This year's Stawell Gift winner Edward Ware is coming to the south-west for the Warrnambool and Terang Gifts.
The Melbourne-based sprinter completed the rare feat of winning both the 2021 Stawell Gift and the 200-metre handicap. He took out the feature race in 12.19 seconds off his 9.75m mark.
Warrnambool Gift president Richard Wearmouth was excited to announce Ware would headline the December 4 event at Friendly Societies' Park.
"Ware had a brilliant Stawell campaign also taking out the coveted Jack Donaldson 200m handicap," he said.
"He will incur a severe handicap pull which will make his tasks this season a lot tougher.
"17-year-old Jack Boulton will be an obvious challenger. He has been both state and national champion in several events."
Terang Athletic Club president Ken Plummer was likewise pleased to confirm Ware was entered for Terang on December 5.
Boulton, who will also run at Terang, is the 400m under 18 national champion.
Wearmouth said Munashe Hove was another one to watch in the male field.
"He ran third in the most recent Stawell Gift and could have been unlucky as he broke at the start and was penalised a metre before being defeated by about the same margin," he said.
"Before Stawell he had victories at Castlemaine and Parkdale in the 400m from limited racing."
Meanwhile, Wearmouth believes the women's feature has attracted its strongest field since the Gift was restarted in 2013.
"Local star youngster Grace Kelly will be the one to beat again after her victory at just 14 years old last year," he said.
Warrnambool's Kelly made the Stawell final this year.
Wearmouth said one of Kelly's main rivals would be Ellie Keratianos.
"She narrowly missed out on the Stawell women's final which puts her right in the finish," he said.
The Gift president added Warrnambool speedster Hannah Duynhoven, who won the 2021 Hastings Women's Giftand the 2020 Keilor Women's Gift, would be in with a shot.
Boulton's older sister Gabriella, who won the 2020 Wangaratta Women's Gift and 2020 Parkdale Women's Gift is also a chance.
Past Stawell Gift winners Holly Dobbyn (2014) and Grace O'Dwyer (2015) are both quality backmarkers.
Plummer confirmed Kelly and O'Dwyer were also entered at Terang.
It'll be a significant day at Terang Recreation Reserve with the group to commemorate club great Tony Arundell who passed away in 2019.
"Known around the Terang Athletics Club as 'Mr Athletics' Tony could answer just about any question on the Stawell Gift," Plummer said.
"His passion for the sport was shown in his tireless work for just about any running event around Terang, from school sport, Little Athletics to our own Terang Gift.
"Tony's meticulous attention to detail when marking athletic tracks whether it was for school sports or for the Terang Gift, was always accurate and highly-valued."
The club had previously named its 120m Women's and Masters Handicap race in his honour.
Arundell's family will present a new trophy to commemorate his contributions and life to the winner of the Tony Arundell Women's and Masters Handicap.
Plummer noted Terang's numbers were up on previous years for its male and female Gifts.
"Both races have grown in entries this year which we are very proud of especially considering the COVID situation," he said.
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