Chris is runner on rise
by MATT TURNER
4 Mar 2012
THRILLING FINISH: Winner Chris Innes-Wong (red),
flanked by Luke Buchanan (green) and Jarrad
Dartnall (blue) at the Flagstaff Hill Gift.
BACKMARKER Chris Innes-Wong took out the feature race of a well-attended 17th Flagstaff Athletics Carnival in a thrilling finish on Saturday.
The Wayne Willis-trained runner, off 7.25m, came through the field of the 120m Open Gift in 12.73secs to pip Henley athlete Luke Buchanan by .01secs on a rain-affected track in front of about 1000 spectators.
McKinnon Parade’s Jarrad Dartnall was third. Innes-Wong’s triumph came about a month after he made his first professional racing final at last month’s Camden Classic.
In the women’s 120m Gift, Emma Freer (off 7m) held off Camden Classic winner Claire Ashman, prevailing in 14.36 secs.
Last year’s winner Amie Mittiga was third.
Young Guns Track Squad runner Matthew Fallon* took the honours in the night’s other feature race, the John Dawkins Memorial 550m.
The event is named in honour former South Adelaide footballer and champion Flagstaff Hill-based handicap runner John Dawkins.
Fallon, off 60m, won from Jake Stangewitz and Camden’s Matthew Cousins in 1:10.61.
One of the most popular performances of the meet was James Grant’s triumph off 280m in 4:06.85 in the City of Onkaparinga Mayor’s Mile.
It was a breakthrough win for John LeRay’s second-year runner, who was racing on his home track.
“It was a very popular win (because) he’s very well liked in our group,” LeRay said of Grant. The over-45s 400m event - considered the richest over-45s race in the country - was claimed by evergreen Brian Witty (off 95m) in 52.47.
The 62-year-old runner was the original winner of the men’s Camden Classic and took out the over-35 veterans’ race at Camden this year.
Other winners included McKinnon athlete Adrian Harris in the 70m Open, Liam Wright (70m under-20) and Jessica Oates, who triumphed in the 1600m under-17 race.
120 women’s Gift: Emma Freer
John Dawkins Memorial 550m: Matthew Fallon
Over-45s 400m: Brian Witty
Onkaparinga Mayor’s Mile: James Grant
70m Open: Adrian Harris
70m under-20: Liam Wright
1600m under-17: Jessica Oates
* Matt Fallon runs with McKinnon Parade - got no idea how the reporter Matt Turner came up with that one.