BALLARAT sprinter Joel Bee is the Maryborough Gift champion after chasing down the field in the final at Princes Park yesterday.
The 20-year-old, wearing the back marker's red vest, stormed home to win the 120m open final in a time of 12.53 seconds.Second was Simon Jackson of Bentleigh, followed by Matthew Eddy of Narre-Warren.
Earlier Bee had set the second fastest time during the heats of 12.46 seconds, just 0.01 seconds off Eddy, before comfortably winning his semi-final in 12.39 seconds.It is Bee's second victory in a gift, after claiming the Albury Gift last year.
The day started well for the Ballarat contingent, with Richard Brown triumphant in the 70m open final. In the pink vest and off a mark of 9.5m, Brown held on to win with a time of 7.55 seconds.
There was also success for 16-year-old Sam Baird who won the 400m novice, as back marker in his first professional start.
The Maryborough Women's Necklace 120m women's open final was won by West Australian Gemma Grigg in 14.34 seconds, Kate Jones finishing seventh.Sisters Eleni and Rosamond Gilden were first and second in the women's 400m final.
Bendigo's Mitchell Hocking claimed victory in the men's 400m final, while 50-year-old New South Wales runner Brian Wright scored a double with victory in the 120m veteran and 300m veteran finals.