Hamish Adams 20 7.50m Croydon North VIC Coach: Todd Ireland
Enjoyed a break-out season last year, winning the Avondale Heights 120m Gift before storming into second place in the Stawell Gift (12.20 off 9.50m). Nowhere near Stawell Gift form based on his last two starts where he couldn’t make the final of either the Waverley (10.97s off 5.75m) or Marysville (10.71s off 5.75m) Gifts, 4m off the pace. Given he won his Stawell semi-final in 12.14s, and he’s only back 2.0m from his Stawell Gift mark he should be competitive.
Lazarus Agu 25 6.00m Port Noarlunga SA Self Trained
Above average novice athlete with a lot of tenacity, he had his only start in the 70m Novice at the Pre Bay meet running 8.25s off 4m. He ran 11.46sec at ASA interclub on 3rd November. The most famous ‘Lazarus’ is the subject of a prominent miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. This Lazarus will need a bigger miracle than that to get past the heat.
Bailey Allen 18 7.75m West Lakes Shores SA Charles Sheffield
Promising novice athlete who ran both the open and novice 70m events at Brighton, where he ran 8.45 off 5.5m and didn’t get past the heats. Hasn’t made a Gift final, finishing off the pace at Bowker St and Kensington (13.90s off 7.75m). More chance of Ellen DeGeneres representing Jack the Ripper on appeal at the Old Bailey than this ‘new’ Bailey making the semis. Prefer in the 120m Restricted.
Nicholas Antonino 17 8.25m Croydon North VIC Nick Fiedler
Unlucky last year when he belted the target time in the Under 18s 120m heat and got whacked by the nasty old handicapper. Brilliant win at Warrnambool in the Under 18’s (12.50s off 8.0m) on December 1st but couldn’t back it up among the big boys in the Gift (13.10s off 7.75m). Like another famous runner once said “Nicholas is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gunna get.” Won’t make the big boys final but if he brings his Warrnambool Under 18s form to Colley Reserve, he is a massive chance in the Junior Bay Sheffield.
Brendan Ashcroft 28 5.75m Hawthorn VIC Scott Rowsell
Very good junior athlete who recorded 10.72sec for 100m in 2010. Hasn’t broken 11sec for quite a while. He was part of a national ultimate frisbee team for a few years but now back into athletics. Which reminds me of Stewart Francis who said, “I was standing in the park wondering how a Frisbee gets larger the closer it gets, and then it hit me.” Ran OK in the 70m at Hastings but couldn’t take his place in the 70m final due to injury. Scratched from the 120m Hastings Gift where he had 4.25m. Joined the Scott Rowsell squad this year and no doubt will have some big plans ahead. But not right now.
Jacob Aston 17 6.75m Hope Valley SA Nik Hagicostas
Won the 120m Marion Gift on debut in January this year and has steadily progressed since. He has snuck over for a few Victorian meets (3rd in Warrnambool Gift heat 13.29s off 6.25m) and ran a fast heat of the 70m at Terang (7.81s off 4.25m). Looks like he wouldn’t be out of place at Hogwarts, but he has the genes to be a serious contender. At this stage, like the queue for the Harry Potter Ride at Universal Studios, he just has to be patient but he will get there.
Ryan Atkins 21 4.00m West Lakes Shore SA Charles Sheffield
Winner of the 2016 Bay Sheffield off 7.50m (12.57s), he then won the 2017 Camden 120m off 4.50m and won a 100m state title in 10.88sec. This season he had one run up the middle, over 100m at Port Adelaide and failed to advance from the heat. He did win the 300m Novice at the same meeting, albeit off a generous mark. Doesn’t appear to be in the same form as 2016. Has about as much chance of making the final as Ryan Gosling has of making a successful bid on buying the Beach House and renaming it Lala Land.
Jason Bailey 23 9.75m Packenham VIC Todd Ireland
Won a heat of the 2018 Stawell Gift (12.50s off 10.0m) and ended up 6th in the semi (12.55s). On 16/12/18, he finished fifth in the 70m final at Marysville then scratched from the 100m Gift. Ran 4th in the 100m Waverly Gift (10.65s off 8m) 9/12/18. Coming into the race in good form and a nice peg to drop his blocks on but hard to see him advance beyond the semi.
