Almanac Pro-running: 2017 Bay Sheffield Form Guide

Form Guide

Name Age Handicap Suburb/State Coach

Lewis Abdul 19 7.00m Moana SA Charles Sheffield
Won the 2016 Loxton Gift off 8.25m. Ran 5th in his heat at last year’s Bay Sheffield (13.0s off 7m). Ran 3rd over 70m at Port Adelaide, 5/11/17, then put in a “Barry Crocker” at the PreBay (13.60s off 5.25m) when he rocked up at Colley Reserve after ‘allegedly’ partying harder than Crocker’s alter ego, Barry McKenzie. As Kath would say “I’ve got one thing to say to you: Bay Sheff After Party”.

Michael Air 42 6.00m Glenelg North SA Luke Hildyard
Third oldest athlete in the field yet probably the most inexperienced. No form of note. Has as much chance of making the semi-finals as Michael ‘Air” Jordan has of making a 3-point shot from mid court with a bowling ball.

Nicholas Antonino 16 10.00m Croydon North VIC Nick Fiedler
Promising athlete with the Fiedler camp who won the U/20’s 70m at Ringwood in April (7.55s off 10m). Started off this season with 2nd in the Sandringham U/18’s 300m. Ran 14.91s off 6m in the 120m Gift at Terang 3/12/17. He would need to ride a tsunami caused by an ‘El Niño’ to finish first in his Bay Shef heat. Better suited to the Under 18’s 120m.

Jacob Aston 17 7.00 Hope Valley SA Nik Hagicostas
First time athlete with the SAAL. His father was a dual Stawell Gift finalist (1990 & 1991) and 2nd in the 1996 Bay Sheffield. Has a very good 100m PB of 11.31s. Will be a major-race contender before long, but needs to take the first step by having a run this year. Should go well in the Under 18’s.

Ryan Atkins 20 4.00m West Lakes Shore SA Charles Sheffield
Won the Bay Sheffield last year off 7.50m in 12.57s before winning the SA state 100m title in February (10.88s). Hasn’t run a 120m since winning Camden in Feb (12.77s off 4.5m) but did run in a semi of the Port Adelaide 100m (10.79s off 2.25m). Back with the big boys now and the semi-final is probably as far as he can go this year.

Jason Bailey 22 9.25m Packenham VIC Todd Ireland
Ran 8th in the Sandringham 100m final (10.98s off 7.75m); 8th in both finals of the Meadowglen 70m & 200m (21.67s off 15m) and then 8th again in the Terang Gift final (13.33s off 9.25m). He’s seen more fat ladies than a bingo parlour. Last start, 4th in SF Ararat (12.81s off 9.25m). While I like his Irish Cream more than his Bay Shef chances he does go forward more than most on his Victorian mark.

Sebastian Baird 21 7.25m Black Forest SA Charles Sheffield
Changed stables during winter and at his first run in WASP colours he went bang at Port Adelaide, winning the 100m Gift (10.53s off 5.25m) in November. Then backed it up with 2nd in the PreBay Gift (12.96s off 5.25m) and 3rd at Brighton (12.85s off 5.25m). Up until now he’s under achieved for his obvious potential, but now looks to be heading to the next level. His best chance yet.

James Bayliss 21 8.00m Craigburn Farm SA Anthony Tohl
Has enjoyed two wins round the bend this season, over 400m at St Michaels and 300m at Kensington. Ran a nice 2nd in the 70m at St Michaels but was off the pace at PreBay, run out of the heat in both the 70m and the 120m (13.33s off 7.0m). The more I think of James’s chances at the Bay-less confident I become.

Ashley Brooke 19 7.75m Belgian Gardens QLD Karl Brooke
Enjoyed a good Bay Sheff carnival in 2015, running 3rd in the Under 18’s 120m. Last start – 6th in his semi-final at Brighton (13.16s off 7.5m) His father won the Whyalla Gift in 1992 so he has the pedigree, just lacking the experience.

Alex Bubner 29 5.75m Adelaide SA Paul Young
Dual Bay Sheffield finalist, finishing 3rd in 2007 (12.36s off 6.25m) and 5th in 2012 (off 5.75m). Returned this a season after a two-year break. Won a heat of the 70m at St Michaels’ in October but has struggled with injury since. Last start – 6th in his semi-final at Brighton (13.28s off 4.75m). He will be lacking race condition but is a fierce competitor and can get through to the semis.

Matt Burleigh 21 9.00m Croydon Hills VIC Todd Ireland
Won 70m sashes in January 2017, at Daylesford (7.60s off 6.25m) and Maribyrnong (7.83s off 5.75m). Ran 6th in the Terang Gift final (13.15s off 8.75m). Only ran 3rd in his Northcote 100m Gift heat (10.95s off 7.25m). He did win a 2017 Stawell Gift heat (12.53s off 9m) before finishing 6th in the semi (12.87s). They serve a nice steak at the Burleigh Heads surf club and this Burleigh probably ‘Heads’ up the Ringwood chances.

