Lewis Abdul (SA) 7.00m
He was in excellent shape in February recording a 100m PB (11.20s) before winning the rich Loxton Gift (12.90s off 8.25m). He’s been 2m off the pace this season from his reduced mark having managed 5th in both semi-finals at Port Adelaide & PreBay (12.60s off 6.25m). With a name (Abdul….not Lewis) that sounds like he should be in the musical Aladdin, he’ll need to find a magic lamp & a friendly genie to grant him 2 metres.
Ryan Atkins (SA) 7.50m
He has made the last four Gift finals, Port Adelaide (2nd), Sacred Heart (2nd), PreBay (4th) and 4th at Brighton. At PreBay he ran 12.47 in heat, semi & final. Not quick early, but like a VF Commodore he looks controlled & smooth suggesting there’s more to give. If he gets the engine going from the gun, expect a big finish. The VF Commodore won the Supercar series so watch him motor away!
Sebastian Baird (SA) 7.75m
Won the 2015 Brighton Gift (12.72 off 7.50m), but failed to make the 2015 Bay final by one spot. This campaign, he’s run 3rd (PreBay) and 2nd (Brighton – 7.0m) at his last two Gift starts. At PreBay he ran 12.43 in heat, semi & final. One year on, this is again, the best chance he’s had. Needs to put all doubt to “bed” and make the final. In top six SA chances.
Bradley Bain (SA) 8.00m
First year athlete who is yet to get past the heat stage of the 14 events he’s contested. Finished 8m away in his heat at Brighton (14.29s off 8.00m). He turns 21yo on Day One of the Bay Sheffield carnival. On current form at least he’s got that to celebrate.
Robert Ballard (IND) 9.00m
It’s been 30 years since Rob ran 2nd in the 1986 Stawell Gift final. He’s had an incredible career that includes three Stawell Gift finals, three wins in the Stawell 120m backmarkers, the Seoul Olympics and a Botany Bay Gift win. In 2008, at 44, he became the oldest ever winner of the Bay Sheffield. Now 52, he’d be the oldest athlete to win a heat let alone win the final. Just a Legend!
James Bayliss (SA) 8.00m
Won the Novice 70m at Sacred Heart and made the semis of the Gift. Ran 12.81sec off 8.0m at PreBay to be a fair way off the pace. Did run a nice 2nd in the 70m at PreBay behind Jack Norris. Best chance of making a final will be on Day One in the 70m/120m Restricted.
Ryan Bedford (QLD) 3.75m
Stawell Gift finalist this year (12.31s off 4.00m). Has 100m/200m PB’s of 10.69 and 21.03s. Current form is unknown but based on Stawell you’ve got to think he’s not coming here to surf the swells at Glenelg. First time to the Bay which has created a record for the most ‘Ryans’ (5) ever entered in the big race. There might be another ‘Ryan’ with stronger claims but this lad could make it multiple ‘Ryans’ in the final.
Joel Bee (VIC) 2.00m
A change of coach to John Henry seems to have stung the Bee-Man into action with a hive of activity – four wins, three over 70m and a 400m Terang win where he swarmed around the field to score. Following a beeautiful wind assisted 9.46sec over 100yds at the Zatopek meet, Joel ran an unbeelievable 7.74s off 1.25m to win the Northcote sprint. After conquering the VAL he’s making a bee line for Colley Reserve! The one they all have to Beet! (Phew, enough of the puns.)
Nickolas Berry (SA) 11.00m
Yet to make a Gift final and was a long way back at Brighton (13.88s off 12.75m.) Comes back to the 11m limit. Last win was the Novice 200m at Pulteney in 2013. There just isn’t enough juice in this Berry to be a major contender. Prefer in the 70m and 120m Restricted on Day one.
Michael Bolton (VIC) 9.00m
Last entered the Bay Sheffield in 2012, but did not start. Last win was the 70m at Gippsland in 2012. Best Gift run was 12.30s off 8.75m at Stawell (2012) to win his heat but was beaten in his semi in 12.40s. Left the sport to concentrate on his music career. His devotion to the sport was the inspiration for his biggest hit - “How am I supposed to live without you.” So he’s back for another go.
Kevin Brittain (VIC) 7.75m
Dual Stawell Gift finalist running 5th in 2010 and 6th in 2011 (12.42s off 7.25m). At Stawell 2016, he was 4th in his semi-final (12.60s off 7.50m). Recently ran 3rd in his Northcote 100m semifinal (10.72s off 5.75m). He was a fair way off last year’s Bay – 4th in his heat (12.88s off 7.0m). On recent form I get the feeling it will be a “Brexit” at the semifinal stage.
Michael Brusnahan (SA) 7.00m
Has 100m/200m PB’s of 10.94s/21.69s from 2010. He was only a metre off the pace at the PreBay (12.47s off 6.50m) but a week later was beaten over 200m by a 17yo rookie in 22.59sec. He has run in 2 previous Bay Sheffields (2010 & 2013) making up the numbers in the semis each time. Well beaten in the 120m Restricted last year but missed accepting for the Bay. He can do better but semi berth at best.
