The 2007 Stawell Amateur Athletic Club cross country season opened on a high note last Saturday with the Dooen Engineering Sealed handicap.
Twenty-nine runners lined up in quite warm conditions for the senior 5km event, held over an undulating course through the Iron Bark forest on the edge of the Stawell township.
Staged as a sealed handicap, all runners started together, with handicaps applied after the event.
Steve Page was first home by a long shot, in a very smart time of 16 mins 5sec. Ilana Jorgenson was the first female in 22min 43 sec.
Being the first race of the season, it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top in the handicap.
When placings were announced, it was John Collins who took first place, showing very good early season form, after a disappointing season last year. Owen Roper put in a great run to come in 6sec behind, with Gary Rice also running well for third.
The junior runners tackled an out and back 2km sealed handicap. Daniel Faravoni was in great form to cross the line first in the fastest junior time of 7min 16 sec.
Fastest junior girl was Emily Parnaby in 8min 10sec. However the handicap race was clearly won by Emma Kelly, after a very close tussle all the way with Emily Parnaby. Second on handicap was Daniel Faravoni with Emily Parnaby third.
The sub-juniors ran a 1000m event on the track at the clubrooms. Liam Scott was first home with the fastest time of 3min 55sec.
Fastest girl was Elly Barnett, with 4min 12sec. Layla Atherton put in a determined effort to win the handicap, ahead of Elly Barnett and India Burns.