Defying the odds... Jessica Farrugia leads the pack
in the 400m novice event.
Breakthrough victory for Farrugia
By Michael Esposito
Star News (Hume Edition)
22nd February 2011
BROADFORD'S Jessica Farrugia produced one of the most crowd-pleasing moments at the Keilor Gift on Saturday.
The 17-year-old defied her male opponents to win the 400m novice event.
Farrugia, who trains with the Benny Tancredi stable in Coburg, held off her challengers to claim a breakthrough victory.
Running off a handicap of 80, Farrugia edged out fast-finishing Lonain Burnett, running off 29m.
It was Farrugia's first win of the Victoria Athletics League season. In her past 400m novice events, she has finished sixth, third, fourth and third.
“I've been running well, I've been making finals but I've always been pipped at the post or overtaken near the end,” Farrugia said.
“I was really excited for the race, I was nervous because I didn't know how I would go. I looked at the times beforehand, and I had the quickest time for the heats so I was just kind of hoping to get through.
Farrugia said the nerves really kicked in with 20m to go, when the commentator described the desperate charge coming from the other runners.
“I felt pretty strong, but I was worried that the boys were going to catch up though.”