Deng Bulabek (SA) 9.00m
Stylishly won the Flinders 200m in October then incurred the wrath of the stewards with an inconsistent run in the Sacred Heart 400m final. Made the semis at the PreBay (12.60s off 9.0m). Tuned up for this with a 5th place in the Brighton Gift final (12.94s off 9.0m) after beating the eventual winner (John Evans) in his semifinal. Should make the semis but his best chance of a sash is the 120m Restricted on Day One.
Jordan Caldow (QLD) 2.25m
Dual Bay Sheffield winner, having won in 2010 (off 6.75m) and 2011 (off 3.75m). Ran 10.58sec in February but form a few weeks ago (5th Nov) wasn’t so good with a 10.82 (+3.8 wind) and 21.90sec (+2.0). Ran 2nd to Sanderson-Milera in a beach sprint at Coolangatta on 3rd Dec. Might be eating too much of that good Gold Coast tucker and should run better at ‘home’ in Adelaide. Can’t write him off but it’s unlikely we’ll see him in a third final.
Oliver Callahan (SA) 7.75m
Kicked off the season with a brilliant win at Henley off 6.50m after breaking then ran 2nd in the Pre-Bay Gift (12.43s off 7.0m). Last start he won the Keith Patching 70m Sprint (7.71s off 5.50m). “Oliver!” caused a surprise when it won the 1969 Oscar for best movie but there will be no surprise if this Oliver wins his ‘Oscar’ on December 28. In the top six SA chances.
Ryan Camille (VIC) 9.50m
Dual Stawell Gift finalist – 4th in 2013 and 5th in 2014 (12.39s off 9.75m). Won the 2012 Bay Sheffield 120m Restricted (12.91s off 9.75m). Last ran at the Bay in 2013, making the semis (13.04s off 9.75m). His biggest win was the Don Furness 70m Classic in February 2014, worth $3,000 to the winner. Opened the season with a good win over 100m at Sandringham (10.47s off 7.25m) but hasn’t run in the VAL since. Another Ryan who looks to be flyin’ when it matters.
James Cibich (SA) 7.00m
Three time Bay Sheffield finalist - 3rd in 2011, 3rd again in 2013 (12.84s off 7m) and 6th in 2015 (SF 12.54s off 7.0m). Only 120m start this season was the Port Adelaide Gift where he was run out in the semis (H 12.82s off 6.5m). December 28 is like Groundhog day for this bloke. Problem again, is there might be a few other groundhogs going a tad better.
Lawrence Coop (VIC) 11.00m
2016 Stawell Gift he ran 13.39s off 10m to be a second off the pace. Made his Bay Sheff debut last year running 7th in his heat (13.67s off 11m). Won the Rye 400m, Wangaratta 70m and Yarra Ranges 300m. Also made several other finals last season including the Wangaratta Gift (off 12.50m) and the 400m Ringwood Gift. At Northcote he ran 11.46s off 10.75m to finish 6m behind Kevin Brittain in his 100m Gift heat. This season he has no real form to go on, in fact he’s got no unreal form to speak of either. If anything, prefer in the 70m.
Jesse Cordoma (SA) 8.00m
Moved to YGTS after his former coach Steve Butler escaped to Melbourne. Hasn’t got a lot of Gift form but did run a tidy 4th in the Novice 70m at Brighton. Hasn’t run at the Bay since 2013 where he ran 4th in a 120m Restricted semi-final. Recently recorded the fastest 5m by a YGTS athlete since Andrew Beck trialed for the 2008 Brighton 70m. Just needs to eke it out for another 115m.
Simon Crichton (WA) 11.00m
Formerly from SA but moved to WA well over a decade ago. Returned to run 3rd in the 2004 Bay Sheffield final. Has been a regular visitor since and ran 6th in his Bay Sheff heat last year (13.30s off 11m). On that it would be easier for him to get into Fort Knox that to get into another Bay Sheffield final. Better chance in the Over 35’s race.
Jarrad Dartnall (SA) 11.00m
Has won a wall full of sashes with the SAAL with his biggest win - the 2011 Loxton Gift (12.56s off 9.75m). Best result at a Bay Sheffield carnival was winning the 120m Restricted in 2009 (12.49s off 11.5m). Hasn’t made a 120m final since Flagstaff Hill in March. At Brighton he ran 4th in the semi-final (13.02s off 10.5m). Now 30yo he’s not darting up the track like he used to.
Michael Dotti (NSW) 11.00m
In 2015 he ran 6th in his Bay Sheffield heat (13.0s off 10.5m) and ran in the semis of the 70m. Has made the Bay semis before and ran in the 70m finals in 2013 & 2014. In November he ran 5th in the Macksville Gift (12.76s off 12m). Based on that and at 34yo there’s more chance of the Sydney Harbour being drained and turned into a greyhound track than Michael returning home to Botany Bay with the Bay Sheffield sash.
John Evans (SA) 7.00m
Mount Barker High School student who has become the find of the season winning four sashes in his debut year including the only two Gifts he’s contested - Port Adelaide (12.55s off 7.0m) & Brighton (12.83s off 6.50m). Both times he scraped into the final with a 3rd place in the SF. Crazy to consider a rookie winning the Bay Sheffield on debut but this is 2016 – where Leicester City won the EPL, the Bulldogs won the AFL, Cronulla won the NRL, Portugal won the European Cup, Chicago Cubs won the World Series and an unqualified orange lunatic became the USA president.
