Having already cemented the Keith Haymes Senior Aggregate with a third placing last week, Nathaniel Warren topped off a very successful season by taking out the final race of the year, the Lois Trimble handicap.
Held over Stawell’s Big Hill, the 20 senior runners tackled the testing 5km course in very warm conditions.
By the half way mark, Alexa Duke had reeled in early leaders Carolyn Lehmann and Phil Burns, with Ilana Jorgensen not far behind. Further back, Warren was carving his way through the field, closely followed by Garry Rice.
With 500 metres to go, Duke still clung to a 3 second lead over Jorgensen, with Warren right behind them, but Warren was too strong up the final climb and went on to win comfortably by 15 seconds. Duke finished second and Jorgensen held out Garry Rice for third.
Although this was Warren’s first win for the season, his many consistent performances over the year earned him the Aggregate for 2007. Pushed along by close competition from Owen Roper and Gary Howden, Warren regularly placed up near the leaders, and combined with a 100 percent race attendance, was the deserved Aggregate winner by a clear 19 points.
Fastest times for the day went to Jade Merrett with 18 minutes 41 seconds, and Susie Ellis was the fastest female in 21 minutes 51 seconds.
Also decided on the results of the final race was the Rickard Teams Trophy, with Stan Watson just getting up to win from Nathaniel Warren and Nat Watson in equal second place.
The junior runners also tackled the same 5km course. With the junior Aggregate still undecided, and with 3 runners in with a chance, the event saw some very good performances. Early in the race, current Aggregate leader Emily Parnaby was running very strongly, until stomach problems slowed her down.
With 500 metres to go, Emma Kelly held a narrow 2 second lead over Nat Watson, with back marker Daniel Faravoni a further 6 seconds behind.
Up the final hill Watson hit the front, pushed along by a gaining Faravoni, but Watson just managed to hang on to win by 3 seconds, and draw the 2007 Robert Henry Freeland Memorial Junior Aggregate with Emily Parnaby.
Faravoni not only posted the fastest junior time of 19 minutes 23 seconds, but the second fastest time of the day, 42 seconds slower than Jade Merrett. Kelly was the fastest junior girl in 23 minutes 7 seconds.
Liam Burns was a clear winner over sister India in the sub-junior 1500m event, with back marker Liam Scott placing third and posting the fastest sub-junior time of 4 minutes 29 seconds. Elly Barnett was fourth and fastest sub-junior girl in 5 minutes 50 seconds.