Jordan Caldow 24 2.25m Arundel QLD Brett Robinson
Dual Bay Sheffield winner, having won in 2010 (off 6.75m) and 2011 (off 3.75m). Ran a 10.58s 100m PB last year but has been off his best so far this time in, as shown at an AQ shield meet on 11th Nov – 11.17s for the 100m and then 10.84s (Wind +2.1) on 16th Dec. He had ordinary lead up form last year but still ran 2nd in his SF (12.77s off 2.25m). Always finds something for Colley Reserve.

Oliver Callahan 20 7.75m Adelaide SA Debbie Meich
Last season he won the 2016 Henley Gift off 6.50m then won the Brighton Keith Patching Sprint (7.71s off 5.50m). Then finished 2nd in the Bay Shef semi-final last year (12.87s off 7.75m). Only pro-run this prep, was a 3rd place in his Brighton 70m heat. Hasn’t run a 120 all season. There’ll be no fans singing “Oli Oli, Oi Oi Oi” this year.

Matt Camacho 19 7.00m Warradale SA Leigh Bowbridge
First time athlete. He entered for Kensington and the PreBay but scratched. First run was last week at Brighton (13.81s off 6.0m) finishing 7m away. Looked OK and will take time, but based on Brighton, the Village People have more chance of singing Macho Man at the After Party than ‘Camacho Man’ has of making the final.

Duncan Cameron 21 5.00m North Adelaide SA John Hodge
Yet to run with the SAAL but has some serious talent as shown with 47.79 to win the National University Games 400m title. Recently ran 21.40s for 200m. In 2014, he broke the high school 100m record of 11.40s held since 1973 by former Collingwood champion Billy Picken. Might just lack the experience of chasing athletes on grass but will be an outside chance for the final.

Ryan Camille 28 9.25m Wheelers Hill VIC Self Trained
Dual Stawell Gift finalist – 4th in 2013 and 5th in 2014 (12.39s off 9.75m). Won the 2012 Bay Sheffield 120m Restricted (12.91s off 9.75m). Made the Bay semis last year (13.64s off 9.0m). His biggest win was the Don Furness 70m Classic in February 2014. Was run out in his heats of the Meadowglen 200m and Northcote 100m (10.90s off 7.0m). Will be looking for more metres than a parking inspector at Christmas time.

James Cibich 29 7.00m Semaphore Park SA Charles Sheffield
Three-time Bay Sheffield finalist – 3rd in 2011, 3rd again in 2013 (12.84s off 7m) and 6th in 2015 (SF 12.54s off 7.0m). Only start this season was the Port Adelaide 100m Gift where he was run out in the heat (H 11.21s off 5m). Ran a 11.55s 100m at ASA on 2nd Dec. Like Sam Dastyari he had some big intentions at the start of the year, but things haven’t gone so well at the business end.

Jesse Cordoma 22 9.25m Sturt SA Paul Young
Finally broke through for a 70m novice win at Kensington and then ran 3rd in the 70m open at the PreBay and 2nd in the Keith Patching sprint at Brighton. Has become a bit of a 70m specialist and still has a lot of work to do over 120m. Only ran 6th in his Sacred Heart 120m semi-final (13.2 off 8.5m) Getting Jesse to the 120m gift start line is like the word ‘bat’ – it’s half the battle. Prefer in the 70m.

Simon Crichton 38 11.00m Halls Head WA Matt Barber
Formerly from SA but moved to WA well over a decade ago. Returned to run 3rd in the 2004 Bay Sheffield final. Has been a regular visitor, ran 6th in his 2015 Bay Sheff heat (13.30s off 11m) then scratched from last year’s race. Be easier to get Corey Bernardi to partner Magda Szubanski in ‘Dancing With The Stars’ than it would be for Simon to get into another Bay Sheffield final.

Jarrad Dartnall 31 11.00m Dernancourt SA Charles Sheffield
Has a room full of SAAL sashes with his biggest win: the 2011 Loxton Gift (12.56s off 9.75m). Best result at a Bay Sheffield carnival was winning the 120m Restricted in 2009 (12.49s off 11.5m). Ran 4th in the Sacred Heart 120m final (12.78s off 10.75m) and 2nd to Harrison Hunt at Brighton (12.80s off 11m). With many contenders lifted, this is much tougher. Hard to see him darting into the final.

Connor Diffey 22 4.00m Oxley QLD Self Trained
Yet to run with the QAL, he will be having his first pro running start at the Bay. Impressive lead up form includes 10.72s (100m) and 21.08 (200m) on 3rd December. He beat last year’s runner-up TJ Sanderson-Milera by 3m in the 200m. Looks a classic ‘sheffield’ runner and adds some intrigue to the race. All eyes will be on him in the heat to see if he’s the real deal. Nothing iffey about the Diffey.

Connor Disselkoen 17 11.00m Carmel WA Matt Barber
At Hammersley (WA) he ran 6th in a heat of the Gift (12.67s off 15m) and 3rd in the 550m. First time visitor to the Bay, here for the experience. Prefer in something easier. Has got plenty of promise but in terms of Bay Sheff prospects, there’s more chance of Prospect Oval being turned into a water park.