Sebastian Baird 22 5.75m Black Forest SA Paul Taylor
Had a terrific second half of the 2017/2018 season, winning the Loxton Gift (12.79s off 6.75m) and running a nice 100m PB of 10.96s. Back in the marks from last year and probably put his Bay Sheffield aspirations to baird for a year or two with the Loxton Gift win.
Nick Berry 29 11.00m Mitchell Park SA Luke Buchanan
Enjoying a good calendar year, winning the Loxton 70m, the 400m at Stawell and then on 16/12/2018, his first 120m Gift at Brighton, albeit off 15.0m. Comes back 4.0m to the Bay Sheffield limit. Best chance is the 70m. More chance of hearing the crowd at a Democrat Convention chant “Thank God You’re Here” after Donald Trump’s name is announced than Nick has of hearing his name announced as a Bay Sheffield finalist.
Peter Biggs 53 11.00m Bonbeach VIC Matt Carter
Well-performed veteran athlete who has won numerous masters races both here and in Victoria. This year he moved to Victoria so he’s not as regular on the SAAL scene as he has use to be. Surprise entry for the Bay Sheffield given it’s an 11.0m limit. About as much chance seeing him in the final as seeing Ronnie Biggs driving the 7.00pm train to Seaford.
Aaron Bresland 24 0.00m Victoria Park WA Dane Richter
Currently the fastest athlete in the field based on recent results with a PB of 10.28sec in December last year. Has also run 21.01sec for 200m (18/2/18). Ran 10.55sec (+0.7) on 25/11/18. Is a member of the national 4x100m squad. If he rocks up in around 10.3 shape, he is a huge chance to be in the final.
Matt Burleigh 22 10.00m Croydon Hills VIC Todd Ireland
2018 Stawell Gift semi-finalist (12.53s off 9.75m) running 5th behind Matt Rizzo (12.31sec). His best result this season was a 4th on the Terang Gift (13.25s off 9.75m). I’d like to paint a picture of him in final, but I don’t think it will have a Matt finish.
Oliver Callahan 21 7.75m Adelaide SA Debbie Meich
2nd in the 2018 Loxton Gift (12.79s off 7.75m) in February, this season, he has decided to run 400m hurdles. On December 9th, he ran 2nd to Jesse Cordoma in both the 70m and the 120m at the PreBay Gift. However, he appeared to strain a hamstring stretching for the line and so some question mark about his fitness.
Ryan Camille 29 9.75m Wheelers Hill VIC Self Trained
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). His biggest win was the Don Furness 70m Classic in February 2014. Most recent start was 5th in the 100m Waverley Gift on 9/12/18 (10.66sec off 7.25m). Camille the Steel Shadow is a champion in the League of Legends Esports Game noted for being calm, relentless and terribly precise. Needs to bring those qualities to Colley Reserve.
James Cibich 30 7.00m Semaphore Park SA Charles Sheffield
A three time Bay Sheffield finalist, finishing third twice (2011 & 2013) and fifth in 2015 (12.54s off 7.0m). Has had a number of setbacks during the past three years preventing him from getting back to his best. Only the one run this season he was about 8m off the pace – 5th in a semi-final at St Michaels (13.73 off 7.0m). Like Jay Weatherill he hasn’t been sighted much for several months.
Jesse Cordoma 23 9.50m Sturt SA Paul Young
Has enjoyed his best season to date with four wins including three over 70m. Won the Gift (13.01s off 9.25m) and 70m double at the PreBay Meet, 9/12/18. Only qualified for the Gift as the slowest of the six finalists but won the final. Has surprised himself and the SAAL with his rapid improvement since last season. If only my comedy career could take off like Jesse has this season. An SA final chance but see how he goes in the 120m Restricted.
Alex Daley 22 6.00m Malvern SA Self Trained
UK hurdler, I’m not sure how he heard about the Bay Sheffield but he adds some intrigue to the event. Ran 10.76sec (+3.3) on 25/8/18 in Hendon, UK and a 200m PB of 21.89sec on 4/6/16. According to the IAAF website, he ran 7.07s & 7.04s for 60m at an Indoor meet in Cardiff, UK on 16th December 2018. This will probably be his first run on grass, so hard to gauge his form, for a race like this. Could be a smokie for the final.
Jarrad Dartnall 32 11.00m Dernacourt SA Charles Sheffield
Has a room full of SAAL sashes 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). Has made a number of finals this season including second in both the Bowker Street and St Michaels Gifts (12.88s off 11.0m). This is much tougher. There won’t be a Darters among the starters in the final. Best prospects lie in the 70m.
