Sam Baird takes out national professional 400m title in Devonport

COMMONWEALTH Games aspirant Sam Baird is the 

new Australian professional 400m champion.

The Ballarat teenager captured the title at Devonport tonight.

Baird ran 48.28 seconds.

National 800m champion Alex Rowe was second in 49.10, with 2009 World University Summer Games gold medallist Clay  Watkins third in 50.03,

The 400m was a highlight on the second night of the Devonport athletics and cycling on the north west coast of Tasmania.

The title rounds out a break-out year for the Peter O'Dwyer-coached Baird.

He won Bendigo's Black Opal 400m on the Victorian Athletic League professional running circuit and then went on to win the national under-18 400m title and represent Australia in the World Youth Track and Field Championships in the Ukraine

He also won the under-18 400m title at the Australian All-Schools Track and Field Championships at Townsville in October.

Baird's success completed a successful day for Ballarat professional athletes.

Narelle Lehmann won the women's/veterans' 300m at Ararat, Nicholas Milton took out the 400m final at the same meet and Jordon Keast saluted in the under-20 120m final.

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