Eleanor Disselkoen 14 11.00m Carmel WA Matt Barber
Won the Mullewa Gift (12.30s off 28m) and the novice 120m. double in WA in September. For her age she is an outstanding prospect and has an exciting future. But this is like taking a promising 2yo filly who won a picnic race at Manangatang and entering her in the Melbourne Cup. One to watch for in the years ahead.

John Evans 20 6.00m Mt Barker SA Paul Young
Reigning SAAL athlete of the year, he won seven sashes including four 120m Gifts and the Camden Classic in his debut season. As the late Richie Benaud said, “Nice effort that”. Now back in the marks so not likely to make the final. Ran 13.13s off 4.5m at the PreBay to be 2m off the pace, which will probably be the situation here. To have an impact, as Mickey said in Rocky – “He’s gunna have to eat lightning and crap thunder.”

Jack Fidler 18 7.50m Cheltenham SA Charles Sheffield
Won 2 sashes on debut at Tea Tree Gully in February 2016 and looked to have a bright future. However, he’s scratched from his last 14 entries. Last competed at Henley 2 years ago when he was a gift semi-finalist. I can only assume he is injured. If he won the Bay on that prep, I’d give up the sport, learn the fiddle, move to Alabama, find a bar and play the tunes from Deliverance.

David Gross 34 9.75m St Marys SA Self Trained
Three -time Bay Sheff finalist including 2nd in 2014 (12.49s off 10.25m). Started off the season with 3rd in the Henley Gift (12.98s off 9.25m) and 4th in the Brighton Gift semifinal (1312.87 off 9.0m). Best chance of success is in the Women’s Gift; as the coach of the favourite, Czenya Cavouras.

Max Hagicostas 15 8.50m Henley Beach SA Nik Hagicostas
State junior sprint champion with a 100m PB of 11.35s. Has left the under 18 races alone while he pursues the more lucrative open races. Ran 3rd at Sacred Heart and 2nd in the 100m Kensington Gift. Only managed 5th in his semi-final at Brighton (13.07s off 8.0m). Will be competitive but has better prospects in the Restricted and Under 18’s.

Matthew Hargreaves 33 7.50m Tarneit VIC John Hilditch
Prolific finalist that includes two Queanbeyan Gift finals and the only interstater to win two Camden Classics. His biggest collect was the $10,000 Woodside Gift in 2013. Has copped some injuries the last few years that have taken a toll. Last start he was run out of his Ararat Gift heat (13.19s off 6.5m). Recent form suggests he will struggle.

Adrian Harris 33 11.00m Athol Park SA Michael Buckler
Journeyman who has struggled for form, apart from a couple of 70m heats (Brighton 8.28s off 6.5m) he hasn’t any form of note for a race of this calibre. More chance of Mickey Buckler throwing the winning touch-down in a Superbowl.

Luke Houlihan 26 5.75m Prospect SA Anthony Tohl
Runner-up in the 2015 Stawell Gift final where he recorded 12.13s (7.25m) in the semifinal. Has run 4th and 5th in two Bay Sheffield finals. Ran 5th in the PreBay Gift final then was run out at the semi-final stage at Brighton (13.00s off 4.75m). Goes forward more than most, so could make the final.

Harrison Hunt 18 6.50m Wynn Vale SA Dylan Hicks
Has taken the sport by storm since his debut at Marion in January when he took out the 120m novice. This season, he’s won two 70m races and then easily strode to victory in the Brighton Gift. (12.64s off 6.0m). The Bay Sheffield favourite and the one everyone else must hunt down.

John Jakeman 33 4.00m O’Connor ACT Self Trained
Won the 2014 Bay Sheffield (12.47s off 6.25m) and was 2nd to Josh Ross in 2012. Still running well and based in the USA, he ran 21.29sec for 200m and 10.59sec (Wind: +3.5) on 22nd April in El Paso. Considering his form, albeit 8 months ago, his mark is still very competitive and he’s a genuine chance to make a third final.

Rowan Jakeman 25 11.00m O’Connor ACT Self Trained
Entered the 2014 Bay Sheffield but DNS. The CIA are finding it easier to locate details about Trump’s collusion activity with Russia than to it is find any recent athletic activity for this bloke. He had a 100m PB of 11.69sec in 2010. Doesn’t appear to have competed in the ACT comps this summer. Not entered for the 70m or the Restricted. This is it. Get the feeling it will be over and out after the heat.

Evan Jarvis 30 10.00m Thornlie WA Matt Barber
Won the 2003 and 2006 Mullewa Gifts and 2003 Bay Sheffield 70m. before taking a break. Made the final in 2016 (12.71s off 11.0m). Won the 70m at 2017 Mullewa before running 2nd in the Mullewa Gift (12.37s off 10.75m). One of the better interstate chances and despite being a metre back from last year, he can make the final again.

Tim Johnson 44 10.25m Happy Valley SA Charles Sheffield
Prolific finalist on the SAAL circuit, including 4 Bay Sheffield finals -1996, 2000, 2001 and 2nd in 2002. Won three Gifts last year and was 3rd at Kensington a month ago. Last start he was 2nd in the 70m at PreBay. Goes forward 2.25m and like the old Irish saying: “The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune”.

