Joel Bee wanted scratch in Stawell Gift

IT IS widely believed that some athletes “run dead” in the lead-up to the Stawell Gift as they look to deceive the handicapper.

Holding back on your performances during the season so you gain a good mark and a better shot at writing your name into Australian athletics history is the method.

But that’s not the mentality of Ballarat sprinter Joel Bee.

The 21-year-old said he desperately wanted to carry the prestigious scratch marker’s tag in this year’s footrace.

While he won’t quite have to run the full 120m journey at Central Park – starting from 0.75m – he will be the backmarker of the field.

Bee said his desire to run from scratch followed an association with new coach Josh Ross.

Ross became just the second man to win the Stawell Gift from scratch when he stormed to victory in 2005. It was his second win in the race after first triumphing in 2003.

“Everyone is trying to get their mark out more and I’m trying to go back,” said Bee, who is on the lookout for a sponsor.

“I think the crowd enjoy it more when someone is running from the back and running people down in the race more than seeing someone win from 10m. I think the thrill of the crowd gets me going as well.”

And he has plenty of backmark experience to draw on this weekend, having won this season’s Trinity Gift from 1.25m and an invitational event at Stonnington from scratch.

Bee’s connection to Ross stemmed from a simple Facebook message asking for advice and a training program. The two then began running together and now share a house in Melbourne.

“When we train on the grass, we don’t run from handicaps. (Ross) and I are both from the same mark,” Bee said.

A past 400m national champion while under the care of former coach Paul Cleary, Bee has shifted his focus to the shorter sprints.

He just recently grabbed a silver medal at the national 100m titles and hopes to gain  a spot in the Australian relay team for the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow in July.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

