AGE proved no barrier in the Ballarat Gift with 25 years separating the winners of the men's and women's finals at Eureka Stadium.
Ballarat teenager Holly Dobbyn became one of the youngest winners of the Ballarat Women's Gift 120m when the 16-year-old scored in 14.27 seconds in the final, beating home friend and training partner Tara Domaschenz by 0.14 seconds.
A quarter of an hour later, 41-year-old Western Australian Glenn Ross won the feature men's race by 0.03 seconds in a time of 12.42 seconds.
Dobbyn, who was a junior state 400m champion, described the victory as the most exciting moment to date in her fledgling athletics career.
"I wasn't happy with the start but I tried really hard in the last 50m," she explained. "That last 50m just felt great."
Similarly Ross described his triumph in the $10,000 gift as his own career highlight, albeit at the opposite end of his career.
In a final that favoured the frontmarkers, he beat Simon Jackson to the line, from Matthew Harvey. Backmarker and multiple national 100m champion Josh Ross stormed home but could not overcome his -1.5m mark, trailing Aaron Stubbs for fifth.
"At 41, I don't have a lot of years left so it's great to have my biggest win at this age," he said.
There were four Ballarat runners in the Women's Gift final, with Dobbyn and Domaschenz joined by Kate Jones and Jacqueline McCann. Dobbyn and Domaschenz are team mates with Peter O'Dwyer's POD squad.
In what was to prove a successful day for the Ballarat trainer, O'Dwyer trained Conor Nunn and Sam Baird finished first and second in the 400m Backmarker's final, Nunn scraping home in 47.27 seconds. It was Nunn's first victory in an open gift race.
Dobbyn enjoyed success on both days of the carnival, winning the 400m novice final on Saturday evening.