Shantan De Silva 19 6.00m Mt Barker SA John Hodge
Pembroke athlete who has run at two SAAL meets this time for a nice second place in the Kensington Gift (12.90s off 6.0m) and a 3rd in the 70m Novice at the PreBay Gift carnival. His PreBay 120m Gift run was way off the Kensington form finishing about 4m away in the heat. Hard to see him featuring here. But certainly one to watch for the future. As the Lone Ranger would say, “Hi Ho De Silva away!”
Dean Dobric 33 10.25m St Kilda VIC John Nicolosi
Last time he was at the Bay Sheffield was 2015 where he ran 3rd in the semi-final (12.72s off 10.25m). Best run this time in was 6th place in the Warrnambool Gift final (12.81s off 10.50m). Just missed the semis in the 100m Waverley Gift 9/12/18 (10.76s off 8.50m). Not running as well as some of the other Vic contenders. If he rocks up, we might get to see a bit of “Dean Dean the Dancing Machine” at the Bay Sheffield After party.
Isaac Dunmall 25 3.50m East Brisbane QLD Wayne Leaver
Won the 2016 Stawell Gift (12.16s off 6.75m). Also won the rich Stonnington Gift in 2015. This season his form has not been near that of Easter 2016. He has been run out of his heats most weeks including the last two VAL Gifts at Waverley (11.18s off 2.25m) and Marysville (10.94s off 2.50m). Just looks out of sorts from what I saw at Terang, but he has too much class to ignore and great to see him back at Colley Reserve.
Tim Eschebach 30 7.50m Thornton NSW Bryan Gulliver
Had a huge season last year appearing in numerous finals at Terang, Maryborough, Gold Coast, St Albans, Castlemaine, Geelong and 2nd at Bendigo (12.41s off 7m). A dual Stawell Gift finalist (2013 & 14) he was 5th in his Stawell Gift semi this year (12.51s off 7.25m). In October he only made it to the semis of the Macksville Gift (13.36s off 8.25m). In best shape he’s a chance for the podium.
John Evans 21 6.25m Mt Barker SA Paul Young
Athlete of the year in his debut season in 2016/2017, he has picked up two races this summer, the 300m at the Launch meet at Brighton and the Flinders 200m. He has made the finals of Gifts at Kensington, PreBay & Brighton. Never leaves anything on the track, epitomised with a super human effort in the final leg of the 4x400m to take Westerns from 8th to the silver medal at the state relay champs. Some of those relay runners he whizzed past now sleep with the light on and are too scared to close their eyes, thinking Johnny’s coming to get them. Definitely one you always have to watch.
Jack Fidler 19 7.00m Cheltenham SA Andrew Chandler
Won 2 sashes on debut at Tea Tree Gully in February 2016 and looked to have a bright future. However, he has hardly run, competing only once last year, in the Bay Sheffield (13.15s off 7.50m). Only start this time in, was 6th in the Brighton 70m Novice (8.15s off 4.5m). If he won the Bay on that prep, I’d give up the sport, learn the fiddle, move to Nashville, start busking in the town square and play the “Devil went down to Georgia.”
Craig Foley 39 11.00m Pascoe Vale VIC Self Trained
Journeyman who has won numerous races over the years including the Wangaratta and Keilor Gifts. Hasn’t got much recent form of note. He ran 5th in his Stawell Gift heat (13.88s off 10.0m) about 12m away from the heat winner. More chance of Basil Fawlty opening the batting for England and making a ton in the next Ashes series than Craig has of making the Bay Sheffield final.
David Gross 35 10.25m St Marys SA Self Trained
Three time Bay Sheff finalist including second in 2014 (12.49s off 10.25m). Ran 4th in the 2018 Loxton Gift (12.94s off 9.75m) earlier this year so he’s still capable of getting into major finals. Has made four 120m Gift finals this season at St Michaels (6th), Bowker St (5th), Kensington (4th) and the Pre Bay Gift (5th in 13.19sec off 9.75m). Last start ran 4th in the codger’s 120m at Brighton. Moving OK but unlikely to feature in a fourth final.
Max Hagicostas 16 6.00m Henley Beach SA Nik Hagicostas
State Under 18s 100m champion, his best senior Gift result was 3rd in the 2018 Loxton Gift (12.87s off 8.0m). Following a 10.99sec PB he has come back in the marks. Much better prospects in the Under 18’s Junior Bay Sheffield where he made the final last year.