Liam Gander (QLD) 2.75m
2nd in the 2010 Bay Sheffield (12.19s off 3.25m) where he was unlucky to run into Jordan Caldow. Has a 100m PB of 10.41sec. In January he won the 120m Gold Coast Gift (11.94sec off 5.0m). Ran a 400m on 5th Nov in 51.95sec. This will be his first time back since 2010 so be sure to take a gander at the Gold Coast champ. He won’t disappoint.
David Gross (SA) 9.25m
Three time Bay Sheff finalist including 2nd in 2014 (12.49s off 10.25m). Started off the season with 3rd in the Henley Gift (12.98s off 9.25m) but hasn’t made a final since. Only ran 6th in his Brighton Gift semifinal (13.53s off 9.25m). Best chance of success is in the Women’s Gift……as a coach of the favourite Mikayla Round.
Samuel Grouios (VIC) 9.00m
Terry McGarity trained athlete who, at Stawell this year, ran 13.48s off 9.50m. In November, he ran 4th in the under 20’s 100m at Warrnambool then, like a few others, suffered wind burn from the Bee-Man when 4th in the Terang 70m and was 6m away in a heat of the Terang Gift. Was also about 6m from Nathan Riali in a heat of the Northcote Gift (11.57s off 8.0m). Looked incongruous when he ran 14sec in his Bay Sheffield heat last year. Needs time.
Ryan Hancock (SA) 10.75m
Dual Bay Sheffield finalist running 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2008 (12.48s off 10.5m). Biggest win was the 2014 Ararat Gift (12.78s off 9.0m). Has made five finals this season including 3rd at Brighton (12.90s off 9.75m). In as good as shape as he’s been for some time. One of the better frontmarkers who will take some catching.
Ben Hardy (SA) 11.00m
Yet to make a 120m open gift final. His last 120m final was when he won the 120m Novice at Mt Gambier in 2011. At Brighton he made the semis of a Gift for the first time in 3 years (13.83s off 13.75m), about 8m from the winner – Ryan Atkins. Comes back 2.75m to the limit and has got as much chance of ending up on the dais as James Packer and Mariah Carey have of ending up as a couple on Married at First Sight. Prefer in the 70m on Day One.
Ryan Hoffman (SA) 11.00m
Long time supporter of the Bay Sheffield who last ran here in 2013 where he ran 14.23sec off 11.00m. At Stawell this year, he finished 10m away in his heat (13.58s off 10m). Still competitive on the sand where he ran 6th in a beach flags comp at Mooloolabah on 12th Nov. Not likely at Colley Reserve. Dustin Hoffman recently won an international Emmy for best actor, so at least one member of the Hoffman clan will end the year as a winner.
Luke Houlihan (SA) 5.50m
Runner-up in the 2015 Stawell Gift final where he recorded 12.13s (7.25m) in the semifinal. He has made the last two Bay Sheffield finals for 4th in 2014 (7.50m) and 5th in 2015 (5.75m). Ran 3rd in the Port Adelaide Gift and last start was 2nd in the Keith Patching 70m at Brighton. Seems to be in similar shape to last year so should be on the short list of final contenders.
Brodie Jackson (SA) 7.50m
Young Northern Districts junior who made his SAAL debut last year running 5th in his Bay Sheffield heat (13.31s off 7.50m). At Stawell 2015, he ran 5th in his Gift heat (12.83s off 7.00m). Has a 100m PB of 11.32s. Got to the semis of the Loxton Gift (off 7.50m) but since then, to the handicapper’s distraction there’s been ‘no action’ from Jackson, so his form’s an abstraction.
Evan Jarvis (WA) 11.00m
29yo coached by Matt Barber who had a few years away from the sport after winning the 2003 and 2006 Mullewa Gifts and 2003 Bay Sheffield 70m. Returned last year to make the Bay Sheffield semis (12.95s off 10.00m). In November he ran 11.33sec (100m) which would make him very competitive in this. One of the better interstate chances and is a huge chance off the limit.
Jake Jervis-Bardy (SA) 8.00m
Returned this year after having last season off. Has run in three Gifts but yet to qualify for a semifinal. At Brighton he ran 3rd in his heat, beaten 2m (13.32s off 7.50m). A 2005 Bay Sheffield finalist, JJB has won several Gifts including Camden and Hectorville (12.44s off 7.50m) in 2014. Academically he has more degrees than a thermometer but he’s unlikely to be graduating to the final here.
Tim Johnson (SA) 10.25m
Prolific finalist on the SAAL circuit, including 4 Bay Sheffield finals -1996, 2000, 2001 and 2nd in 2002. Won three Gifts earlier this year: Camden, Hectorville & Flagstaff Hill. Ran 6th in the Brighton Gift final (13.05s off 8.5m). Now 43, it’s unlikely, but he’s not without a chance of becoming the first bald man to make a final for 30 years.
