Once again the MattyB DEPT stable travelled down to Tasmania to compete in a series of meets over the Christmas/New Year Period. This year was the first trip for several members of the squad while for Ollie Wurm it was his 5th straight New Year at the Burnie carnival including his victory in 2010.
The star of the stable was Melissa Breen who collected victory in the Devonport 200m Gift off the tight handicap of 1m. This also gave the squad back to back victories in this event after Lauren Boden claimed it in 2011
Melissa also finished 2nd in the La Trobe 120m Gift off scratch and then a close third in the Burnie Gift again off the scratch mark and also with the rest of the field getting a further 1m lift after her 200m victory 2 days earlier.
“11 races in 6 days is a great training week and probably still a lighter week compared to the last 4 months of training I have done” explained Breen who also said that she was “excited about the domestic season ahead knowing things are heading in the right direction based on my performances this week”.
Fellow Olympian Lauren Boden made a successful return to racing after taking an extended period of time post London to rehab a patella tendon issue.
“Although it was hard lining up knowing I wasn’t in my best shape it was still pleasing to just be out racing again and I probably went slightly better than I thought I might which is pleasing.” Boden stated.
Lauren also spent time with some of the local Little Athletes providing some insight and advice which was well received by all.
Chloe Jamieson and Rachael Carnegie were first time visitors to the carnivals and gained some wonderful experience and hard racing. Chloe made the 400m Devonport and Burnie Finals as the backmarker and Rachael just missed the 90m Final in Burnie by 0.01 of a second.
The Men also had a busy week of racing commencing with Brandan Galic (120m semi) and Grant Billingham (400m) at La Trobe. They were then joined by Ollie Wurm and Luke Storta for the Devonport and Burnie meets. All four of them made the semi of the 200m at Devonport while Ollie made the semi of the Burnie Gift and Grant ran in the Backmarkers final.
Coach MattyB took victory in the Devonport 50m skins events.
Thank you to the TAL for their support of our squad and also special mention to the JH squad for making the trip even more memorable.
MattyB DEPT. was also represented in other states during this period including
- Ollie Wurm who made the semi final at Bay Sheffield eventually won by the remarkable Josh Ross off scratch.
- Jesse Matthews made a successful return to racing at Maryborough along with Kevin and Vicki Matthews. Kevin was the start making several veteran finals.
- Nathan McNab (coached by Melissa Breen) made his first venture to the VAL competing in Ararat and Marybourough. Despite running of the tight novice marks he run his heart out and would have learnt plenty from the experience.
Most of the squad will next compete at Wangaratta and the Tom Burbidge organised Albury/ Wodonga Gift double header over the Australia Day weekend.
Happy New Year to all and good luck to all for racing ahead.