Horsham based Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runner Jade Merrett blitzed the field to score a clear victory in last Saturday’s 16km Charlie Jones Handicap.
Fitness and strength were the key factors in the clubs longest race of the year, and Merrett proved he had both. Running from the back mark, Merrett set out hard from the start, showing no signs of the arduous half marathon that he completed the week before.
Giving the 23 strong senior field up to 41 minutes start, he tackled the often muddy and slippery conditions with confidence.
By the half way point, he had made up 5 minutes on the next group of runners in front of him, and then continued to mow down the rest of the field until he hit the front with about 1200m to go.
Merrettt went on to cross the line with a clear winning margin of 3 minutes from invitational runner Charlie Jones (officially unplaced), and also post the fastest race time of 60min 6sec.
The minor placings were fought out between Nathaniel Warren, Owen Roper and Adrian Tyler, with Tyler grabbing second place with about 900m to go. Warren ran well for third with Roper fourth.
Susie Ellis was the first female home in a time of 1:13:06
The juniors ran two laps of a 2km circuit, with Nat Watson running strongly to hold out back marker Daniel Faravoni for first place.Emily Parnaby had a race long battle with Emma Kelly, and just crossed the line 1sec in front for third place.
Daniel Faravoni ran the fastest junior time of 18min 55sec with Emily Parnaby the fastest girl in 21min 35sec.
Sub-junior back marker Liam Scott also streeted the field to win by 13sec from Elly Barnett, with Liam Burns third. Scott was the fastest sub-junior in 9min 56sec. Elly Barnett was the fastest girl in 11min 49sec.