Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 1st April 2022
Jesse McKenna believes he is in the shape of his life and coach Aidan Debernardi says he will be primed and ready to go over the Easter weekend.
“Jesse is in excellent condition, both mentally and physically, he is more than capable of taking out the title. We know how competitive the field is and wish everyone the best of luck,” Aidan said yesterday.
School teacher and athletics coach Aidan, himself a national level sprinter, has been preparing Jesse to be in his best form in two weeks time.
“We intentionally started the pre-season later than usual with the focus on peaking at the very end of the VAL season. Jesse has been building nicely and continuously improving different elements of his race.”
Both Aidan and Jesse would love to be a part of history come Easter Monday.
“The Stawell Gift is one of the sporting world’s most famous and prestigious events held annually. To be a part of that long running history would be an incredible honour,” said Aidan.
Jesse concurred: “It would not only be an achievement, but a special memory that would be a privilege to live with forever. To become a small part of the Stawell Gift’s long history would be a truly surreal experience.”
“The thing I like most would have to be the event’s astonishing longevity. I don’t think there would be too many other events in the world that have kept tradition going for as long as the Stawell Gift,” said Jesse.
Fresh from his win at the Euroa Gift last weekend, Jesse knows the task of winning at Stawell is no mean feat.
“I’m probably in the shape of my life (thus far) so I believe that my best run gives me as good a chance as anyone else in the mix. However, this is an event where absolutely no one can be counted out over the long weekend.”
Originally from Perth, twenty-year-old Jesse lives in Sandringham and is the son of former West Coast Eagles star Guy McKenna.
On his future in the sport, Jesse said: “As well as one day being able to bench press more than my dad, I would like to see how far I can get amongst the amateur ranks. My future will always include the annual trip to Stawell.”
On his picks for Jesse’s opposition at Stawell, Aidan concluded: “As always, the field is deep with talent and potential. Kerr and Lindstrom will be very competitive off their marks. I am looking forward to seeing Aidan Murphy run, he is an exceptional talent with an exciting future.”
Photos courtesy of Neil Jameson, Jamesons Photography
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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