After 12 years competing on the South Australian Athletic League circuit, Shaun Ryder 32, thought his chances of winning a race beyond 120 metres was beyond him. However Ryder's persistence paid off on Saturday night, when he won the Chris Johnson Memorial 200m at the annual Tea Tree Gully carnival.
The Morphetville veteran has won several 70m and 120m races, including last year's Flagstaff Hill Gift, but had always struggled "around the bend."
"That was a surprise" Ryder said after collecting his first 200m sash.
"I've made the final a few times, but I thought a win had passed me by".
The Aaron Harrison coached Ryder looked resigned to missing out again after finishing 2nd behind back marker Alex Saliu in the third heat.
In the final, Saliu looked poised on the bend to complete the 70m/200m double, but Ryder, running off 27m, fought back to hold out Camden's Ashley Brown (21m) with Saliu (11m) in 3rd place in a scorching 20.03sec.
Frontmarkers appeared to be suited over 200m by the blustery conditions, as Camden's Trudy Schrapel (36) secured her first sash, winning the Step into Life Women's 200m, from stable mate Hettie Driscoll (26m) in 22.83secs.
Contrary to the 200m, the backmarkers dominated the 70m open and women's events.
Aldinga's Alex Saliu (5.25) took some compensation for his disappointing Bay Sheffield campaign, taking out the Gym and Fitness Unley 70m Open from Grange's Lyall Weir (5.75) and Sacred Heart footballer Ben Wright (8.0) in 7.80secs.
Swedish athlete Moa Engstrom returns to her home country this week with a sash after winning the Supreme Quilts Women's 70m. Running off 5 metres, the accomplished hurdler recorded 8.67 to win by a hundredth of a second from Czenya Cavouras (7.0).
After a number of placings this season, Bradley Kitto broke through for a well-deserved win, taking out the Mort Daly Running Foundation 800m Open. Kitto (84m) stormed away to beat co-backmarkers Ryan Hage (62) and Stephen Jelfs (62) in 1min 58.75secs.
Enjoying her best season to date, Flinders athlete Nadia DeBellis won the Don Robertson Remedial Women's 800m. The much improved DeBellis overcame her 60m back mark to round the field with 150m to go to record her third win this summer.
Michael Buckler trained athletes won both the 550m events with Corey Watkins breaking through for his maiden victory over the distance in the Myadd Advertising 550m Novice and Peter Brennan taking out the Over 35's 550m.
Flagstaff Hill's Peter Biggs won his second 200m race for the season adding the Retirement Strategies Over 45's 200m to his Flinders win in October.
Past Bay Sheffield winners Frank McHugh and Greg Adams each enjoyed success coaching a winner of an under-age event. The McHugh trained Kyle Roberts won the Mort Daly Running Foundation Under 17's 70m while Adams saw his charge Bradley Carey win his first sash in the TTGAC Jordan Camplin Memorial Under 20's 200m.