Kristerfer Kardakovski (VIC) 9.00m
Beautifully named colt who moved to the Nick Fiedler squad earlier this year. Has finished a fair way back in major Gifts. Ran 7th in the Warrnambool 100m Gift (11.04s off 8.25m). At Northcote, he ran 5th in his 100m Gift heat (11.06s off 8.25m). Might be a chance to get amongst them in the Restricted on Day One. Still a novice but destined to breakthrough for a win this season. I just want him to win so we can hear the commentator go all Mike Williamson – “KARDA-KOVSKI You BEAUTY”.
Harrison Kerr (VIC) 10.00m
Another recent addition to Team Fiedler who joins with pretty good credentials having won the Ringwood 70m open, Ballarat Under 17’s 70m and Keilor 70m open (7.63s off 8.0m). He was 3rd in the Under 17’s 100m at Stawell. (10.70s off 9.25m). Last start, he had a big day at Northcote where he ran 6th in his 100m semifinal (10.83s off 8.25m), 8th in the 70m and 3rd in the 400m. On form he should go very well in the Under 18’s 120m, a race the stable won last year. But not the big one.
Ben Kirk (VIC) 6.75m
27yo novice athlete who in the 2016 Stawell Gift – ran 3rd in one of the slower heats (12.99s off 7.0m). He was 5th in the Stawell Novice 100m final (10.78s off 7.0m). Recently he won the first heat of the Northcote Gift (10.86s off 7.0m) before running the same time for 6th in his semifinal. Will be competitive but hard to see ‘Captain’ Kirk rocketing his way to the final.
Nicholas Krznaric (SA) 8.00m
First year Grange athlete who started off slowly then won the Novice 70m at the Pre Bay meet (7.71s off 5.50m). Has run three Gifts without advancing to the semis. Not ready for a race of this magnitude this year but one to put in the black book for the future. Better suited to Day One.
Sam Laucirica (SA) 8.00m
The name reminds me of the Dean Martin classic - When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, Lauc-i-rica……alright it’s not That’s Amore but it has got a nice ring to it. As for his form, he is yet to get past the heat stage and last ran - 14.58sec off 8.0m. Needs more time and real estate.
Back to the song: Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling; And you'll sing "Lauc-i-rica”
Sean Law (VIC) 9.75m
Won the 120m Melbourne Gift on debut in 2009 but has had injuries and distractions preventing him from progressing too far since. He hasn’t run at a Bay Sheffield carnival since 2012. Ran at Terang, finishing last in his 120m Gift heat (13.73s off 8.75m). He was entered for Northcote but scratched. Due to his run of bad luck, it’s been hard to plan for events. Sort of gone - ‘Law and no Order’. His best chance is in the Restricted.
Misha Lizoguboff (SA) 10.00m
Hasn’t competed this season. Last SA 120m run was his 3rd place at Flagstaff Hill earlier this year (12.90s off 11m). He also won the 70m at Flagstaff Hill. Ran last in his heat of the 2015 Bay Sheffield (13.65s off 10.0m) finishing about 7m from the winner. The word from Moscow is Misha’s supporters won’t be rushin’ the bookies to get on this year.
Wallace Long-Scafidi (SA) 4.50m
Dual winner of the Mt Gambier Gift in 2010 & 2011 where he ran 12.43s off 5.50m. Won the 2014 Whyalla Gift (12.97s off 4.00m). In recent times, he’s struggled over the Gift distance and hasn’t made a final since he won Whyalla. 4th in a heat at Brighton (13.37s off 4.00m). When in form, is one of the best in the state, but WLS has more chance of catching a marlin off Noarlunga jetty than he has of catching the in-form lads off the 7 to 8 range.
Emily Longo (WA) 11.00m
The only female entered the open Bay Sheffield and another from the strong Matt Barber Curtin University squad. Has respectable PB’s of 11.90sec (100m) and 24.28sec (200m). The limit mark restricts her competitiveness in this. Prefer in the Women’s event although the word is she’s a doubtful starter.
Rupert Lugo VIC 11.00m
A Forest Hill lawyer, he had an interesting debut season in 2015 where he ended up winning the Bill Howard Restricted 100m at Stawell (10.66s off 10m) and ran 5th in the 70m final (7.59s off 7.5m). Ran 7th in his Bay Sheff Restricted semifinal last year (13.28s off 12m). Last start he ran 4th in his 100m Northcote Gift heat (11.00s off 8.0m). According to the Daily Mail, in his youth, Rupert trained running circuits of the Roman walls of Lugo which were constructed in the 3rd century and stretch 2km around the centre of Lugo, a city he owns in northern Spain. If you believe that, I’ve got a ticket on a rocket ship to Mars to sell you.
Alexander Mammone (SA) 7.00m
Part of Ali Saliu’s growing Southern squad, he made his debut this season and scraped into the semis of the Sacred Heart Gift (13.22s off 7.0m). He appeared to sustain an injury at Sacred Heart and hasn’t run since. Has a 100m best this year off 11.53sec. If you google “Mammone” it’s an Italian term for Mamma’s boy. But I won’t need to contact his mum to find out what his chances are.
