Athletes converged on Princes Park in Maryborough to compete in a range of running events.
Melbourne sprinter Rupert Lugo out ran his competitors to be crowned as the winner of the 2019 Max Martin Memorial 120m Maryborough Highland Gift and was awarded $8000.
“It was a tough race,” Lugo said.
“My hamstring went on me in the last 10 metres, so I’m pretty sore but I’m over the moon.”
Lugo competed with a handicap of 9.50 and finished with an adjusted time of 12.575 in front of Matthew Rizzo and Daniel Sonsini.
“Rizzo beat me in the semi-final at Stawell so it was great to get the victory over him today,” Lugo said.
Lugo was also the winner of the 2018 Bendigo Thousand 120m handicap and has plenty of athletic achievements to his name.
The night before the race Lugo took it easy to ensure he would be in peak condition for the Gift, but now it’s his time to celebrate.
“It was a very quiet night last night so it’s time to celebrate and tear it up in Maryborough tonight,” Lugo laughed.
Tarryn Fisher won the Women’s 120m sprint with a handicap of 15.75 and finished with an adjusted time of 14.346 in front of Jody Richards and Michelle Young.
“I could hear them all closing in behind me during the race and I was starting to tire very badly,” Fisher said.
“But I managed to just hold them off.
“It was a strong field and it’s usually the same athletes week in week out so you learn how they run.”
Fisher recently returned to the track after taking three years off to focus on her studies on exercise physiology.
“But it makes it all worth it when you the know all of the hardwork pays off,” Fisher said.
“I started training again in January 2018 and this is only my second meet since I returned.”
Bendigo Athletics star Joshua Sait also had a top performance finishing third in the 1600m Open with a final time of 4:18.585.
Maryborough Highland Society sports secretary Nick Weaver said the athletics competition was a major part of the annual gathering.
“The athletics at the gathering really helps attract a big crowd. Everyone loves watching the competitors,” Weaver said.
“But in addition to that the range of events and of course the annual Maryborough Gift attracts some strong athletic competitors.
“The gathering attracts up to 500 competitors every year from not only Australia but worldwide as well which is fantastic.”
Other events at the annual Maryborough gathering at Princes Park included 70m, 120m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 800m and 1600m running races for both women and men.
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