Kristerfer Kardakovski 26 10.00m Epping VIC Nick Fiedler
Opened his account with the 2017 Maryborough Novice 120m on New Year’s Day (12.63s off 10.5m). At Northcote he lost a couple of metres between heat (10.80s) and semi (10.99s off 8.25m). Made the Ararat 70m final but only ran 4th in his Gift heat (12.94s off 10m). Meets some other Vics worse and not running well enough to challenge here.

Mason Keast 17 8.25m Delacombe VIC Robert Lehmann
Impressive winner of the Terang 70m (7.96s off 6m) before running 2nd in the Terang Gift (13.05s off 9m). Won the Ararat Gift on 16th December (12.5 off 9.0m). Now guaranteed a 0.75m lift for Stawell so this becomes the equivalent of a no ball in 20/20 cricket – a free hit. Don’t think he’ll trying to hit it out of the park. More likely to push one through the covers for two and use it to build for Easter. One of the better Vic hopes.

Harrison Kerr 18 7.50m Park Orchards VIC Nick Fiedler
Took home the Frank McHugh trophy last year after winning the 120m Restricted, running 2nd in the 70m and 6th in the Bay Sheffield final. Then won the Wangaratta Gift (12.59s off 9.5m) and the prestigious Bendigo Black Opal 400m. Continued his good form winning the Meadowglen 200m. Not the mark he had last year but has improved and is another genuine contender from over the border.

Nicholas Krznaric 22 8.50m North Haven SA Peter Burdett
Second year Grange athlete who won the novice 70m at the 2016 Pre-Bay meet (7.71s off 5.50m). Has made the semis of the last three Gifts contested with a 5th place in his Brighton semi (13.23s off 7.50m). Not quite ready for this but has a good chance in the Restricted.

William Little 36 11.00m Glenhuntly VIC Max Binnington
Ran 3rd in the 400m at Ararat. Apart from that there is very little Little form to go on. Runs off a bigger mark in Victoria. If he makes the Bay Shef final, I’ll stand against a tree on Colley Reserve, put an apple on my head and he can fire an arrow at it from 30 paces. Prefer in the 550m.

Luchitha Liyanage 19 7.0m Ringwood VIC Shane McKenzie
Novice athlete with an interesting sounding name. No form of note, for a race of this magnitude, so prefer him in the Restricted on Day One. More chance of Tony Abbott being made matron of honour at his sister’s wedding than Luchitha has of making the final. But one to watch for the future.

Misha Lizoguboff 31 10.00m Salisbury Heights SA Self Trained
Has enjoyed the best Bay prep of his career with multiple finals including wins in the Flinders 70m and the Sacred Heart Gift (12.64s off 9.5m). Won semis at the PreBay 120m Gift and Brighton 70m but only manage 6th and 5th in the finals. Forget those runs. Rumour has it that during Putin’s last call to Trump, he recommended throwing a few lazy rubles on the Russian at the Bay. His best chance yet.

Wallace Long-Scafidi 27 4.50m Huntfield Heights SA Dylan Hicks
In shape, WLS is one of the best sprinters in the state. But he’s struggled for form of late and only managed 13.56s off 3.0m at the PreBay and 13.67s off 4.0m at Brighton, which was about 6m off the pace. Apparently ran well at the state relay titles helping his club to gold in the two sprint relays, but Gift form suggests he’s got more chance of taking out Floyd Mayweather than taking out the Bay.

Rupert Lugo 27 11.00m Forest Hill VIC Nick Fiedler
Won the 2016 Bill Howard Restricted 100m at Stawell (10.66s off 10m). Opened this season with 3rd place in the Sandringham 100m. (10.56s off 8.5m) and was 5th in the Terang Gift (13.15s off 10.25m). Still dividing his time on his private jet between Australia and Lugo, a city he owns in northern Spain where he has a gift track built to the same dimensions of Stawell. A guy in a sombrero told me that his trial form isn’t good enough for the Gift but load up your pesos on him in the sprint.

Luke Mitchell 17 10.00m Heathmont VIC Shane McKenzie
Ran 2nd in the Under 18 Junior Bay Sheffield in 2016 and is back for another crack at it this year. He made the semis of the 70m at Meadowglen in November and ran a respectable 3rd in his 200m heat (21.70 off 17m). In this for the experience and hard to see him making the semis.

Liam Moss 20 6.00m Glen Osmond SA Rick Treleaven
Ran 4th in the Bay Sheff last year (12.76s off 6.5m) Has some handy PBs of 10.94sec and 21.51sec. Seems to be up and down with form, running some good time at ASA but has been ordinary in his two SAAL starts. (Sacred Heart 12.88s off 5.5m) Hard to work out where he’s at. Reminds me of what old Seamus use to say. “You will never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.” Keep safe.

James Newbury 27 6.00m Adelaide SA Paul Taylor
Novice athlete but an outstanding Crossfit competitor. A South Australian champion, he was ranked 59 in the world in 2016. This is a massive move out of his comfort zone and good on him for giving it a shot. But this is the Bay Sheffield and hard to imagine he could get past the heat. If he does, I’ll piggy-back the new boy Newbury down Colley Reserve wearing a tutu while singing the ‘Impossible Dream.’

