the track to easily win the women’s 300m in 38.34secs, giving the Central Coast squad a Henley double. Following Buchanan home was McKinnon Parade’s Ali Trewartha (28m) 2nd and Flinders’ Bridgid Connolly (16m) in 3rd place.

The SAAL’s return to the Henley Oval for the first time in a decade proved a spectacular success for both the Athletic League and its major sponsor of the meet – the Charles Sturt City Council as a large number of athletes strived to win a Remembrance Day sash.

Like Luke Buchanan, also picking up her first win over the traditional Sheffield distance was 32 year old Andrea DiPaolo. A member of the Young Guns Track Squad, DiPaolo (6.75m) has been knocking on the door for 12 months trying to win a 120m sash, and was relieved to finally add to her wins over 300m and 400m last season, winning in a hand held time of 14.7secs. Not far away was the Lyn Larsen trained Lauren Edwards (9.00m) in 2nd place while McKinnon Parade’s Kathryn Robb (7.50m) was 3rd.

Reigning Loxton Gift winner Jarrad Dartnall (25m) continued where he left off from last season winning the Open 300m in 34.73secs. Dartnall had to stave off a challenge from 2005 Camden Classic winner Matthew Cousins (27m) who just edged out McKinnon athlete Adrian Harris (20m).

There were two under age races at Henley with Gemma Plummer (70m) from the strong Flinders based squad, coached by Toby Schreier, winning the Under 14’s 800m in 2mins 13.97secs while Tjmarri Sanderson-Milera (22m) won an exciting Under 20’s 300m, overtaking the early leader Ellie Meich (55m) with metres to go. Winning in a time of 34.93secs, Sanderson-Milera was one of several runners in the final from an emerging new force in professional athletics – the Grange Surf Club whose members include reigning Bay Sheffield champion Jordan Caldow.

Veteran athlete Gregor Dingwall from the McKinnon Parade stable was never headed, winning the 800m Open off the front mark of 130m in a time of 1min 53.12secs. It took an examination of the video camera to separate 2nd and 3rd where Camden’s Ashley Brown (66m) got the verdict for 2nd over Reynella athlete Brad Jones (110m).

Michael Buckler’s McKinnon Parade stable completed the 800m double when youngster Tim Earle (58m) joined Dingwall as a winner on the night, taking out the 800m Novice in 1min 53.67secs from Connor McIvor (70m) and Corey Watkins (80m).

Flinders teenager Teagan Kustermann (50m) ran away with the women’s 800m from Team Tempo’s Demi Axford (70m) 2nd with Tasmin McMahon (60m) making a late run for 3rd.

There were three veteran’s events over 120m (Over 35’s), 300m (Over 45’s) and 800m (Over 35’s).

The winner of the Over 35’s 120m - Ross Hill-Brown and the Over 35’s 800m - Chris Dimitrak backed up later in the night for the Over 45’s 300m and at one stage both runners looked set for a memorable double. However they couldn’t match the tenacity of Sue Turner (66m) who held on from Hill-Brown (46m) and John Turner (44m). It was another sash for the Turner family after John’s break-through win at Port Adelaide earlier this year.

In the over 35’s 120m, Hill-Brown (19.50m) ran 13.64secs to beat backmarker David Palmer (4.00m) with David Wilczek (8.50m) 3rd, while Chris Dimitrak (95m) streaked away with the Over 35’s 800m in 2mins 08.46secs, beating event ‘bookends’ Mark Beveridge (0) and Cheryl Zeuner (200m).

This Saturday, athletes will head north to Whyalla to contest a number of events including the prestigious 120m Whyalla Gift.



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