Tim McGuire (SA) 7.00m
Former state long jump champion who is exceptionally quick off the mark. He won the prestigious Brighton Keith Patching Sprint in 2013 and two Gifts back to back in 2014 at Henley and Port Adelaide (12.49s off 6.50m). Then ran 3rd in his 2014 Bay Sheffield semi (12.85s off 6.75m). Had some achilles issues and only recently returned, in with a run over 70m at Brighton. Due to the injuries - Tim lost his vim & his zim, so on a whim, chances are slim.
Thomas Moloney (VIC) 7.00m
20yo from the POD Squad in Ballarat. In January he was 2nd over 200m at Maryborough. But didn’t too much after that. Appeared to be in decent form in October with an 11.42s PB. Very little is known about the kid with the traditional Irish name, which reminds of what old Paddy use to say: “Don't bare your teeth until you can bite.” In with a good stable and will be unleashed when ready.
Liam Moss (SA) 6.50m
Has a hand 100m PB of 11.01sec. Ran a very wind assisted 10.7 early in the season. Has only had the one SAAL start – at the PreBay running 12.87s off 6.50m. He finished well off the pace. Another good Irish name reminds me of what old Seamus use to say: “As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.” Needs a lot going for him to get among the big boys here.
Jack Newman (NSW) 7.50m
18yo who won the 2014 Macksville Gift a week before running 2nd to twin brother Tom in the 2014 Queanbeyan Gift (12.26s off 9.50m). Ran 3rd in a heat of the 2016 Stawell Gift (12.71s off 6.50m) He’s run in the last two Bay Sheffields, running 2nd in a semi last year ((12.74s off 7.5m). Both the Newman lads are slight of build which reminds me of what old Mick use to say: “He who’s not strong has to be able to run well.” They can certainly do that. He should be in the semis again this year.
Tom Newman (NSW) 8.50m
2014 Queanbeyan Gift winner (12.14s off 12.00m). Ran a super quick time that year. He ran 3rd in his 2016 Stawell Gift heat (12.57s off 7.25m) but ran last in the semifinal won by Jack Hale. Ran 2nd in his 2015 Bay Sheff semi (12.73s off 8.5m). Now 18yo, these lads can only get better. Get the feeling one of them will challenge for the final this year. Write them off at your peril. As old Dan use to say: “Dress a goat in silk, it still remains a goat.” Says more about the author than the athlete.
Jack Norris (SA) 8.25m
Ran 5th 12.81s off 7.50m) in the Stawell Gift semi-final won by Matthew Rizzo. Has become a 70m specialist having won three in the last ten months including the PreBay 70m earlier this month. Has made 2 Gift finals – 4th at Port Adelaide and was 6th at PreBay running 12.43s in the semi-final. A query about him getting the full distance 3 times but has the speed to set it up. Probably not quite ready – Day One’s his go.
Trent O’Loughlin (SA) 9.75m
He was off the circuit for a while but got back into it this year. Has had a few injury worries but finally got back on the track at Brighton for an OK run in the 70m Novice. Hasn’t run a Gift this season so won’t progress past the heat. If he does – this writer will walk backwards up Colley Reserve in a mullet wig, footy shorts & moccasins.
Sam Osmond (SA) 6.50m
Winner of the 2015 Bay Sheffield but has had some distractions since including his footy club (Flagstaff Hill) winning the flag. Only had a few starts this campaign including at PreBay where he finished a long way back (13.16s off 6.0m). Doesn’t appear to be a razor sharp as last year and will take a while to adjust to the new mark.
Dylan Panizza (WA) 7.25m
Won the 2010 Mullewa and Dardenup Gifts in WA. Has made the semis in each of the last six Bay Sheff carnivals with a best result of 4th in both the 2012 (12.58s off 8.75m) and 2015 finals. Won the 2016 Maryborough Gift (12.68s off 7.75m) on New Year’s Day. Was well beaten in his 2016 Stawell Gift (13.12s off 6.50m). Made the final last year so not due again until 2018.
Jack Panuccio (SA) 7.00m
First year athlete with the Dylan Hicks CTC crew. Has been performing well in the junior events including a win over 200m at Flinders. Ran a strong 2nd in the Under 18’s 120m at Sacred Heart (12.75s off 7.0m). Not ready to challenge for a Bay Sheffield final but will be in the mix in the Restricted and the Under 18’s 120m events.
Dion Paull (VIC) 9.00m
At Stawell 2016 – 4th in his heat (12.65s off 8.75m). Won the Ballarat 70m last season (7.44s off 7.0m) then was 3rd in the Bendigo Gift (12.53s off 8.75m). At Warrnambool, he ran 5th in the final 70m (7.80s off 5.50m) and 3rd in the 100m Gift (10.76s off 7.25m). Terang – ran 3rd in the semifinal (13.06s off 8.75m) finishing a metre behind eventual winner Isaac Dunmall. Last start he was 2nd in a heat of the Northcote Gift (10.98s off 7.25m) but failed to make the semis. Has improved as a sprinter at Team Fiedler and one of the better Victorian chances.
Hayden Petherick (SA) 11.00m
Young Coastals athlete who has been in the system for a few years but yet to win a sash. Didn’t run that often until this season where he has competed most weeks. Yet to make it out of a heat of a Gift. Last start he ran 13.70s off 11.0m at Brighton. Prefer in the 70m on Day One.
