REIGNING Stawell Gift champion Isaac Dunmall made the most of his first visit to the south-west this weekend.
The Queenslander took out the men’s 120m gift at Terang on Sunday, backing up his runner-up finish in the 100m Warrnambool Gift on Saturday.
He also took out the men’s 70m final at Warrnambool.
His win at Terang came despite a slight injury worry heading into the event.
“I was a bit skeptical coming into the race – I had a little bit of a twinge in the hamstring going over the line yesterday (Saturday) at Warrnambool,” Dunmall said.
“But the body held up fine.
“Going into the final I was really confident. I was feeling really confident and thinking I could take out the final.
“I’m really just happy with these races today. Really, really stoked. I couldn’t have asked for any better.”
The wins were the perfect way to launch his season in Victoria, where he hopes to defend his Stawell title in April.
“I know my mark will be four metres at Stawell,” Dunmall said.
“From here, it (the plan) will be just trying to get better, see if I can go back-to-back.”
Essendon runner Cara Boustead had a memorable weekend, taking out the 300m women’s and veterans’ Jayne McMeel Vase on Saturday and backing it up with a win in the 120m Terang Gift on Sunday.
She said was keen for one indulgence after defending her Terang Gift women's title.
"I'd love to have a big block of chocolate, but I probably should behave," she said.
Boustead, running off 9.75m, said she was elated to win at a venue which reminded her of his northern Queensland roots.
"I haven't come down yet. It is amazing," she said.
"Yesterday's shock win (at Warrnambool) was the icing on the cake."
Warrnambool men’s gift winner Ryan McNamara, from Watsonia, took top honours in his Warrnambool debut, eclipsing Dunmall in the men’s 100m final.
“It’s a bit surprising – I didn’t really have the expectation to come and win in my first run of the season,” he said.
The triumph made the four-hour trip to Warrnambool – where he only competed in the one event – more than worthwhile.
The title race of the Warrnambool Victorian Athletics League meeting ended up being the 19-year-old’s only for the weekend, after he pulled out of the Terang gift when he pulled up sore from Saturday’s races.
McNamara, who has been competing in the Victorian Athletics League gift meetings for four years, was thrilled with his efforts at Warrnambool and excited about the season ahead.