Ballarat runner Cooper Sherman on course for a rare double after claiming 70m victory and qualifying fastest for Ballarat Gift | The mail

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THE wheels line up for Ballarat’s rising spring star Cooper Sherman, who is on course for the rarest of doubles at the Ballarat Gift after winning the 70m open final and qualifying fastest in the heats for Sunday’s featured event. Just 48 hours after running a 10.56 for the 100 metres, qualifying him for the World Junior Championships, having already secured a spot on the team in the 200m and 400m, Sherman burned the pristine grass at City Oval Saturday with a first victory in the 70m in 7.50 seconds and falling back with a time of 12.23 seconds in the heats of the 120m Gift. And it wasn’t as though he had been given a hometown handicap either with his start in the Gift just 4 yards out, just 0.25 yards clear of latecomer and 2020 winner Michael Hanna. In the 70m, Sherman started from just three meters but chased down his more seasoned opponents to claim an impressive victory. His victory came from Sam Taylor and Tom Templeton, who were the other two semi-final winners. After that win, Sherman admitted that while racing wasn’t his favorite event, it helped him tremendously in his longer events. “I’ve always been pretty good at the start, but I’d lost that a bit over the years, so the 70m is a great way to improve because it’s all about getting off to a good start,” he said. -he declares. “I didn’t even expect to make the semi-final to be honest, I’m thrilled to do this. None of this was planned, I work very hard, but I don’t have the build of a runner compared to others, I’m grateful for what I’m able to do.” But a few minutes later, Sherman again took to the track in what will be his favorite event for this weekend with his heat time of 12.23 seconds comfortably eclipsing last year’s winning time. final of 12.40 seconds. In fact, that time is just 0.1 seconds off the race record set in 1994. Sherman will not only have the weight of Ballarat on his back when he races, but will also have a host of serious good runners trying to top him on Sunday.Thomas Moloney of Cardigan also showed solid form winning his heat in 12.60 seconds Hanna seemed to have a lot in the tank when he easily won his heat in 12.43 seconds while Ryan of Narre Warren North Camille took advantage of his 10.25m handicap to surge to an impressive victory in his run in 12.38 se conditions Port Melbourne’s Jackson Bennett won another strong run but he must be in doubt on Sunday after appearing to pinch his left hamstrings while crossing the line. Richmond’s Rupert Lupo also looked outstanding in his 12.60-second run, slowing noticeably in the final 10 yards to check his position in the race. The women’s giveaway seems like an open matter and once again it’s the locals who seem set to figure prominently. When the draws came out with rising star Grace Kelly, Stawell Gift winner Hayley Orman and Ballarat’s Bay Sheffield winner Chloe Kinnersly and teammate Halle Martin, it looked like a pretty good field for the final. And it was Martin at 12 yards who threw down the gauntlet to his whimsical rivals with a solid win. Martin and Kinnersly’s sparring partner Tiana Shillito also won her heat, as did Taylah Perry, last year’s Gift runner-up and 70m winner. But there are two forward scorers who might have the biggest say, Isabella Antonino at 18 yards won her round in the day’s fastest time of 13.81 seconds while Tecoma’s Alex Tzilantonis, also at 18 meters, scored a solid victory in 14.02 seconds.