THE Warrnambool and Terang gifts have received a staggering increase of entries for the 2019 editions of the south-west Victorian Athletic League events.
The long-running gifts both attracted over 400 athletes to compete across the two days of competition at Friendlies Society Park on November 30 and Terang Recreation Reserve on December 1.
The Warrnambool Gift's entries have risen by 165 while Terang has jumped up by 88 on last year.
Warrnambool Gift president Richard Wearmouth said the increase in entrants was "enormous".
"We offered some very enticing initiatives and conducted a vigorous social media campaign and the athletes have enthusiastically responded by their support, which ensures a great program and fierce competition," he said.
On Monday's closing date the Warrnambool Gift had attracted 434 entries while Terang had just one less.
Terang Gift president Ken Plummer said the increased entry list for the 13th edition of the event was "terrific".
"There is quite a lot of excitement going through the committee at the moment because we have put a lot of hard work into attracting athletes and creating a healthy gift," he said.
"It is something quite special for us as we are all volunteers so to have that sort of support from the athletes it makes us feel like a very fortunate town where we have also received amazing support from our sponsors.
"We are proud to have them supporting us and the town has been terrific supporters of athletics over many years. We are quite proud of our gift."
Two Warrnambool-based running stables highlight the south-west entries in the two gifts.
Rob Duynhoven and Wayne Perry's DPS Warrnambool squad and Jeremy Dixon's Inner Speed stable will have a number of athletes taking part across the weekend of action.
The two main events - the men's and women's Gift - have attracted excellent entries for both meetings.
The fields are headlined by Stawell Gift winners Liv Ryan and Isaac Dunmall.
2018 Bay Sheffield winner Harrison Hunt and Joel Bee also star entries in the men and last year's Warrnambool gift victor Jody Richards and third placegetter Ebony Lane will front up again in the women's.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.