Young Holly's dream run in Ballarat Gift

IT was a dream run for new Ballarat Women’s Gift champion Holly Dobbyn.

The 16-year-old became one of the youngest runners in the race’s 21-year history to win the Ballarat 120m Women’s Gift when she crossed the finish line in 14.27 seconds.

To make it even sweeter, Dobbyn’s friend and training partner Tara Domaschenz made it a quinella for the Ballarat Peter O’Dwyer running stable, just 0.14 seconds behind in second place.

Dobbyn is a Victorian junior 400m champion but said winning her home gift race was an even greater thrill.

“I was not expecting to win. It’s so exciting,” she said.

“To have my training buddy finish second, it’s just awesome.

“I wasn’t happy with my start. I tried really hard in the last 50m. It felt great.”

Off a mark of 8.25m Dobbyn finished second in her semi final behind Laura Jane Hilditch of Altona (14.34 sec) in what was the fastest of three semi finals. 

She was joined in the Women’s Gift final by three other Ballarat-based sprinters: second semi-final winner Domaschenz (14.43 sec); third semi-final victor Kate Jones (14.38 sec) and Jacqueline McCann, who qualified by finishing second behind Jones. 

Coach O’Dwyer said, with two runners in the finals, his chances of a winner were good.

“We knew (Dobbyn) was a show,” he said. “To get the quinella was a nice surprise.

“It’s great for Holly. To win your home town gift is something special.”

The strong tail wind favoured front markers throughout the day, making life tougher for the backmarkers to make up ground.

Fastest qualifier Hilditch, off 4.0m was third, with Jones fourth. McCann was eighth.

Dobbyn’s weekend started well when she won the 400m novice race on Saturday night in 45.50 seconds off a mark of 76m.

Domaschenz also had reason to celebrate, receiving her award as the 2012 Australian Athletic Confederation female sprinter of the year.

Last year Domaschenz won Australia’s richest women’s foot race, the Stonnington Gift, as well as the 400 women’s race at Stawell, the Ballarat Frontmarkers 400m and the Victorian Athletics 400m Broo series.