Jack Newman 19 7.50m Largs NSW Bruce Gulliver
Won the 2014 Macksville Gift a week before running 2nd to twin brother Tom in the 2014 Queanbeyan Gift (12.26s off 9.50m). Ran 5th in his 2016 Bay Shef semi (12.70s off 7.50m in heat). Hadn’t competed this season until he smashed Mason Keast in the Ararat 120m Gift heat (12.53s off 7.0m). Ended up 3rd behind Keast in the final. In great form and probably heads up the main interstate chances.

Thomas Newman 19 8.50m Largs NSW Bruce Gulliver
2014 Queanbeyan Gift winner (12.14s off 12.00m). Doesn’t have the exposed gift form of his brother but did run 2nd in the 300m at Macksville in November. Ran 4th in his 2016 Bay Sheff semi. (12.79s off 8.5m). He did not run at Ararat which could mean he’s going very well and waiting for this or he had other commitments. Either way, he is another year older, so he will be very competitive.

Jack Norris 19 6.75m Black Forest SA Luke Buchanan
Talented young athlete who won the rich Loxton Gift in February (12.90s off 8m). His most recent form hasn’t been that good being run out of his PreBay Gift heat (13.56s off 5.0m) and 4th in the Brighton 120m Gift heat (13.58s off 5.0m). Form suggests he has more chance of making the Harlem Globetrotters roster than making the Bay Sheffield final.

Sam Nykiel 16 8.00m Toorak Gardens SA Rick Treleaven
Talented Pembroke junior with a 100m PB of 11.66sec. Ran 7th in the Novice 70m on debut at Kensington then ran 8th in the semi of the Under 18’s 100m (11.77s off 5m) at the same meet. Prefer in the Under 18’s race and the Restricted.

Dylan Panizza 28 7.75m Scarborough WA Glenn Ross
Won the 2010 Mullewa and Dardenup Gifts in WA. Has made the semis in each of the last seven Bay Sheff carnivals with a best result of 4th in both the 2012 (12.58s off 8.75m) and 2015 finals. Won the 2016 Maryborough Gift (12.68s off 7.75m) on New Year’s Day. Ran 4th in his Hammersley Gift heat (12.48s off 8.5m). Would need to be in career best shape to make another final. Semi again at this stage.

Dion Paull 29 10.00m Croydon VIC Nick Fiedler
Enjoyed a pretty good start to the season, 2nd in the 200m at Meadowglen before running 4th in the Terang Gift (13.12s off 9.50m). But he had a hiccup at Ararat where he only ran 6th in his semi final (13.21s off 9.75m) 5m behind eventual winner Mason Keast. He does meet Keast better off here, but needs to get back to his earlier form otherwise he’s cactus.

Nicholas Repalust 19 6.25m Ringwood VIC Shane McKenzie
Won the 120m Restricted in 2015 (12.5 off 7.5m). Winner of the $10,000 Stonnington Gift (10.43s off 6.25m) in February, hence the tight mark. Very quick early, last month he won the 70m at Meadowglen (7.69s off 3.50m). Seems to be in good form but hard to see him making the final off his post-Stonnington mark.

Brett Richards 23 5.25m Pooraka SA Simon Thompson
Enjoyed a stellar season in 2015/16 winning Athlete of the Year, the two premier 70m races on the SAAL calendar and was 2nd in the Bay Sheffield (12.47s in semi off 7.50m). However due persistent injuries his last run was the Pulteney 70m in March 2016. Unlikely starter but if he does have a gallop, there’s more chance of Simon Thompson getting the judges to turn around while auditioning for The Voice than Brett has of turning around his chances for this year’s Bay Sheffield.

Daniel Richardson 19 9.00m Croydon Hills VIC Shane McKenzie
Been to the Bay three times making the Restricted final twice including 4th last year. Made the 70m final at Meadowglen (7.73s off 5.75m) and was 2nd in his 200m heat. Again, his best chance of a podium finish is probably the 120m Restricted although he should be competitive in the Bay Sheff and maybe make the semis.

Benjamin Ridley 17 7.00m Andrews Farm SA Paul Taylor
First year athlete with a PB of 11.56sec. Should be competitive in the Under 18’s but to have your first open gift run in the Bay Sheffield would be like taking up cricket and making your debut as an opening batsman for the Red Backs. Heat only.

Kyle Roberts 18 8.00m Plympton South SA Bryan Roberts
One of the form athletes of the season with three wins including the Kensington 100m Gift (10.94s off 7.25m) and the PreBay Gift (12.94s off 7.50m). Brilliant win at the PreBay puts him right in contention for a final berth. Get the feeling he still might be a tad raw in terms of winning the Bay Shef, but he has a big heart and cannot be underestimated.

Craig Rollinson 37 9.50m Warragul VIC Wally Meechan
He was a very accomplished pro-runner back about 7 years ago with quite a few good wins. Made a comeback and has been running in the local Gippsland comps. Ran 11.50s (100m) on 10th October. Scratched from the Northcote Gift. From what we’ve seen this season, he’s got a better chance of picking up some whiting on the Glenelg jetty with one of those famous Gippsland giant earthworms than he has of catching a spot in the semi-finals.