Matthew Hargreaves 34 8.00m Tarneit VIC John Hilditch
Terrific pro-running career to date being a prolific finalist that includes two Queanbeyan Gift finals and the only interstater to win two Camden Classics. His biggest collect was the $10,000 Woodside Gift in 2013. Has copped some injuries the last few years that have taken a toll. Last start he was run out of his 100m Waverley Gift heat (11.08s off 6.50m). More chance of Corey Bernardi appearing at the top of the Glenelg Jetty screaming “Stop the Boats” than Matt has of appearing in this Bay Shef final.
Matthew Harvey 33 10.00m Edithvale VIC Self Trained
Another experienced campaigner who has made numerous group one Gift finals with his biggest win to date being the 2013 Bendigo Thousand Gift. Hasn’t had much of an impact this season being run out Gift heats at Terang (13.47s off 10.0m) & Waverley (11.04s off 8.25m). Recent form suggests he’s got as much chance of sneaking into the final as Scott Morrison has of sneaking over to Manus Island to enjoy a hearty Christmas turkey with a family of asylum seekers.
Ryan Hoffman 46 11.00m Nerang QLD Self Trained
Very successful coach of major Gift winners including Ben Mispelhorn (2013 Bay Sheffield) and Aaron Stubbs (2010 Stawell Gift). He was a very good beach sprinter himself in his ‘hay day’. Last time he was at the Bay (2013) he ran 14.2 off 11.00m. We get a little nervous when Ryan comes here because he normally has someone set for the Bay. So we will have to wait and see. But in respect to his own chances, fair to say Dustin Hoffman has more chance of being cast as the Incredible Hulk than Ryan Hoffman has of winning the Bay.
Harrison Hunt 19 3.75m Wyn Vale SA Paul Young
Unlucky 2nd in the Bay Sheffield last year (12.2s off 6.50m) when he ran into the tsunami from WA – Sasha Zhoya. Ran 2nd in his Stawell Gift semi-final (12.41s off 4.75m) then headed over to Finland where he ran 10.51s (+1.5.) Started the season winning the St Michaels Gift (12.66s off 3.50m) and 100 yards invitation double. Wound up his preparation with a huge run winning the Keith Patching 70m off the tightest mark in its history (7.74s off 2.25m). He will have to create more history – no runner-up has ever returned to win the Bay Sheffield in 132 years and he’s carrying the biggest penalty for a runner-up in history. History says NO, but recent results suggest YES is a possibility.
Jake Ireland 18 8.00m South Warrandyte VIC Todd Ireland
Son of a gun, with his father being a Stawell Gift placegetter, Burnie and Bendigo Thousand Gift winner. Jake is a former winner of a junior 100m race at Stawell, he was 2nd in the Bill Howard 100m at Stawell this year. Ran 2nd in his Stawell Gift heat (12.68s off 9.0m). Very promising type but he has better prospects in the Under 18s 120m and the 70m Open.
Evan Jarvis 31 6.00m Thornlie WA Matt Barber
Enjoyed a stellar career in pro running, winning several races including a 70m at the Bay Sheffield. Third in the 2016 Bay Sheffield (12.70s off 11.0m). Winner of the Parkdale (12.70s off 8.5m) & Bunbury Gifts last season. Beat the Stawell Gift runner-up Hamish Adams in the heat before finishing 3rd in the semi-final (12.46s off 8.50m). Now back in the marks following his wins last season.
Tim Johnson 45 10.50m Happy Valley SA Charles Sheffield
Prolific finalist on the SAAL circuit, including 4 Bay Sheffield finals -1996, 2000, 2001 and 2nd in 2002. Has won a couple of Over 35’s events off scratch in slick time to suggest he would be competitive in an open Gift and duly delivered with a 3rd place in the PreBay Gift on Dec 9th. Goes up more than most and could surprise. But love to see him win the Over 35’s off scratch.
Joshua Jones 16 6.00m High Wycombe WA Matt Barber
WA Teenager having his first start with the SAAL. He’s run three 200m races in Perth in the last month – all with illegal tail winds. The best of them was 22.30s (+2.4) on 14/12/18. He’s been kept safe with the novice mark. A look and see expedition this time round for Jonesy.
