Home town girl's historic sprint takes Gift
ATHLETICS: Hometown runner Samantha Stanley created history at the Noosa Gift on Saturday night, becoming the first female and the youngest competitor to win the 110m handicap race.
The 15-year-old Noosa Little Athletics Club member hit the line in 11.20sec, off a front mark of 18m.
She staved off Jarrod Whittaker (11.26sec off 10.25m) and Noosa youngster Zane Branco (11.40sec off 7m).
"It's amazing. I'm pretty stoked,” she said.
"My main events are triple jump and 200m so this is pretty crazy.”
A determined lead-up with coach Mick Hooper helped pave the way for the win in the seventh edition of the Noosa Gift.
"I've been doing more intense training, working on my block starts, just making sure everything is perfect for the big race,” she said.
And her reaction time was quick in the $6000 final.
"I felt like my start was pretty good....I could hear them breathing (behind me) and I was like 'I've got to keep going, got to keep going'.”
Stanley has a real passion for the sport.
"I came out here hyped and ready to win,” she said.
"I really love track and field...my big goal is to go to the Olympics so I'm aiming for that and the Commonwealth Youth (Games) is coming up soon so I'm going to try to qualify for that.”
Stanley has a non-handicap personal best of 12.30sec in the 100m.
She's focused mainly on triple jump and 200m but the Noosa Gift result may change her perspective.
The St Theresa's student has been doing athletics for about five years.
Reigning Stawell Gift champion Isaac Dunmall failed to make the eight-runner final.
Last year's Noosa Gift winner James Woodgate made the decider as did Sunshine Coaster Conor Laughman.
Former event winner Liam Gander was off the back marker in the final, finishing seventh in 11.65sec off 2.5m.