JACK Davies might have missed out on a sash, but he felt like a winner at Stawell’s Central Park yesterday.
He finished second in the prestigious Herb Hedeman Invitation 1600m Handicap in his professional athletics debut.
Davies said it was great to actually get out on the track as a competitor after being a spectator at Stawell for many years.
Now that he has had a taste of it, the Ballarat teenager has no doubt he will be back for more – especially at Stawell.
He said it was a great way to round off the track season.
Davies, who started off 70m, said his race had gone to plan, staying as close to the front without running too hard too early.
The main bunch quickly compacted, with Ballarat’s Nathan Hartigan second in the initial stages and Davies settling in the pack.
While Hartigan led through 800m, Davies was fourth and then worked into second in the last 300m.
Davies said there was no way he could run down the winner.
He said his focus was on ensuring he had enough in the tank to run out the race.
Davies now opens his cross country season with the Ballarat Regional Athletic Centre relays on Saturday, leading into the Athletics Victoria XCR14 Series.
DURHAM Lead’s Kate Jones was another who left Stawell all smiles despite missing out on a major scalp.
She finished third to Holly Dobbyn in the Stawell Women’s Gift yesterday.
The day did not begin so well after she broke in her semi-final, which cost her a one-metre penalty.
Jones was relieved to still do enough in the semi-final and qualify for the final as one of the five fastest losers.
She put the break down to nerves, but it was all forgotten after the final.
A MILER BY TRADE, Celia Cosgriff has been winning anything but her specialist discipline this season.
The Richmond-based athlete captured the womens’ 400-metre handicap yesterday after only really playing with the distance since Friday.
It was a similar fashion to how Cosgriff won the Ballarat Women’s Gift 120m handicap in February – she had only started sprint training a month earlier to start a comeback from a thyroid operation and lengthy recovery.
Cosgriff, whose parents live in Mount Clear, was happy to claim any sash she could, especially one at Central Park on Easter Monday.
“This is a dream come true. This is really what we all train for all year,” Cosgriff said.
“I wasn’t training for this race or making it my target ... I was targeting the 800m but my heat was easy, so I went for it.”
The Nick Fiedler-trained Cosgriff raced off 36 metres for a winning time of 52.87.
Ballarat’s Tara Domaschenz (23m) and Grace O’Dwyer (28m) also featured in the final.