A QUEENSLAND visitor returned to the Sunshine State with a maiden Terang Gift sash in his luggage.
Brisbane childcare worker James Woodgate defied his backmarker status to win the men’s 120m sprint on Sunday.
Woodgate, 24, ran off 6.25 metres to win from Ballarat’s Mason Keast (9m) and fellow Queenslander Tim Eschebach (6.50m).
“It feels great, (it was an) unexpected win but I was very happy with how I ran today. It was a great field,” he said.
“I didn’t expect to be the backmarker, being in the blue (bib) for the heat and semi, but it just proves how good the frontmarkers were today that I dropped back.”
Woodgate said he enjoyed the opportunity to visit Victoria and be a part of the Victorian Athletic League calendar.
“My ex-training partner Isaac (Dunmall), he’s been doing it for years and won the Stawell Gift a couple of years ago, so he sort of drags me down now and then,” he said.
“I am mostly a hurdler but I thought I’d chuck these in for a bit of fun.”
Melbourne-based runner Megan McMahon held off her clubmate Jody Richards to win the women’s 120m gift.
Frontmarker McMahon, 26, said she was thrilled with her maiden Terang triumph running off 16.2m.
“It means a lot. I ran in the Terang Gift last year and didn’t do too well,” she said.
“I was sore – we’d had Warrnambool the day before.
“There was no gift yesterday so I felt a bit fresher.”
McMahon said she had to work hard against a headwind to secure victory.
“In my heat I didn’t get the best start but in the final I had a better start,” she said.