Jason Polglase (NSW) 7.00m
Not much form available on the 26yo gardener with the Port Stephen Council in NSW. Won his heat at Macksville on 12th Nov, (12.87s off 8m) beating Jack Newman & Dean Scarff but was beaten 5m in the semi. He scratched from the 120m Novice at Macksville. No results from Queanbeyan. A first-year athlete, trained by his father. At a guess, he’s coming to the Bay to see what it’s all about. Macksville form OK but this is a huge step up in class.
Nathan Riali (SA) 5.00m
2014 Ballarat Gift winner. Won his 2016 Stawell Gift heat (12.45s off 4.50m) before running 4th (12.74s) in the semifinal won by Isaac Dunmall. In February he ran 2nd in the Trinity Gift. At Northcote he ran 4th in the 100m Gift (10.61s off 3.25m). Last run at the Bay Sheff was 2014 where he ran 12.88s off 4.25m in the heat. He’s developed into a big race performer and will be pressing for a final spot.
Daniel Richardson (VIC) 9.00m
18yo coached by Shane McKenzie. Ran 6th (12.85s off 9.0m) in the Stawell Gift semifinal won by Matt Rizzo. Quality victory in the Under 20’s 100m at Stonnington (11.02s off 3.50m) Last start at Northcote he ran 6th in the 70m semifinal and 3rd in his Gift heat (11.00s off 7.0m). Ran 5th in a Bay Sheff semi last year (12.76s off 9.0m). Maybe another semifinal at best. Prefer in the 120m Restricted on Day One.
Kyle Roberts (SA) 8.00m
Split with cranky Franky before the season but doesn’t appear to have slowed him down. He’s been competitive in most events contested, winning the Tea Tree Gully 200m and making the semis of all five 120m Gifts. At Brighton (13.32s off 8m) he was beaten 3m in the semi won by Deng Bulabek. Has got a huge chance in the Under 18’s 120m so that will be his focus this time around. But another to whack in the black book.
Andrew Robinson (TAS) 4.75m
24yo Tasmanian and 2013 Stawell Gift winner (12.01s off 7.25m). Has 100m/200m PB’s of 10.92s/21.72s. Ran 3rd (13.18s off 3.50m) in a semi of the Richmond Gift in Tasmania on 27th Nov. Last VAL start he ran 4th in a heat of the Northcote Gift (11.44s off 3m). First time to the Bay Sheffield and should be suited by Colley Reserve. However, appears to be short of his best so a semi berth at best.
Stuart Rooke (VIC) 8.25m
28yo Beaumaris sales manager whose best major Gift result was at Queanbeyan in 2015 when 2nd (12.22s off 9.25m) to Aaron Stubbs. Set his sights on Stawell this year after winning the Geelong Gift but was knocked out by Jack Hale running 12.47s off 8.50m. At Northcote, he ran 4th in the 70m (7.77s off 3.40m). Missed the Bay last year but is expected to be here with bells on. One of the top Vic chances.
Tim Rooke (VIC) 5.75m
Former national level sprinter (100m PB – 10.40s 4/3/2006) who had 3 years off for study purposes before returning to the sport in 2014. Ran 13.15s off 5.0m in his 2016 Stawell Gift heat. In November, at Warrnambool he ran 8th in the 70m (7.85s off 3.50m) and 5th in the 100m (10.90s off 4.25m). Didn’t make it past the heat at both Terang (13.40s off 5.00m) and Northcote (11.11s off 4.25m). Doesn’t appear to be travelling well enough.
Glenn Ross (WA) 11.00m
Has won multiple races at the Bay Sheffield carnival over the years including the Over 35’s 120m three times. Enjoyed his biggest win in 2013, taking out the Ballarat Gift (12.17s off 10.75m). Ran 5th in his 2015 Bay Sheff heat (13.04s off 10.25m). Earlier this year he ran 7th in his Stawell Gift heat (12.77s off 10.0m). 2nd in the codgers 120 last year and will be looking to that event to take home another Bay sash.
Jake Ryder (VIC) 10.00m
18yo from Thornton NSW with a 100m PB of 11.80s. Runs off much bigger marks in NSW – 3rd at Macksville in November (12.47s off 17.50m). Won the 2015 Maryborough 70m (7.60s off 10.25m). On that form line - There’s a better chance of Pauline Hanson lining up on the half back line for the Indigenous All Stars than Jake lining up in a Bay Sheffield semi-final. Best suited to the 70m.
Alex Saliu (SA) 7.00m
Wee man from Jackass brought out a Christmas album; The Six Days of Christmas - It ends with: “Six sprint coaches, Five running venues, Four League sashes, Three Bay semis, Two different states and a car fridge on Aldinga Beach”. After having some time off he ran OK at Flinders but was several metres off in the Gifts at Port Adelaide and Sacred Heart. There’s a big race with his name on it. But not this year.
Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera (QLD) 4.50m
Runner up in the 2016 Stawell Gift (12.19s off 5.75m) he made the 2014 Bay Sheffield final. Ran a very quick 21.30sec for 200m in February. Looks to be in excellent shape taking out the Beach Sprint/Beach Flags double in the Fastest Man on Sand competition at Coolangatta in December. One of the favourites.
