Horsham runner Selina Heard-Price overcame her “second season blues” with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club to bounce back in her third year with an overdue win in the eight kilometre Tylers Hardware Handicap at Rupanyup last Saturday.
“Slim Jane” Selina and her partner Rick Price enjoyed a stunning rookie season with the club in 2011 winning four of the 19 races, but it was a barren back-up year, Selina finishing near the tail and placed just once in 15 races and Rick suffering a calf injury which put him out of contention for most of 2012.
As if in sympathy with her husband, Selina went from unstoppable to stopped in just one season but the wiry couple have revved up their training again in 2013 and have been rewarded with a win each and perhaps more to follow later in the year.
An invigorated Selina now leads the Club Aggregate by a sizeable margin and is also shares top of the table in the Teams title with Bob Freeland.
“I ran second here (at Rupanyup) to Tim Harris in 2011, but I really didn’t feel up to it this morning,” the winner said. “I woke up feeling a bit flat and went to the start the same way, but it’s amazing how your competitive juices kick in once you know you are in a race.”
With typical grit, Selina slowly wore down the tearaway leader Rhonda Clark who, chasing rare back-to-back wins after surprising in the Horsham Telstra Shop race the week before, held on grimly to fail by only 0.05 seconds to make it a double.
Richard Clarke, close to a win after two seconds and a fourth already this season, was a distant third, thereby preventing fourth-placed Rachel Coverdale from completing an all-girl trifecta.
The Juniors race of four kilometres was a thrilling affair with invitees Gemma Morgan, Connor Weiderman and brother Lachlan breasting the tape in a near triple dead-heat.
The Sub Juniors also put on a grand show with brothers Jay-Jay and Jordan Nitzche fighting out the finish with just 0.07 seconds between them and Logan Casey chasing them just 0.03 seconds in arrears.
By Keith Lofthouse