Young up-and-comers set to impress on home turf at Ballarat Gift

THERE is a new generation of female sprinters in town that is keen to make an impact.

They will be out in force today, each vying to emulate teenage POD Squad stablemate Holly Dobbyn, who last year won the prize they are chasing – the $5000 Ballarat Women’s Gift 120 metres title.

The Peter O’Dwyer-trained crew boasts nine female sprinters aged 14 to 18, including Dobbyn and Nadia Domaschenz who have a couple of Victorian Athletic League seasons’ experience.

And there is Tara Domaschenz, the reigning titleholder of Australia’s richest women’s footrace, the Stonnington Gift.

O’Dwyer said it would take time for his younger sprinters to earn marquee sashes in professional running – most were Vic Country medallists this summer – but they were all out to impress on home turf at Eastern Oval.

“They’re all young up-and-comers and, maybe not this year, but hopefully we’ll start to see them all do well,” O’Dwyer said.

“Increased sponsorship has everyone keen to promote women’s athletics and that’s a great thing for the sport.”

Dobbyn must undergo fitness testing this morning before she is cleared to race after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The stable’s headline sprinter Matt Wiltshire, a Stawell Gift winner, must also be cleared from a foot injury.