Running in the $7000 Dardenup Carnival in the 120m final from the 10.25m handicap 19yo North Beach athlete Mat Short (obscured above in blue) has snatched victory by 0.02sec incredibily in the last breath to inch out favourite, WA state female beach sprint champion Samantha Plato (above in pink, 25.50m) who lead most of the way. In one of the most exciting and closest Dardenup Gift finishes in history. Fellow North Beach athletes Ben Clark (yellow, 14.50m) finished third with state AWD T36 100m, 200m & 400m champion Andrew Bannister (above in grey, 40m) in 4th placing. Steve Rafty (15m) finished 5th in the minor placings. The quality 2011 final included last year’s and multiple gift winner Dylan Panizza (white, 8.50m), with backmarker Bryce Teo from Curtin University (obscured in red, 8m) awarded equal 6th placing in a blanket finish. Scarboro beach sprinter Teneille Trigwell (black, 27m) rounded up the final with 8th place. This is the first time in WA history (& perhaps Australian) an AWD has won professional prizemoney in both the 120m events!
The $1500 70m race, won by (2011 Mullewa 70m winner) Nathan Caccamo (above in black, 11.5m), from Sam Hughes (pink, 10.25m) in second and Ben Clark (yellow, 10m) third with Steve Rafty in 4th (green, 9.5m). Beach sprint champion Samantha Plato (grey, 15m) finished 5th. Unfortunately, the race was declared a ‘No Result’ due to runners placed on incorrect marks. Prize money will be shared amongst the eight finalists.
The $500 120m Novice Gift was won by Ben ‘Bomber’ Clark (obscured above in white, 14.25m) taking out victory in the tightest margin of the day 0.02sec to Scarboro Surf Lifesaver Sophie Watts (black, 30m) runner up, with champion speedster 0.03sec Andrew Bannister (grey, 40.25m) finishing in 3rd place. His North Beach teammate Sam Hughes (yellow, 15.5m) finished on strong to grab 4th place.
In other results the $1000 550m race was won by comeback veteren Mark Elms (100m) from Peter Bol (32m) in second and Stephen Snowden (24m) third. Blues runners Ben Knox was fourth (80m) followed by Andrew Bannister (160m) in 5th place. Curtin University athlete Courtney Heinz was 6th.
A great job was done (as always) by AWA commentator Mark Blatchford.
Congratulations and thanks to all the participants, coaches & officials who made the journey down south to Dardy and took part on a fantastic day!