Melissa Breen’s victory off scratch in the Women’s 70m was one of many highlights for the MattyB DEPT on a beautiful evening at the Devonport Gift in Tasmania.
Giving 5 metres head start to her closest rival in the final Breen exploded out of the blocks and quickly made up the difference on most of her competitors before taking the race in a photo finish with LJ Hilditch (6m) in an extremely quick time of 8.44 on grass.
In the feature Devonport 400m Gifts Lauren Boden backed up her victory in La Trobe with a high quality second placing behind World Junior qualified local girl Abbey De La Motte. Running off 7m Boden ran an outstanding time of 53.58 and importantly looked super strong in the final stages of the race.
In the men’s race the MattyB DEPT was represented by Stawell Gift winner Tom Burbidge (18m) and Commonwealth Games 4 x 400m gold medalist Brendan Cole (9m) in the final after other members Ollie Wurm (15m) and Luke Storta (24m) finished 3rd in their heats but did not get through to the final on times.
In the final is was Cole that would perform best for the squad. Coming into the final straight Cole as backmarker made his move with young local boy Max Waldron. Both surged strongly to the line but were unable to catch two of the front markers with Daniel Reeves (32m) taking the victory in 46.38 from Edward Gates. Waldron (16m) was 3rd with Cole (9m) gallant in 4th place. Despite a slow start Burbidge finished off quite strongly to take 6th place in the final.
Day 2 of the Devonport will focus on races over the 200m distance.