Tim Rooke 31 6.25m Pascoe Vale VIC Nick Fiedler
Former national level sprinter (100m PB – 10.40s 4/3/2006) who had 3 years off for study purposes before returning to the sport in 2014. Didn’t make it past the heat at Terang (13.47s off 5.00m) before running 4th in the semi at Ararat (12.86s off 6.25m). Has a couple of holes in his name which reminds me of the Zen philosopher Basha who once wrote “A flute with no holes is not a flute. A pair of spikes with no holes are sneakers.” Doesn’t appear to be travelling well enough.

Glenn Ross 46 11.00m Scarborough WA Self Trained
Has won multiple races at the Bay Sheffield carnival over the years including the Over 35’s 120m three times. Enjoyed his biggest win in 2013, taking out the Ballarat Gift (12.17s off 10.75m). Ran 5th in his 2015 Bay Sheff heat (13.04s off 10.25m). 13.14s off 11.0m last year’s heat, he was 4th in the codgers 120m last year and will be looking to that event to take home another Bay sash.

Joshua Ross 35 0.00m Melbourne VIC Self Trained
Winner of five grand slam gifts including the big three from scratch – Stawell, Bay Sheffield (2012) and Burnie. Has the fastest time by an Australian on Australian soil – 10.08sec in 2009. Multiple national champion. He’s done it all. Hasn’t raced much lately. At his only start he finished off the pace at Queanbeyan (12.97s off 1.75m). Not expected to match his 2012 effort, but a tough competitor and will enjoy returning to the track where he re-wrote the history books.

Ryan Rossouw 34 7.75m Happy Valley SA Brendan Tammo
Past Loxton Gift winner who returned to the sport last year. Last Gift run was at Camden in February when he was 4th in his heat (13.47s off 7.0m). At Brighton, he only ran 4th in his 70m heat (8.39s off 5.5m). Very handy a few years ago but still a fair way off his best. There’s more chance of Oscar Pistorious running in the Boston Marathon while pulling a tractor than Ryan running in the semi-finals.

Hayden Rothe 21 9.50m Wayville SA Frank McHugh
Started the season well with 2nd behind Tomas Semmler in the St Michaels 120m Gift (12.88s off 8.0m) and 3rd in the Flinders 70m. But he’s gone a bit quiet of late and missed the final at PreBay. (13.06s off 7.50m). Gets an opportunity to get amongst them with a good lift in the marks but still needs to find a metre to challenge for the final.

Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera 24 3.50m Palm Beach QLD Brett Robinson
Runner up in the 2016 Stawell Gift (12.19s off 5.75m) then runner-up in the Bay Sheffield last year (12.67s off 4.5m). Recently ran 21.43s for 200m (3/12/17). Back a metre from last year but has the competitive spirit to rise to the occasion and could be there again.

Brad Schutz 29 11.00m Flagstaff Hill SA Frank McHugh
Has won some quality races including the Camden Classic, Stawell 400m and the 2014 Loxton Gift (12.85s off 12m). Did run 5th in the Kensington 100m Gift (11.15s off 9.25m) but only ran 13.35s off 10.m at Brighton to be 5m off the pace. More chance of coach Frank McHugh advancing to the quarter finals of the 2018 Australian Tennis Open with a badminton racquet than Brad has of advancing to the final of the 2017 Bay Sheffield.

Tom Sclanders 28 5.50m Renown Park SA Paul Young
Dual Bay Sheffield finalist including 3rd in 2015. His last run was when he won the 2016 Stawell 70m. Has suffered a few set backs and like his coach’s stand up comedy career, his running has ground to a halt.

Tomas Semmler 18 6.50m Blair Athol SA Dylan Hicks
In the season opener at St Michaels he strode to the line easily winning the 120m Gift (12.69s off 6.0m). Last week he tuned up with another comfortable win in the Keith Patching sprint at Brighton (7.71s off 4.50m). Hasn’t run a gift since St Michaels but doesn’t lack confidence and should have no worries getting the trip. Genuine chance to make it two CTC athletes in the final with his stablemate Harrison Hunt.

Taylor Sharpe 18 7.00m Booragoon WA Matt Barber
First time visitor from Perth who ran 3rd in the 120m Novice at Hammersley WA (12.45s off 7.50m) and 8th in the Gift final (12.52s off 7.50m). Has a 100m PB of 10.98s. Another one of the talented juniors from the Matt Barber squad coming over for the experience. His 100m PB suggests he will be competitive but prefer in something easier like the Restricted.

Lachlan Sheffield 22 7.25m Fulham SA Charles Sheffield
Surprise 5th in the 2016 Bay Sheffield (12.52s off 8m in heat) he hasn’t run an SAAL Gift since. He has suffered injury issues this season. Ran in the heat of the 70m at Brighton but then pulled out of the semi due to illness. Lots of conjecture about where he’s at but on the evidence at Brighton, it’s very hard to see him replicate last year’s result.

Yanni Spanos 24 10.00m Doncaster VIC Shane McKenzie
Ran last in a heat of the Meadowglen 200m (25.83s off 14m) and 6th in a heat of the Northcote Gift (12.49s off 8.75m). Form is a long way from where he needs to be and its fair to say the Greek economy is better placed than Yanni’s hopes of advancing beyond the heat. Prefer in the 120m Restricted.

