Reigning Stawell Amateur Athletic Club champion Nathaniel Warren showed ominous intent aimed at a fifth title this season when he blitzed a field of stunned chasers to easily win the Barham Insurance Handicap at Deep Lead last Saturday.
The Stawell policeman was starting a shift at 3pm and had little more than 30 minutes to have the race done and dusted before duty called. And so he raced like a man who needed to be on time, prompting club president Keith Lofthouse to wonder if “rabbit” Warren is not the fastest policeman on foot.
“There’s a committee working on an official opening of North Park’s new running track and I’d love to find out if there’s a faster copper in the state over, say, four laps. It’s an idea worth pursuing,” he said.
Conceding as much as 14 minutes to the hopeful front-markers in the five kilometre event, Warren gave a blinding display of aggressive running, weaving through the field and tearing away from the much-improved Dave Hunter to set up a 30-second win.
Greybeard Gary Saunders proved that his win the previous week was no fluke by holding off late challengers to finish third in the second all male trifecta in as many races.
Last year, a season dominated by a strong contingent of females, the males managed only one clean sweep.
In the Junior division of the Barham, keen youngster Rhys Bubb was too strong for a brave Atalia Chaplin who suffered stomach cramps.
Rhys’s sister Natalya finally broke through for the girls, finishing strongly to beat Jordan Nitschke and Alex Boan in a spirited Sun-Juniors event.