AN emotional Luke Whitney won his first St Helens Gift yesterday after more than a decade of trying.
The 30-year-old Hobart sprinter is a familiar face at the St Helens Athletics Carnival, having made the pilgrimage to the East Coast meet for 12 straight years.
He claimed the 120-metre showpiece event in 12.55 seconds from an 8.5m mark.
An emotional Whitney dedicated the win to his trainer, Ray Quarrell, who lost his home to the Dunalley bushfire three weeks ago.
"People wont realise how much this win means to me, Whitney said.
Ulverstone's Abby Chapman claimed the St Helens women's Gift in 14.41 seconds, from 7m, ahead of Laura Nicholson (7.75m) and Kimberley Bush (8.75m).
On the bike track, teenagers claimed the top results in the St Helens 2000m wheelrace events.
The men's race was won by 16-year-old George Town rider Andrew Hinkley (200m) ahead of Michael Eastwood (220m) and Michael Bailey (210m).
Ulverstone's Courtney Dean, also 16, won the women's wheelrace off 80m, edging Jenny Bailey (240m) and Rowena Badcock (80m) on the line.Flowery Gully axeman Dale Beams won the Walter Bailey Memorial 300mm standing chop earlier in the day.