Robert Spencer 30 9.25m Essendon VIC Self Trained
Winner of the 2014 Bendigo Thousand Gift (12.25s off 8.50m) he recently won his biggest purse in a backwards race at Ballarat racecourse worth $5,000 to the winner. Finished 7th in his Terang Gift semi-final (13.25s off 9.0m). Then only ran 4th in his 100m Northcote Gift heat (11.17s off 7.50m). Like his run at Ballarat, his Bay Sheffield chances appeared to have gone backwards.

Josh Tiu 28 9.75m Doncaster VIC Nick Fiedler
Regular visitor to the Bay Sheffield he’s won three races at Colley Reserve – the Under 20’s 120m, the 120m Restricted and the 70m. Last two starts he’s been a fair way off in the Northcote 100m Gift (11.32s off 7.5m) and the Ararat 120m Gift (13.01s off 9.0m). Looks to be ‘tiu’ far off the pace for this.

Damian Tohl 32 9.25m Happy Valley SA Anthony Tohl
2007 Bay Sheffield winner (off 10.50m), he also won the 2013 Whyalla Gift (8.25m). Made the Sacred Heart Gift final (12.68s off 8.0m) then was narrowly run out of the semi at the PreBay (12.49s off 8.25m). Ran 4th in the Keith Patching 70m at Brighton (7.88s off 6.25m) but did not contest the Gift. It’s been a decade since he won the Bay. He’ll be competitive but there won’t be any 10-year reunion with him and the sash presenter on the dais.

Beau Tran 24 11.00m Kingsbury VIC Self Trained
Has been to the Bay the last two years, finishing well back in the 120m Restricted (14.04s off 9.0m in 2016). Was a long way back at Northcote in both his hearts of the 70m and the 100m (11.67s off 10.50m). More chance of Geoffrey Rush’s bowtie winning an Oscar for best screenplay than Beau has of winning a Bay Sheffield heat. Prefer in the Restricted.

Jordan Tronnolone 27 8.00m Tea Tree Gully SA Anthony Tohl
Runner-up in the 2011 Bay Sheffield. He’s only had a few runs this season and was well back at Brighton for 3rd in the heat (13.35s off 6.75m) before scratching from the semi-final. Can’t say too much other than to say he’s probably going to struggle. As old Paddy use to say: “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” Say no more.

Mitchell Tucker 22 8.50m Warradale SA Luke Buchanan
From the start of the season he’s been up amongst the contenders without winning. 4th at St Michaels, 2nd at Sacred Heart (12.67s off 6.75m) and 3rd at the PreBay (13.02s off 6.75m). At Brighton he only ran the 70m finishing last in the final (7.93s off 5.0m). I liked his Bay chances a few weeks ago but after Brighton I’ve gone off me Tucker.

Roger Van Der Linden 23 8.50m Banksia Park SA Paul Taylor
Despite being on the scene for five years he has only competed spasmodically. Finally broke through for a maiden win in the novice 70m at Brighton (8.02s off 6.25m). No Gift form but 70m form is pretty good. As Harry Callahan said in Magnum Force“A man’s got to know his limitations.” Prefer his chances in the Restricted.

Connor Verrall 22 9.75m Brighton SA Dylan Hicks
Currently working/ living in Bundaberg. Ran 3rd in the 300m Sandringham Gift (33.52s off 18m) before heading north. Hard to imagine he would have got the quality of training in Bundaberg over the last 2 months required for the Bay. He won’t be doubling the family’s number of Bay Sheffield finals.

Cameron Vinall 18 7.50m Glenelg South SA Frank McHugh
One of cranky Franky’s up and comers. He’s won the Under 18’s 550m at the Bay Sheff twice. He’s only had the one run in a Gift this season – 7th in his semi-final at the PreBay (13.24s off 7.0m). Has some ability, needs to run a few more and he’ll be in the mix soon enough. But this time around, we’ve got more chance of seeing Frank McHugh spinning his vinyl record collection at the After Party than seeing this Vinall in the Bay Sheff final.

Michael Voumard 24 9.00m. Armadale VIC Andrew Muhlhan
Won the 2017 Stawell Bill Howard Novice 100m (10.47s off 8.0m) then ran 4th in the 2017 Stawell Gift final (12.35s off 10.0m). Recent form has been a long way from what he showed at Stawell. Only ran 4th in his Ararat Gift heat (13.32s off 9.0m). In Stawell shape he would be a serious contender, but the evidence suggests he’s nowhere near that.

Kenneth Vuong 27 7.00m Lidcombe NSW Self Trained
Has a 100m PB of 10.93sec so obviously goes very well when right. Won the Jack Giddy Gift in Sydney in November (11.19s off 7.5m). On Saturday 16/12/17 he ran a 100m in Sydney in 11.08sec (Wind: -1.3) and 200m in 22.93sec (+1.9). So, he’s not too far off his best shape. However, the 200m time is not great for 120m on Colley Reserve. Rough chance for the final.

