Congratulations Liv Ryan, winner of the 2017 Australia Post Women’s Gift.

Date: 19th April 2017

At the tender age of 16, Donvale’s Liv Ryan now has three Stawell sashes.

After winning last year’s U’17 girls 100m, Ryan not only won the Australia Post Strickland Family Women’s Gift today, but incredibly added the Telstra Store Ararat 70m title to her resume within the hour.

“Winning the double is amazing, I just had to focus after the gift and get down the track in the 70m, I’m thrilled,” she said.

Ryan created history by being the only athlete to finish third in her heat, to then come out and win the gift. It brought back memories of then 16-year-old Jarrem Pearce who in 2000 placed second in his heat and had to progress to Monday’s semi-finals via the repechage.

“It was a fast heat and it wasn’t the perfect race, my heat run, and I just had to keep pushing through, the semifinal win gave me a massive confidence boost,” she declared.

Extraordinarily, first, third and fourth in the final all came from Heat 12 on Saturday, however the final order wasn’t repeated. Heat winner Taylor Perry finished fourth in the final, with backmarker Maddie Coates placing third.

Ryan stormed to interest on Saturday morning after her odds plunged from $31 to evens after Friday’s Calcutta and remarkably stayed at that price despite her third place in the heat.

“I put everything to the back of my mind and thought I’ve got to run my race, who cares what people are thinking,” the Craig Mair trained athlete said.

“As the front marker, I had to come out quick, not let them catch me, and get to the line first, is all that was going through my head. In the corner of my eye I could see the red (Coates) coming and I just had to hold on,” Ryan explained.

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