Merrett King of the Mountain

Horsham runner Jade Merrett powered away from the rest of the field in the first 200 metres of the race, when he claimed this years Advance Bricks King of the Mountain title.

A good field of 33 senior and junior runners lined up for the toughest race of the year, a 3 kilometre out and back course up the side of the mountain range near Boronia Peak, at Halls Gap.

Held as a sealed handicap, the whole field started together, with Merrett breaking clear almost straight away.

Heading the rest of the field were Col Barnett and junior runner Daniel Faravoni, chased by Adrian Tyler, Nathaniel Warren, Gary Howden and Owen Roper.

Further back Shaun Parnaby was running very strongly and was very well placed in the field, looking a good chance for a handicap section win.

For the remainder of the race positions remained mostly the same, with Merrett crossing the line a clear winner in a time of 13 minutes 44 seconds. Second home was Col Barnett, then Faravoni (junior), Tyler and Warren. The first female home and Queen of the Mountain was Susie Ellis in a time of 16 minutes 1 second.

After handicaps were applied, Shaun Parnaby won the handicap section from Col Barnett, with Nathaniel Warren third.

Daniel Faravoni not only ran brilliantly to finish a close third overall, but took out the junior handicap as well, in a very good time of 14 minutes 33 seconds.

Emma Kelly also handled the slopes well to place second, with Nat Watson third. Kelly was the fastest junior girl in a time of 17 minutes 10 seconds.

The sub-juniors ran an out and back 1000 metre course, with Liam Burns running strongly to come home first and post the fastest sub-junior boys time of 4 minutes 11 seconds. Kye Merrett also put in a solid run for second place, ahead of Somer Darnell in third.

Invitational runner Taylor Mentha was the fastest junior girl in a time of 4 minutes flat.

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