Date: 8th April 2023

Ryan Tarrant from Melbourne and Olivia Hastings from Adelaide recorded the fastest times in today’s heats of the Powercor Stawell Gift and the Change Our Game Women’s Gift, placing them among favourites for Easter Monday’s finals. 

Former schoolboy rugby player Tarrant’s time was 12.29s off a mark of 3.75m. The 18 year old science student at Melbourne University is a Stawell first timer who’s only pro running race was the 2021 Burnie Gift which he won. He is coached by Adam Larcom and was previously a stablemate of Jack Hale. 

Second quickest in the Powercor Stawell Gift heats was Nicholas Antoninio off a mark of 8.75m in a time of 12.313s and third fastest was Leonard King off 3.75m in 12.341s.

Olivia Hastings off 7.25m had a time of 13.542s in the Change Our Game Womens Gift heats, followed by 2015 Womens Gift winner Grace O’Dwyer in 13.546s off 7m and Bella Pasquali in 13.623s off a handicap of 7.25m.

Olivia is coached by 2021 Change Our Game Womens Gift winner Hayley Orman’s coach Dan Semmler. “It’s been great training with Hayley and she has helped me a lot, I just missed out on the semi-finals last year so hopefully I’ll be able to go one better this year,” said Hastings.

Former Powercor Stawell Gift winners Isaac Dunmall (2016), Jacob Despard (2018), Dhruv Rodrigues Chico (2019) and defending champion Harrison Kerr all won their heats. Matt Rizzo, the 2017 winner, placed 2nd in heat no 3.

Freshly crowned Australian 200m champion Jake Doran was second in heat 6 from his 0.5m handicap which should see him through to Monday.

The fastest time recorded in the Arthur Postle 70m Handicap was by Jack Lacey in 7.52s off 7.5m, and in the Stawell Athletic Club Women’s 70m was Ruby Holten in 8.26s.

Fashions at Central Park presented by Cadbury added the glamour to Easter Saturday with winner of Lady of the Day Kathryn Jones and Best Dressed Gent Cameron Pensini winning $1000 and Best Hat was won by Isabella Antonio.

Local Stawell athlete Ashley Cowen took out the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers 1600m in a time of 4:03.82s.  The first sash of the day went to Charlie Sutherland in the Past Runners and Trainers Association Masters 1600m in a time of 4:18.68s. The Stawell Athletic Club Women’s Handicap 800m Final winner was Claire Hurley in 02:7.36.  Daniel Hornstra was the winner of the Hipworth Athletic Club Under 18 800m at 1:57.83 and the Powercor Little Athletics Handicap 800m was won by defending champion Sloan Mullholland with a time of 2:08.40.

Easter Sunday is Family Day with the Easter Egg Hunt and MattyB Kids Clinic ahead of another list of exciting races including the semis and finals of the Stawell Athletic Club Women’s 70m and the Arthur Postle 70m as well as the heats of the SYPAQ Lorraine Donnan 400m Women’s Handicap.

RESULTS Full results for Day 1 of the Power Stawell Gift Carnival are here 

PHOTOS for Day 1 are here 

Tickets for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are available from Ticketek or at the Box Office at the gate.

Easter Sunday is Family Day with a host of activities happening for the kids on and off the track and admission is free for under 12’s. The finals of the Change Our Game Women’s Gift and Powercor Stawell Gift and other races are broadcast live and free on Seven from 11.30am AEST on Easter Monday April 10, and across all three days of the carnival on 7+.

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