Kristerfer Kardakovski 27 10.50m Epping VIC Nick Fiedler
Won the 2017 Maryborough Novice 120m (12.63s off 10.5m). Made several finds last year and was tough to beat. This season he’s been a bit quiet. Last start he ran 4th in his semi-final of the 100m Marysville Gift (10.73s off 8.75m). Before that only managed 5th in a heat of the Waverley Gift (11.01s off 8.75m). Simply not running well enough. More likely to see Kris Kristoffersen singing “Me and Bobby Magee” at the After Party than this KK in the final.
Harrison Kerr 19 8.25m Park Orchards VIC Nick Fiedler
In 2016 he blitzed the Bay Sheffield carnival winning the 120m Restricted, ran 2nd in the 70m and 6th in the Bay Sheff final. He then won the 2017 Wangaratta Gift (12.59s off 9.50m) before smashing the field in the Bendigo Black Opal in 44.07sec. Relatively quieter season last year. Ran 7th in the Stawell Gift semi-final (12.62s off 7.75m). Last start he was 3rd in a heat of the 100m Waverley Gift (10.83s off 6.50m). Has the ability to surprise so keep safe.
Kuei Kuei 18 6.00m Hillbank SA Paul Young
Burst on the scene with a classy win in the Port Adelaide 70m Novice (7.47s off 4.0m), then went to Victoria where he ran 3rd in the Warrnambool Gift and 2nd in the Terang Gift. He then spent three weeks in the USA. Hard to see him in the shape he was month ago, but he has some serious talent and it just needs to be focussed in the right direction.
Rupert Lugo 28 10.00m Forest Hill SA Nick Fiedler
Won the 2016 Bill Howard Restricted 100m at Stawell (10.66s off 10m). Won the 2018 Bendigo Thousand Gift in a slick 12.27s off 10.50m. Running well having run 2nd in both the Terang and Waverley Gifts this season. Will arrive via private jet from Lugo, a city he owns in northern Spain where he has a 20m high statue of himself in full flight dipping at the line. Beautiful piece of art. One of the few Vics coming here in peak form. He’s a tough nut to crack and will be hard to catch.
Liam Moss 21 5.00m Glen Osmond SA Rick Treleaven
2016 Bay Sheffield finalist, he ran a 100m PB of 10.78sec in March. He was backed heavily at Stawell where he ran a quick time (12.32sec off 5.50m) before being run out in the semi-final. Ran over 300m at Kensington (4th in B final off 6m in 35.23s) before finishing 2nd in the 70m Novice at the PreBay meet. Yet to run over 120m this season. Handicapper has kept him tight following his PB and the fast heat at Stawell. Could surprise but his inconsistency makes it hard to work out where he’s at.
Jack Norris 20 6.75m Black Forest SA Luke Buchanan
Talented young athlete who won the rich Loxton Gift in February (12.90s off 8m). Opened the season with a 70m win at St Michaels and ran a fast heat on the synthetic track at Port Adelaide (10.47s off 5.0m) but had his blocks slip in the semi. At his sole Gift run he missed the final at the PreBay meet on 9/12/18 (4th in SF 13.28s off 6.0m). Seems to struggle with the 120m at Colley Reserve. Prefer his chances in the 70m.
Fejiro Omuvwie 26 5.00m Kelvin Groove QLD Darren Kynaston
Queenslander with a PB of 10.75sec (Sydney 23/9/17). He missed his semi at Hastings so the stewards allowed him to run a trial that was quick enough to qualify for the final where he ran 2nd. He then won the Warrnambool Gift (12.37s off 5.00m) and has picked up a 1m bonus for Stawell. This is a free hit, so unless he wins he keeps his Stawell bonus. Genuine final chance and as Bjorn once sang, “Can you hear the drums, (that’s) Fejiro?”
Dylan Panizza 29 7.25m Scarborough WA Glenn Ross
Won the 2010 Mullewa and Dardenup Gifts in WA. Also won the 2016 Maryborough Gift (12.68s off 7.75m). Has made the semis in each of the last eight Bay Sheff carnivals finishing 4th in three finals including 2017 (12.44s off 7.75m). Ran a quick heat of 12.23 last year so if he is any shape he is a huge chance for the final again. At worse, a ninth straight semi beckons.
Dion Paull 30 10.50m Croydon VIC Nick Fiedler
Last ran at the Bay Sheffield in 2016, running 4th in the 70m final. Scratched from all races o far this season as he recovers from an achilles injury. Unlikely starter.