STAWELL GIFT HEATS

HEAT 1 1.15pm

RED Ryan BEDFORD 4

WHITE Ted BELCHER 6

BLUE Hamish ADAMS 7

YELLOW Kristerfer KARDAKOVSKI 7.5

GREEN John ADAMS 8

PINK Jason BAILEY 9

BLACK Nick MAGREE 10

GREY Eric SAPAC 10

HEAT 2 1.20pm

RED Jesse USOALII 4.25

WHITE Kevin BRITTAIN 6

BLUE Sam DICK 7

YELLOW Daniel STEINHAUSER 7.5

GREEN Jonathan DYKES 8

PINK Harrison KERR 9

BLACK Christopher EATHER 10

GREY Leigh PHELAN 10

HEAT 3 1.25pm

RED Sam JAMIESON 4.75

WHITE Max BELCHER 6

BLUE William MILLS 7

YELLOW Robert SPENCER 7.5

GREEN William KERR 8.25

PINK Grant McDONALD 9

BLACK Gavin O’NEIL 10

GREY Daniel CARMAN* 10

HEAT 4 1.30pm

RED Keita BANGALIE 5

WHITE Bryce TEO 6

BLUE David TINNEY 7

YELLOW Tom NEWMAN 7.5

GREEN Liam PROCACCINO* 8.25

PINK Koffi AGBALETI 9

BLACK Marty SINCLAIR 10

GREY Craig FOLEY 10

HEAT 5 1.35pm

RED Ben MITCHELL 5

WHITE Thomas MOLONEY* 6

BLUE Max PUNCHIHEWA 7

YELLOW Dylan PANIZZA 7.5

GREEN Paul TANCREDI 8.5

PINK Michael VOUMARD 9

BLACK John CARA EAST 10

HEAT 6 1.40pm

RED Jordan CSABI 5.25

WHITE Will JOHNS 6.25

BLUE Tim ESCHEBACH 7

YELLOW Paul CRACROFT-WILSON 7.5

GREEN Edward WARE 8.5

PINK Dean DOBRIC 9.25

BLACK David FLOOD 10

GREY Noddy ANGELAKOS 10

HEAT 7 1.45pm

RED James VINE 5.25

WHITE Jackson MILLER-GAGE 6.25

BLUE Tjimarri SANDERSON 7

YELLOW Quentin WALKER 7.5

GREEN Jake KELLAR 8.5

PINK Rodney MATHEWS* 10

BLACK Shane WOODROW 10

HEAT 8 1.50pm

RED Joel BEE* 0.75

WHITE Rod WAINWRIGHT 5.5

BLUE Iain DOUGLAS 6.25

YELLOW Stuart BAINBRIDGE 7

GREEN Luke HOULIHAN 7.5

PINK Augustine CARTY-COWLING 8.5

BLACK Adrian BURKE* 9.25

GREY Lawrence COOP 10

HEAT 9 1.55pm

RED Matt CARTER 1.25

WHITE Matthew HARGREAVES 5.75

BLUE Laurent STEWART 6.25

YELLOW Murray GOODWIN 7

GREEN Luke STORTA 7.75

PINK Nathan DIXON* 8.5

BLACK Adam TODOROV 10

HEAT 10 2pm

RED Jake HAMMOND 1.5

WHITE Joshua McCabe 5.5

BLUE Brendan MATTHEWS 6.25

YELLOW Corey BAKER 7

GREEN David MITCHELL 7.75

PINK Simon WELLS 8.5

BLACK Daniel LEMOTO 9.25

GREY William LITTLE 10

HEAT 11 2.05pm

RED Andrew James McCabe 2

WHITE Carl MOREHOUSE 5.5

BLUE Maxim MISHCHENKO 6.25

YELLOW JarRED GILROY 7

GREEN Liam SHEPHERD 7.75

PINK Leigh MILLER 8.5

BLACK Simon JACKSON 9.5

GREY David TRUDGIAN 10

HEAT 12 2.25pm

RED Andrew ROBINSON S 3.5

WHITE Chris BAILLIEU 5.5

BLUE Jack NEWMAN 6.5

YELLOW Alex SALIU 7.25

GREEN Stuart ABERDEIN* 8

PINK Glenn ROSS 9

BLACK Melissa BREEN 10

HEAT 13 2.30pm

RED Lee FORREST 3

WHITE David AFATH 5.5

BLUE Jasper NETTLEFOLD 6.5

YELLOW Conor LOUGHNAN 7

GREEN Luke WHITNEY 7.75

PINK Douglas GREENOUGH 8.75

BLACK Shane EZARD 9.5

HEAT 14 2.35pm

RED Alex CAREW 3

WHITE Ty CHAPMAN 5.5

BLUE Nick MACGIBBON 6.75

YELLOW Jake MISPELHORN 7

GREEN Jordan TRONNOLONE 7.75

PINK Matthew EDDY 8.75

BLACK Lachlan TAYLOR 9.5

GREY Dylan HICKS 10

HEAT 15 2.40pm

RED Nathan RIALI 3.5

WHITE Bradley EDWARDS 5.5

BLUE Samuel BAIRD* 6.5

YELLOW Ben SYRUS 7

GREEN Bryce SWINDELLS D 8

PINK Christopher INNES-WONG 8.75

BLACK Ryan CAMILLE 9.75

GREY Mark HIGNETT 10

HEAT 16 2.45pm

RED Gary FINEGAN 3.5

WHITE Brandon GALIC 5.5

BLUE Thomas YEUNG 6.5

YELLOW Chris HARGREAVES 7.25

GREEN Jayden GILFILLAN 8

PINK Nathan McNAB S 8.75

BLACK Jarrad DARTNALL 9.75

HEAT 17 2.50pm

RED Luke STEVENS 3.5

WHITE Timothy DELAHUNTY 5.5

BLUE Shaun HARGREAVES 6.5

YELLOW Daniel WHITE-ALIKAKOS 7.25

GREEN Luke ECKFORD 8

PINK David GROSS 9.75

BLACK Martin HORNE 10

HEAT 18 2.55pm

RED Jordan CALDOW 2.5

WHITE Dean SCARFF 5.5

BLUE Daniel POP 6.5

YELLOW Thomas FARMER 7

GREEN Tom PAAVOLA 7.75

PINK Andrew CAMPBELL 8.75

BLACK Simon FITZPATRICK 9.5

GREY Vic SHARMA 10

HEAT 19 3pm

RED Jacob DESPARD 3.75

WHITE Christian FOSTER 5.75

BLUE James CIBICH 6.75

YELLOW Cameron MOSS 7.25

GREEN Isaac DUNMALL 8

PINK Jesse MATTHEWS 9

BLACK Luke VERSACE 10

GREY Matthew NEWTON 10

HEAT 20 3.05pm

RED Matthew WILTSHIRE* 3.75

WHITE Evan O’HANLON 5.75

BLUE Darcy LAHEY 6.75

YELLOW Ryan SCHMIDT 7.25

GREEN Cam DUNBAR 8

PINK Nathan FOX* 9

BLACK Richard BROWN 10

GREY Dale LYONS 10

HEAT 21 3.10pm

RED Ben MISPELHORN 4

WHITE Jake SANDERS 6

BLUE Ben WEAVER 6.75

YELLOW Mathew CURRIE 7.25

GREEN Rhys GILLSON 8

PINK Josh TIU 9

BLACK Matthew HARVEY 10

GREY Gene MAWER 10

HEAT 22 3.15pm

RED Brendan COLE 4

WHITE Benjamin FARRELL 6

BLUE Henry NWOSU 6.75

YELLOW Jack ARMOUR 7.25

GREEN Vincent JASON 8

PINK Bikramjeet SINGH 9

BLACK Ryan HOFFMAN 10

GREY Timothy ROSEN 10

*BALLARAT

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