With a large part of the field hot on his heels, Stawell Amateur Athletic Club teenager Karl Scott was pushed to the limit in taking out last Saturdays Youngs Sportspower Handicap.
Held in ideal running conditions, the 22 strong senior field was put to the test over a tough, hilly 5km course.
Young Scott, running from his mid field mark, was pushed all the way by first time runner, John Kelly. Both runners made their way slowly through the field with Scott hitting the front with about 700m to go.
However a large group of runners were only seconds behind, with Paul Atherton, Kelvin Mills, and backmarkers Ray Scott and Col Barnett all threatening.
The last hill was to prove crucial, with Scott lifting to the occasion and dashing to the line to hold out fast finishing father Ray Scott. The next six runners stormed home within 15 seconds of each other, with Paul Atherton reeling in Kelvin Mills to claim third, and backmarker Col Barnett just running out of time to claim more scalps.
Col Barnett ran the fastest time of the day of 18 minutes 49sec. The fastest female was Ilana Jorgensen, running in her first season as a senior runner, with a time of 23 minutes 34sec.
A small field of 5 junior runners tackled the same difficult 5km course as the seniors. Greta Duke lead the field away and was not headed to easily take out the event from Emily Parnaby in second place. New runner Emma Kelly put in a determined effort to claim third.
Emily Parnaby ran the fastest junior time of 23 minutes 50sec.
The sub-junior runners tackled a hilly 1km out and back course. Backmarker Liam Scott mounted a determined attack right from the start, and with 200m to go had drawn level with race leader Liam Burns.
However, in the final sprint to the line Scott was too powerful, and took out the event from Burns, with Georgia Barnett fighting off a challenge from Tobias Blair for third.
Liam Scott posted the fastest sub-junior time of 4 minutes 14sec, and Elly Barnett was the fastest sub-junior girl in 4 minutes 49sec.