Bay Sheffield runner-up Jordan Tronnolone returned to his former Little Athletics track on Saturday night to win the Supreme Quilts 200m Open at the South Australian Athletic League meet at Tea Tree Gully. Tronnolone grew up in the area and was a regular competitor at the Tea Tree Gully LAC, before joining the senior ranks of the SAAL in 2008.
On 28th December, Tronnolone was 2nd and James Cibich 3rd behind dual Bay Sheffield winner Jordan Caldow. On Saturday night, Tronnolone, running off 12m, once again held out Cibich (12m) but this time he took home the sash, with Cibich finishing 2nd, jut ahead of backmarker Alex Bubner (10m) who finished 3rd.
Flinders athlete Claire Ashman (24m) demonstrated her new found sprinting prowess taking out the Tea Tree Gully Members Women’s 200m from Eleni Glouftsis (27m) and Camden’s Megan Letton (20m). Both Ashman and Letton had recently enjoyed mixed success at major interstate carnivals on New Year’s Day with Ashman finishing 2nd in the Burnie (Tas) 400m, while Letton won the women’s 120m at Maryborough (Vic). Better known as a 400m runner, it was Ashman’s first win over a sprint distance in the SAAL and was her second podium finish of the day, after running 3rd in the 70m.
Fast Twitch disciple Paul Taylor (8.25m) won his second SAAL sash when he held on to win the Mort Daly Running Foundation 70m Open in a blanket finish from Shane Grimwade (10.00m) and Ali Saliu (10.75m). Taylor broke his novice status at the SAAL’s final meet of the 2010/2011 season, winning the 100m novice event at Colley reserve, Glenelg.
Lesley Tompson won her second consecutive Tea Tree Gully sash, easily winning the Step into Life Modbury Women’s 70m. Tompson (10.25m) made the most a fast start to win from backmarker Lauren Edwards (5.75m) and Claire Ashman (8.00m). Tompson won the 200m at Tea Tree Gully in 2011. It was also her second 70m win this season having won the Flinders 70m in October.
Young Guns Track Squad’s sole distance runner Ryan Hage scored a unique double winning the Myadd Advertising 1000m Novice and the Tea Tree Gully Athletic Club 800m Open. In the 100m Novice, Hage (65m) took the lead with 200m to go to win his first sash for three years. Veteran Luke Stewart (160m) gamely held on for 2nd while teeanager Scott Hargreaves (50m) flashed home for 3rd.
Hage (65m) did not have long to wait to win his next sash, repeating his novice win to again beat the unlucky Stewart (150m) in the 800m, this time taking the lead in the straight. With three solid runs over 800/1000, remarkably it was the first time Hage had won beyond 550m in SAAL competitions. Hage’s 800m win and Tronnolone’s 200m win, meant the last two events of the night were won by YGTS.
For the second consecutive season, Camden’s Lauren McHugh won the Don Roberston Remedial Women’s 800m. McHugh (90m) worked well throughout the race to beat two newcomers to the podium in Melanie Stewart (175m) and Roula Ghaoui (104m).
Chris Dimitrak demonstrated his versatility in the veteran’s ranks, running 2nd in the Village Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic Over 35’s 550m before winning the Messenger Community News Over 45’s 200m. Running in the blue in the 200m, Dimitrak (32m) was challenged by backmarker John Turner (25m) with 10m to go but just held on with Turner 2nd and 550m winner Mick Abbott (34m) a metre away in 3rd place.
Earlier in the day, in one of the closest finishes of the meet, Dimitrak (75m) had a titanic struggle with his stablemate Abbott (78m) before Abbot lifted and kicked clear with 20m to go. Behind them was another battle of the stablemates with McKinnon Parade’s Steve Wilson (34m) grabbing 3rd place ahead of training partner Mark Beveridge (10m).
Frank McHugh’s Camden club began the new year with a bang winning four races at the carnival, culminating in a 1-2 finish in the Jordan Camplin Memorial Under 20’s 200m. Jakson Messent (21m) won his first ever sash in a thrilling and tight finish from his equally excited stablemate Riordan Welsh (18m). And like the veteran’s 550m, behind the Camden lads, it was two McKinnon Parade athletes fighting out 3rd place with young Tim Earle (22m) passing Corey Watkins (24m) to take the remaining podium spot.
Jesse Cordoma flew the McKinnon Parade flag when he stylishly won the Mort Daly Running Foundation Under 17’s 70m. It was Cordoma's first win in SAAL ranks and from the gun he was forced to work hard for it, to overcome the two frontmarkers – Jessica Oates (16.00m) and Grainne Henry (16.25m) but at the finish he won with a metre to spare.
The next SAAL meet will be the Marion Gift Australia Day carnival on 25th January 2012.