After knocking at the door for the last 6 weeks, Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runner Bob Freeland finally broke through for his first win for the season, taking out the 6.5km David O Jones Mitre 10 Handicap last Saturday.
Having finished runner up for the last 2 weeks, a determined Freeland had his sights set on going one better, and set out hard from the start. With 1500 meters to go, he hit the front of the 21 strong field, but Mark Pumpa and Craig Turner were in hot pursuit.
With 500m remaining, Pumpa and Turner were only seconds behind, and it looked like Freeland would be relegated to the minor placings yet again.
Rounding a bend, Freeland glanced back, took in the situation, then somehow found another gear to out sprint the others to the line and claim a well earned win.
Turner overpowered Pumpa after a race long dual, to grab second place, with Ray Scott repeating his fourth placing of the previous week.
Fastest race time was 24min 56sec by invitational runner Noel Jorgensen, with Sharon Howden the fastest female in 30min 37sec.
The junior runners tackled a winding 4km course, with Emily Parnaby and Naomi Jamieson locking horns in the later stages of the race.
With 1500 meters to go, Parnaby pulled ahead on an uphill stretch, going on to a good win in the fastest junior girls time of 18min 41sec.
Jamieson finished second, and Thomas Blair finished third with the best junior time of 17min 59sec.
The sub-juniors ran a 2km course, with Stacey Faravoni going out hard to reel in the front markers by the halfway point.
She went on to take the victory from a fast finishing Liam Scott, with Tobias Blair coming in third.
Liam Scott ran the fastest sub-junior time of 9min 24sec, with Stacey Faravoni the fastest sub-junior girl in 9min 54sec.