Max Punchihewa 30 9.50m Epping VIC Nick Fiedler
Made a few finals last season before running 6th in the 2018 Stawell Gift semi-final (12.59s off 9.50m). Last start at Waverley, he ran 4th in the 70m final and 3rd in the 100m Gift semi-final (10.58s off 8.0m). Hard to see him in the last six but Max always run to the max so he should be in the mix.
Benjamin Ridley 18 6.00m Andrews Farm SA Paul Taylor
Second year athlete with a PB of 11.56sec. No form at all for a race of this magnitude. Christopher Pyne has more chance of standing Buddy Franklin on Adelaide Oval and keeping him goalless than he has of standing at the start of a Bay Sheffield final. Heat only.
Stuart Rooke 30 8.25m Beaumaris VIC Self Trained
Has been among them in the big Gifts in the past but hasn’t secured a major prize just yet. Had a decent crack at the Stawell Gift a few years ago but was run out in the semi-final in a quick time. Scratched from the Marysville Gift and at Waverley 9/12/18 he was run out in the heat (10.85s off 6.0m). Form not good enough to be considered a chance for a Bay Shef final.
Joshua Ross 37 1.50m Budgewoi NSW Self Trained
Only ever winner of five grand slam gifts including the big three from scratch – Stawell, Bay Sheffield (2012) and Burnie. Has the fastest time by an Australian on Australian soil – 10.08sec in 2009. Multiple national champion. As I said last year and the year before that, he’s done it all. Ran 12.56sec off 1.50m in his 2018 Stawell Gift heat. Recently made the final of the 100m Marysville Gift but had to scratch because of some tightness in the leg. Goes forward 1.5m from last year, says he’s good to go and appears to be in better race nick than last year. A fit Ross the Boss makes it interesting!
Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera 25 3.75m Grange SA Nik Hagicostas
Runner up in the 2016 Stawell Gift (12.19s off 5.75m) then runner-up in the 2016 Bay Sheffield (12.67s off 4.5m). Won the 100m Port Adelaide Gift in November and ran a close 4th in the final of the Keith Patching 70m Sprint. While he had a win at the Port, he doesn’t seem to be in peak Gift form having suffered a few niggles along the way. Looks like it may be his last run at the Bay so hopefully he can get into a big final for the last time.
Brad Schutz 30 11.00m Flagstaff Hill SA Frank McHugh
Has won some quality races including the Camden Classic, Stawell 400m and the 2014 Loxton Gift (12.85s off 12m). Hasn’t featured much, last start in the PreBay Gift, he was a long way back running 14.26s off 11.0m. About as much chance performing in the final as Pauline Hanson and Anthony Mundine performing a duet in Rundle Mall singing the Sounds of Silence.
Tom Sclanders 29 6.75m Renown Park SA Paul Young
Dual Bay Sheffield finalist and a Whyalla Gift winner who broke through for his first 120m Gift win in six years when he took out the Kensington Gift last month (12.8 off 6.0m). He has battled with dicky legs along the way but to his credit he continues to find a way to get on the track and when he is right he knows how to win. Tough as an old boot, he is one you wouldn’t want to find in your heat. However unlikely starter due to those dicky legs.
Calum Scrivens 17 8.00m Grange SA Charles Sheffield
Haven’t seen much of him apart from a cameo at Flinders where he ran 3rd in the 200m final. Has had 8.0m for a year but yet to run a Gift. Ran 3rd in the All Schools Under 18’s 100m final in October. His 100m PB is 11.37sec from March ’18. Last win was the U/18s 120m at the PreBay meet last year (13.28s off 7.5m). Better suited for the Restricted.
Tomas Semmler 19 6.50m Blair Athol SA Tony Keynes
Enjoyed a couple of wins last season including the 70m Keith Patching Sprint. Changed coaches during the winter and still appears to be adjusting to the new regime. Ran 3rd in the 70m at Kensington but was well beaten in the heat at the PreBay Gift (13.38s off 5.0m). Goes forward 1.50m but based on PreBay that won’t be enough for him to feature beyond the heat.
Taylor Sharpe 19 6.50m Booragoon WA Matt Barber
Brilliant winner of the 2017 Bay Sheffield Restricted then next day ran 6th (12.54s off 7.0m) in the Bay Sheffield final. Won his Stawell Gift heat (12.49sec off 6.00m). Ran a 100m PB of 10.93sec (+2.0) 05/01/2018. Not much form lately apart from a 100m run on 16/11/18 of 11/22sec (+0.3). Enjoyed a very successful debut at the Bay Sheffield last year. His coach has trained 3 Bay Sheffield winners and numerous finalists. Another year under his belt and I get the feeling he is one of the big dangers.