Dean Scarff (NSW) 6.25m
30yo athlete from Randwick NSW whose biggest win was the 2012 Queanbeyan Gift (12.22s off 7.25m). Has run some slick times at Stawell including a win in the 2013 Gift winners Gift. A top-class beach sprinter, the last time he ran at the Bay was 2013 (13.28s off 5.75m). Bowed out of the semis at Macksville. It’s been a couple years since he was at his best, so we can’t get too wrapped up in this Scarff.
Frank Schinella (SA) 7.00m
Has a decent 100m PB of 11.00s for the 100m and surprisingly won the state 100m title in 2015. Made the semis last year (13.02s off 7.0m). No.
Brad Schutz (SA) 11.00m
Built like the proverbial brick outhouse, he has made the most of his ability winning the Camden Classic, Stawell 400m and 2014 Loxton Gift (12.85s off 12m). However, his gift form has been ordinary this season. Only ran 5th in the PreBay Gift heat (13.13s off 10.5m). Based on form, there’s more chance of coach Frank McHugh getting breast implants and changing his name to Kitty, than Brad breasting the tape first in his Bay Sheffield heat.
Lachlan Sheffield (SA) 7.75m
Will be trying to become the first person with the name Sheffield to win the Sheffield. Also, would become the first Lachlan. Had some injury issues in the past but tuned up with a solid win in the Novice 70m at Brighton. At PreBay he was 3m away in his Gift heat (12.79s off 7.75m). At his last Bay Sheffield start (2014) he ran 2nd (12.65s off 8.25m) in a semi-final. Will play a very good support role for the WASPS’s headline act – Ryan Atkins. Will be aiming for a semi-final this year.
Liam Shepherd (VIC) 9.25m
Started 2016 off solidly with a 6th place in the Maryborough Gift. Ran 5th in the Terang Gift (12.92s off 8.25m). At Northcote, he was 7th in a 100m Gift semifinal (10.91s off 6.75m). Has big race experience being runner-up to the first SA athlete, Duncan Tippins to win the Burnie Gift (2008). Recent form suggests he might be a metre or two off the pace.
Luke Stevens (VIC) 3.00m
“Inside Even” Stevens has enjoyed an outstanding career so far winning numerous races including two big Gifts at Albury (2014) and Keilor (2015). Has 100m/200m PB’s of 10.58/20.93s. Started off the season OK but has had some hamstring issues keeping him off the track. The Bay Sheffield will be his first Gift run this summer. Three runs on Colley Reserve will test the legs. But just the sheer class and not knowing where he is, will have a few quaking in their undies.
Paul Taylor (SA) 11.00m
Has won over 70m and 100m but yet to win over 120m. Last meet at Brighton he made the Keith Patching Sprint final but only managed 3rd in his Gift heat (13.34s off 12.50m). Goes back to the limit so it’s unlikely he will feature in a semi-final. Voted “Best natural tan of any athlete on the circuit” for the last three years so to quote Bill Murray from Caddyshack: “He has that going for him.”
Lachlan Taylor (VIC) 11.00m
Has won the 200m and 400m at Stawell and the prestigious 200m at Devonport. Won (off 20m) the Maribyrnong 300m in January. Ran 2nd in his 2016 Stawell Gift heat (12.79s off 10m). Always looked like he would threaten to win a major Gift but has yet to achieve it. Didn’t run at Northcote. Recent form is a mystery so the jury is still out – is Taylor swift enough to cause an upset. Time will tell.
Josh Tiu (VIC) 9.75m
2010 Stawell Gift finalist (4th off 10m in 12.29s). At Stawell this year he ran 4th in his heat (12.68s off 8.75m) Regular visitor to the Bay Sheffield having won the Under 20’s 120m, the 120m Restricted and the 70m. At Terang he ran 8th in the 70m final before running 7th the 120m Gift (12.98s off 8m). Ran 2nd (11.00s off 6.75m) in a Northcote Gift heat but failed to make the final. Closest he’s got to a Bay final was 2nd in his 2012 semi-final.
Same as last year - Form suggests he will be in the semis again.
Damian Tohl (SA) 8.75m
2007 Bay Sheffield winner (off 10.50m), he also won the 2013 Whyalla Gift (8.25m). Made the Sacred Heart Gift final (12.68s off 8.0m) then was narrowly run out of the semi at the PreBay (12.49s off 8.25m). Ran 3rd in the Keith Patching 70m at Brighton and was a close-up 4th in his Gift semi (13.02s off 8.25m). One of about a dozen SA contenders who appear to be within a metre of each other. Form suggests he will just miss the final.
Jordan Tronnolone (SA) 7.50m
Runner-up in the 2011 Bay Sheffield he had a year away before returning this season. He’s been struggling with adductor issues. Slowly getting back into decent shape. The only Gift he contested he was a semi-finalist at Port Adelaide (13.07s off 6.75m). There’s more chance you’ll see a frog running into the Pier Hotel and ordering a Coopers Pale Ale than seeing Jordan running in the final. Should have a better second half of the season.
