Daniel Reeves erased the pain of last year and cemented his transformation from a distance specialist to a sprinter with victory in Monday’s Burnie Gift.
The Burnie product finished ahead of Eddie Gates and Brandon Clark in a time of 12.65 after running off 10.5m in a win that meant the world to the 28-year-old, who already has such victorious as the 800m at Stawell and two 400m Devonport gifts.
“I came second here last year (behind Jorden Englund) and I’m usually more of a distance runner, but all the hard work has paid off,’’ he said.
Reeves is self-trained, but paid credit to his former coach Mike McKenna for his support.
The -1m handicap handed to sprint sensation Jack Hale proved too much of a hurdle for the 19-year-old, whose campaign ended at the semi-final stage. But he was still proud of the way he ran on the day, which included winning the Invitational 120m in 13.20 off scratch to go with his Latrobe Gift.
“I am honestly over the moon with how this has gone,’’ Hale said.
“To come out and run this well is just a really good confidence booster for me going forward.
“It is a real tough one to hear that you are off -1 and I would have been a good chance if I had my mark from Latrobe (0.5m), but coming into it was just about doing my absolute best and not thinking about it, as it is really good training going forward.
“To come here and make a semi and almost make a final, I am ecstatic.”
“This is right up there. I mean Stawell was a real highlight last year, but to win your home gift after growing up watching the sprinters do it (is special).
“I was a distance runner and I didn’t think I’d ever really get a chance, but it just goes to show with a bit of hard work you can get there. This means a lot and I’ve probably achieved all I can in pro-running with Stawell last year and now this.”
Kiani Allen sure did enjoy her first trip to the Burnie Carnival after claiming the Burnie Gift on Monday in a breakthrough performance.
It was a result that she said was completely unexpected for the 18-year-old from Hobart after she beat home three-time champ Morgan Gaffney and Maddie Coates.
Allen had a handicap of eight metres, finishing the race in a time of 14.14.
“It is just amazing,’’ she said after a day of racing that was impacted by a headwind which was quite strong.
“It’s awesome and I’m really happy.
“This is one of the best wins I’ve had so far.
“I was aware of the head wind out and as this was my first carnival, I wasn’t really sure whether I would get into the final, and I just wanted to concentrate on running the best I could, and I would have been happy with that.”