Lachlan Sheffield 21 6.75m Fulham SA Charles Sheffield
Ran a surprise 5th in the 2016 Bay Sheffield then concluded the season with 12.48s off 8m at Stawell. Last season he hardly ran apart from a cameo at Flagstaff Hill and again this season he has only run two SAAL sprints finishing 2nd in both the Flinders 200m and Port Adelaide 100m. Had the 120m mark in SA to be dangerous but chose to open his open sprint account in Victoria, winning the 100m Waverley Gift (10.47s off 6.75m). Don’t expect too much here, might just have a four-month plan.
Yanni Spanos 24 11.00m Doncaster VIC Shane McKenzie
Was well off the pace in 2017 and recent form suggests he won’t fair much better this year. He was a long way back in his 100m Gift heats at Waverley (12.57s off 9.0m) and Marysville (12.85s off 9.00m). Just saying there will be no Spanos in the works for the semi draw.
Luke Stevens 24 3.25m Tarneit VIC John Henry
Enjoyed a terrific career until injury hit him badly last season and he missed out on a Commonwealth Games run. Holds some elite PB’s – 20.98sec for 200m (28/2/15) and 46.05sec for 400m (2/4/16). Slowly getting back into form, his best run this time round was 3rd off 5m (21.72s) in the 200m final at Meadowglen, mid-November. He ran 5th in his Marysville Gift semi-final (10.75sec off 2.0m). Still recovering from his injuries, so is a fair way off his best.
Jacob Tidswell 17 7.00m Glenelg East SA Frank McHugh
Young Camden athlete who has yet to feature at open level but has been making the finals of the Under 18s 120m events. Finished 5th in the U/18’s 120m at the PreBay meet (13.56s off 7.50m). Good chance to make the podium of the U/18’s. Times in the junior ranks suggest he’s in this for the experience.
Josh Tiu 33 10.25m Doncaster VIC Nick Fiedler
Regular visitor to the Bay Sheffield he’s won three races at Colley Reserve – the Under 20’s 120m, the 120m Restricted and the 70m. Made the Stawell Gift final in 2010 (12.29s off 10m). Ran 3rd in his 2018 Stawell Gift heat. His best Bay Sheffield result was 2nd in the semi final in 2012. He hasn’t got past the heat the last two years off 9.75m. Only managed 5th in both the 70m and 200m (22.33s off 15m) heats at Meadowglen. Bay Sheff appears to be in the Tiu hard basket.
Damian Tohl 33 9.50m Happy Valley SA Anthony Tohl
2007 Bay Sheffield winner (off 10.50m), he also won the 2013 Whyalla Gift (8.25m). Ran 4th in both the 100m Port Adelaide Gift and the PreBay Gift (13.15s off 900m) then ran 2nd in the Keith Patching 70m at Brighton (7.75s off 6.75m) and did not contest the Gift. He’ll be competitive but he might just be short of the mark for the final.
Jordan Tronnolone 28 8.50m Tea Tree Gully SA Anthony Tohl
Runner-up in the 2011 Bay Sheffield. He’s run every meet this season and appeared on the podium a few times but is yet to win a race. Ran the fastest semi of the Keith Patching 70m Sprint before beaten in a photo finish. Seems to be in his best form for a while and is only 0.25m shy of his 2011 mark. One of the better SA chances.
Mitchell Tucker 23 8.75m Warradale SA Luke Buchanan
Second year in succession, that from the start of the season he’s been up amongst the contenders without winning. Missed the final at PreBay (13.26s off 7.75m) then was 3rd at Brighton (13.12s off 8.25m). Same as last year – liked him early but as we’ve got closer and the contenders are starting to sort themselves out, I’ve gone off the Tucker.
Nilesh Vaheesan 18 6.0m Lynbrook VIC Self Trained
Last season he took out the Castlemaine 70m and the U18’s 100m at Frankston (11.11s off 4.50m). Made a few more finals before missing out on the semis of the Stawell Gift, running 12.70s off 6.0m in the heat. Ran at Hastings 17/11/18 and finished well back in the semi-final 13.23s off 6.00m. Obviously has the talent but not ready for the major Gifts just yet.