Mitchell Tucker (SA) 8.25m
Very talented athlete in his third year with the Coastals squad. From the start of the season he’s been up amongst the contenders each week finally winning his first Gift at the Pre-Bay meet (12.40s off 8.0m). Missed the final at Brighton after going back half a metre. He ran the fastest heat (12.57s off 7.50m) of the 120m Restricted at last year’s Bay Sheff carnival but couldn’t back up for the final. If he runs to his PreBay form he should become the first Bay Sheffield finalist for reigning SAAL coach of the year Luke Buchanan.
Connor Verrall (SA) 9.00m
Opened the season with a big win in the Henley 400m and 2nd in the Henley Gift. He was 5th in the Port Adelaide Gift but didn’t get out of his heat at PreBay (12.85s off 8.75m). Most recently only managed 5th in his Brighton Gift semi-final (13.25s off 8.75m). In similar shape to this time last year. Should be around the mark for the 120m Restricted and 70m on Day One. His Dad must wait a while before he sees another Verrall in a Bay final.
Michael Voumard (VIC) 10.00m
At Stawell this year he won the Bill Howard Novice 100m (10.47s off 8.0m) and was 2nd (12.58s off 10.0m) in the Stawell Gift semi-final won by TJ Sanderson-Milera. These Stawell results catapults him into the big League and if he arrives in Stawell shape he could go ‘vroom’ and be 'voom-hard' to run down.
Clay Watkins (SA) 2.75m
Won the Bay Sheffield in 2005 (11.94s off 8m). He has been in two more finals since – 2008 and 2013 (off 3.25m). He’s also won the Burnie, Loxton and Whyalla Gifts. However, since the 2014 Bay Sheffield, Clay has entered 22 SAAL races, contested 3, hasn’t run an SAAL race in 2016 and hasn’t raced anywhere this summer. 73yo Dr Geoffrey Edelsten would have “got lucky” more times in 2016 than Clay has raced with the League. If he starts he will be competitive; he always is, but it would be a massive effort to make the final.
Lyall Weir (SA) 9.50m
Like last year, he’s rarely turned out this season. Ran 5th in a heat of the 70m at Tea Tree Gully. He seems to be as unpredictable as the Torrens Weir water levels were in September. He has had a few injury issues in the past so without any inside info on whether he will compete, we can’t go gushing about this Weir’s chances.
Darren Whittaker (VIC) 11.00m
Has enjoyed a stellar career in pro running making numerous finals and enjoying several wins including the 70m at Stawell twice. Has made several major Gift finals, the last one being 2nd in the Ballarat Gift in February (12.59s of 12.00m). At Northcote, he ran 6th in the 100m Gift (10.98s off 10.25m) Current Vic mark is 12.25m so goes back to the 11m limit. Best chance of final is the 70m on Day One.
Mitchell Williams-Swain (QLD) 1.00m
The backmarker of the field. Winner of the 2011 Stawell Gift and narrowly missed winning again in 2013. Has a 100m PB of 10.25sec from April 2013. Has had a few hiccups in recent years and has a best in 2016 of 10.50sec. This will be his first run at the Bay. Affectionately known as the “Swain Train” he has signed up as a wide receiver for the Newcastle Miners – a team in the newly formed National Gridiron League scheduled to kick off in October 2017. On 2016 form he is probably going to struggle in this field.
Brian Wilson (SA) 7.25m
Came into the season on the back of a very good win over 200m at Pulteney in March. Won the Sacred Heart Gift (12.5 off 7.0m). Appeared to finish with some leg issues in his Brighton Gift semifinal only running 14.07s. Has to be some doubt about his fitness given the Brighton performance. Missed the Bay last year so he’ll be keen to get amongst it. But it’s hard to see him winning after Brighton.
Dale Woodhams (SA) 7.25m
2nd in the 2010 Stawell Gift and was 3rd in this race in 2009. He has had a number of issues including a major surgery 2 years ago preventing him from getting back to his best form. He missed the final of PreBay but made the Sacred Heart final (12.58s off 7.0m). Most recent run was 4th in his Brighton Gift semifinal (13.08s off 7.0m). Like Jose Mourinho & Man U - needs something special to win the title.
Liam Wright (SA) 10.25m
Hasn’t been as competitive as he was this time last season. He’s run in three Gifts and hasn’t made a semi in any of them. At Brighton, he was 5m off the pace in his heat (13.72s off 10.0m) Was in better shape last year and didn’t get out of the Bay Sheff heat. The 120m Restricted on Day One is the ‘Wright’ race for him this campaign.
Ollie Wurm (VIC) 8.75m
Enjoyed his biggest win with the 2010 Burnie Gift (12.50s off 8m). Has struggled for consistency since then. Ran 6th (12.69s off 8.00m) in the Stawell Gift semifinal won by Jack Hale. His form this summer has been OK. At Northcote, he ran 8th in his 70m semifinal (7.89s off 6.00m), 4th in his 100m Gift heat (11.03s off 6.75m) then won his 400m heat before finishing 9th in the final. If he brings his best form – a spot in the final beckons. BUT, now living the dream in Toorak, there might be too many early birds catching the Wurm.