Holly Dobbyn wins Women's Gift

BALLARAT teenager Holly Dobbyn stormed to victory in the 2014 State of Victoria Strickland Family Women’s Gift final at Stawell’s Central Park on Monday.

The 17-year-old recorded the fastest heat time on Saturday  before cruising through her semi-final then out ran the challengers in the final for the $6000 prize.

Running off an 11.5-metre handicap in lane three, Dobbyn saluted in a time of 13.301 seconds.

The Ballarat Grammar student was thrilled with her gift win.

“I’m so ecstatic, I can’t believe it,” she said 

“I’ve worked really hard to get here.

“I was really nervous for the semi-final to be honest, but I sort of settled a bit for the final and composed myself.

“I knew it would be a bit tougher in the final and that I would catch them probably a little bit later in the race but once I felt like I was in the lead I was so excited.”

Ararat’s Sarah Blizzard – who recorded the second-fastest heat time on Saturday – finished second in a time of 13.434 seconds, while Kate Jones came in third with 13.586 seconds.

Blizzard, who is part of the Marcus Cooper stable of athletes, ran off 12.5 metres but could not keep  up with Dobbyn at the finish.

Cooper said Blizzard’s performances on Saturday and Monday had been impressive.

“It was pretty exciting,” he said.

“About 20 out Sarah came back level with her but Holly stepped it up at the end.”

Cooper said Blizzard came up against tough competition across both days.

“I put the heat on her from the word go, her heat was like a final,” he said. 

“She had some good runners in there in Kendra Hubbard and Kate Jones.

“She was very nervous for her semi-final but she got through quite comfortably in the end.”

Crowlands sisters Julia and Tiffany Boatman also raced in semi-finals in the morning, but neither won a place in the final.

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