Tasmanian professional athletics great Ray Quarrell is preparing for a hit-run raid on the Ballarat Gift Carnival with four of his stable's in-form sprinters.
Brandon Clark, Mitchell Branch, John Howe and evergreen Luke Whitney will primarily target the $8500 Ballarat Men's Gift at the City Oval on Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9.
Whitney and Howe have been regular competitors in various Victorian Athletic League events over a sustained period, while Stawell has been the only VAL destination for Clark and Branch.
Branch has been to Central Park twice (2017 and 2019), while Clark debuted last year.
Quarrell said the trip would provide Branch and Clark with experience on the back of a successful season in Tasmania.
Ballarat will be their only destination on this trip, but plans are for all four to compete at the Stawell Easter Carnival.
Branch is the reigning Tasmanian under-18 100m and 200 champion.
The Hobart 16yo's summer campaign has included wins in the feature 100m final at the PCCCT and City of Burnie Cycling Club Carnival and 70m at Devonport, as well as podium finishes in the Hobart 100m, and Richmond 70m and 120m Gift.
Quarrell said Branch was still in the formative stages of his running career.
"There's not a lot of him. He's a whippet," he said.
Clark, who is Tasmanian long jump champion, is in his first season under the guidance of Quarrell.
Quarrell said he had joined his team with the objective of improving his speed for the long jump.
Clark has won the Central Coast 120m Gift, 300m at the PCCCT and City of Burnie carnival and Devonport 200m, and been a finalist in a series of other events in Tasmania this season.
Howe and Whitney are two of Quarrell's most experienced runners.
A Burnie Gift winner early in athletics career, Whitney, 36, was a Stawell Gift semi-finalist in 2018 and ran in Ballarat in 2015. He is likely to also target Ballarat's rich masters 300m.
Howe was also a Burnie Gift winner in 2016.