Edward Ware 29 8.50m Doncaster East VIC Nick Fiedler
Dual Stawell Gift finalist including 2nd to Mitch Williams-Swain in 2011. Has been OK without setting the world on fire. Ran 2nd in his 100m Northcote Gift heat (10.87s off 6.25m) and 3rd in as heat at Ararat (12.91s off 7.75m). He’s a former finalist and goes forward more than most Vics and enjoys the big races, so can’t be discounted.

Clay Watkins 30 3.75m South Brighton SA Self Trained
Won the Bay Sheffield in 2005 (11.94s off 8m). He has been in two more finals since – 2008 and 2013 (off 3.25m). He’s also won the Burnie, Loxton and Whyalla Gifts. This season he’s made three finals including a 3rd in the 100m Port Adelaide Gift. Ran 6th at Sacred Heart (12.82s off 2.25m). Goes forward more than most so becomes an outside chance for the final.

Lyall Weir 35 11.00m West Lakes Shore SA Peter Burdett
Looked pretty good when he won the 70m at Flagstaff Hill in March, but this season has really struggled to be competitive being run out in all the heats contested looking tired & ‘weiry’. Only managed 4th in the Kensington Gift heat (11.41sec off 8.25m). More chance of appearing as the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins than appearing in the Bay Sheff semis. Prefer in the 70m.

Darren Whittaker 39 11.00m Mordialloc VIC Self Trained
Has enjoyed a stellar career in pro running making numerous finals and enjoying several wins including the 70m at Stawell twice. Runs off a bigger mark in Victoria so meets the other Vics worse off. Ran OK at Ararat for 4th in the Gift final (12.75s off 12.50m). Prefer in the 70m on Day One.

Ryan Williams 18 7.50m Hawthorndene SA John LeRay
Impressive winner of the Junior Bay Sheffield last year off the back mark of 2m. Ran a good time in the heat at PreBay but didn’t get past the semi then ran 6th in the Brighton Gift final (13.03s off 6.50m). Hard to se him getting beyond the semis, but probably starts favourite for the Restricted.

Mitchell Williams-Swain 25 1.50m Banora Point NSW Tony Fairweather
Winner of the 2011 Stawell Gift and narrowly missed winning again in 2013. Has a 100m PB of 10.25sec from April 2013. Slowly getting back to his best and ran 10.60sec in a 100m race in Brisbane (16/12/17). Nowhere near the standard he needs to be to be off this mark. Hard to see him getting beyond the heat.

Dale Woodhams 30 7.75m Mawson Lakes SA Paul Young
2nd in the 2010 Stawell Gift and was 3rd in this race in 2009. He has had several issues including a major surgery 2 years ago. A nagging adductor issue has restricted him to a couple of starts. Most recent run was 4th in his Brighton 70m semifinal (7.94s off 5m). Like last year will be competitive but unlikely to get beyond the semi-final stage.

Shane Woodrow 33 10.00m Winter Valley VIC Rod Mathews
Hard to find any recent Gift form on him. He didn’t run the Gift at Ararat but did win a heat of the 400m off a tight mark of 15m before running 7th in the final. Was a big chance for a Stawell Gift a few years ago with a fast time in the heats but missed the final. His chances are similar to Simon Townsend’s Wonder World with his pet dog Woodrow, making a TV comeback.

Ollie Wurm 27 9.00m Toorak VIC Brad Armstrong
Enjoyed his biggest win with the 2010 Burnie Gift (12.50s off 8m). Recent form is not flash but hasn’t been for a while. Finished down the track in the Terang 70m and scratched from the Gift as well as Northcote and Ararat. Ran 3rd in his semi last year (12.87s off 8.75m). Could surprise but hard to recommend on what he’s done lately. Reminds me of the centipede who turned up one day and won the 400m easily. When asked why he didn’t run the Gift, he said “I was still getting my spikes on”.

Mohamad Zeed 33 10.00m Chadstone VIC Self Trained
Well-travelled Box Hill AC 400m hurdler who normally run in Tasmania this time of year. Made a Burnie Gift final a few years ago but his most recent running has been a fair way off his best. Ran the 100m Northcote Gift – 5th in his heat. (11.41s off 7.5m). You won’t miss him with his long locks and rugged style but I dare say you’ll only see him once on current form.

Sasha Zhoya 15 5.00m Coolbellup WA Matt Barber
WA junior sprint star who ran 10.75s (Wind: +2.0m) last week. Ran 4th in the Mullewa Gift (12.42s off 8.0m) then won the Mullewa 550m. Exciting talent and while the mark is tight, he can’t be discounted to get among them in the semis. Brings some ‘X’ factor to the Bay.


About Paul Young

As far as I know, I'm the only former VFA player to have won pro-running Gifts on two VFA grounds. But then again I don't know much so I could be wrong. AFL team: North Melbourne but I find they do like to test one’s allegiance by retaining Brad Scott as coach. UPDATE: We could be doing worse. Favourite sport: It depends on the season, the mood and the wife. Education: Went to Uni but discovered if you are street smart you can survive without it. Occupation: Pedestrianism pundit & handicapper ALSO coach of slow moving sprinters. Golf handicap: My temperament and I’ve found not owning any clubs or balls and having no interest in the game has dramatically affected my PGA potential.

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