Connor Verrall 23 9.25m Brighton SA Charles Sheffield
Has had wretched run with injury and struggling for form. Last Gift run at the PreBay meet he was 5m away (13.70s off 8.75m). He won’t be doubling the family’s number of Bay Sheffield finals.
Cameron Vinall 19 7.50m Glenelg South SA Frank McHugh
Dual winner of the Under 18’s 550m at the Bay Sheffield carnival. He’s only had the one run in a Gift this season – 6th in his semi-final at Bowker Street (13.18s off 7.5m). Has some ability, needs to run a few more and he’ll be in the mix soon enough. But this time around, we’ve got more chance of seeing Frank McHugh spinning his vinyl record collection of Slim Dusty hits at the After Party than seeing this Vinall in the Bay Sheff final.
Lewis Warland 21 6.00m Glenelg SA Debbie Meich
He was a very good junior sprinter winning state titles but has suffered a number of setbacks with illness and injury the last few years. He hasn’t been seen on the circuit this summer, so not expected to feature.
Bryce Watkins 27 9.00m Athlestone SA Michael Buckler
Prolific winner of many races including four at the Bay Sheffield carnival – the 800m and 550m twice each. Has started running 120m Gifts this season and having his first run in the Bay Sheffield. Ran 3rd in his 120m debut at the Bowker St Gift (12.69sec off 9.0m) but this is a massive step up in class. Still getting use to the world of sprinting and will take time.
Clay Watkins 31 4.00m South Brighton SA Self Trained
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. This season he won the Bowker St Gift (12.67s off 2.50m) and was in the Brighton Gift final (13.39 off 2.25m). Goes forward more from his Brighton mark more than anyone in the race. Was the second fastest of all SA athletes last year so if he rocks up in similar shape he could threaten for a place in the final.
Darren Whittaker 40 11.00m Mordialloc VIC Self Trained
Has enjoyed a stellar career in pro running making numerous finals and enjoying several wins including the 70m at Stawell twice. Runs off a bigger mark in Victoria so meets the other Vics worse off. Ran 6th in the 2018 Loxton Gift (13.04s off 12.0m). Prefer in the 70m on Day One. If he makes the final, I will row a bathtub across Port Phillip Bay from Mordialloc to Port Arlington.
Ryan Williams 19 7.50m Hawthorndene SA Andrew Chandler
Impressive Junior Bay Sheffield winner 2 years ago, off the back mark (13.38s off 2.0m) he hasn’t quite made a smooth transition to senior ranks. He has made a few novice 70m finals but yet to make a Gift final this summer. Last start finished 5m off the pace at the Pre-Bay Gift 9/12/18 (12.63s off 7.00m). Plays a great cover version of the Thirsty Merc classic “In The Summer Time.” But this summer time he’s travelling a little slower than he’d like.
Dale Woodhams 31 9.00m Mawson Lakes SA Paul Young
Won SAAL Sprinter of the Year last season with some very good wins including the 200m at Pulteney. However, he has suffered a non-running related back injury, which has kept him off the track. Likely to scratch. More chance of me fronting up for the Hawaii Ironman with a pair of floaties and a tricycle than Dale has of fronting up for this.
Michael Yunupingu 20 7.00m Tranmere SA Nik Hagicostas
Novice athlete with a 100m PB of 11.33s (17/2/18). Only had the one start when he made the semi of the 100m Port Adelaide Gift (10.57s off 5.5m). Has been running OK at ASA interclub and was a member of the Port Adelaide 4x400m gold medal winning team at the state relay champs. Surprisingly he hasn’t entered the 120m Restricted. Hard to see him advancing past the heat.
Mohamad Zeed 34 10.50m Chadstone VIC Self Trained
Well-travelled former Box Hill AC 400m hurdler who had his first visit to the Bay Sheffield last year, running 12.79s off 10.0m in the heat. Won the 300m at Hastings on 17/11/18 (35.03s off 26m). Gift form isn’t strong enough for a race of this magnitude. Going OK around the bend, but as my friend the sheik once said, “The lack of speed will impede the Zeed”.
Sasha Zhoya 16 1.00m Coolbellup WA Lindsay Bunn/Matt Barber
Brilliant winner of the 2017 Bay Sheffield (12.15s off 5.0m) and 70m double (off 3.5m) last year. Ran a 100m PB on 25/11/2018 of 10.60s (+0.7) to demonstrate he is ready to return and fly down Colley Reserve once again. Back 4m which is huge penalty given he won off only 5.0m last year. But he has the capability to step up and make the final again.