EASY WIN: Matthew Rizzo wins the men's Stawell Gift final on Monday.
EASY WIN: Matthew Rizzo wins the men's Stawell Gift final on Monday. TRACEY NEARMY

Liv in the fast lane collects $40,000 gift

ATHLETICS: For the third year in a row a teenage schoolgirl has gatecrashed the Stawell Gift and left town with the $40,000 winner's cheque.

Liv Ryan, a 16-year-old from Donvale, in Victoria, was the subject of a massive betting plunge on Saturday when she was backed from $31 into $2 before the heats.

Running from the outside mark of 11m in Monday's final, Ryan was never threatened to win in 13.74sec from Bridget Powell (9m).

"I cannot believe it, I'm so happy,” Ryan said.

Fifteen-year-old Talia Martin won last year and 16-year-old Grace O'Dwyer in 2015.

The men's event was a walk in the park for odds-on favourite Matthew Rizzo, who was in a league of his own off 7.5m, clocking a slick 12.10sec.

Rizzo, who finished fifth in last year's final, took time out from his job at Bunnings in Langwarrin to fulfil his dream of winning.

He was well clear of the fast-finishing Nathan Riali and third-placed Kyle Grubnic.

"All the hard work has paid off. I'm lost for words,” Rizzo said.

"I walked away last year from that final a little bit disappointed. I wanted to take it out this year and I just did it.”

with Herald Sun


Body found near popular Coast swimming spot

Premium Content Body found near popular Coast swimming spot

Man’s body found in bushland near popular Coast swimming spot

$7 million slice of Noosa North Shore paradise hits market

Premium Content $7 million slice of Noosa North Shore paradise hits market

Agent says plenty of interest in north shore "resort"

QLD set to be named ‘preferred candidate’ for 2032 Olympics

Premium Content QLD set to be named ‘preferred candidate’ for 2032 Olympics

IOC nominates Qld as preferred candidate to host 2032 Olympic Games