Check out this memorable gift for Ipswich

Ipswich and District Athletic Club runners Nicholas Grant and Larissa Chambers after winning the latest Ipswich Gift races.


COUSINS Nicholas Grant and Larissa Chambers completed a memorable double for their home club by winning the major races at the latest Ipswich Winter Carnival.

It was the first time the Vic Pascoe coached Ipswich and District Athletic Club pair won their respective Ipswich Lightning Gift and Ipswich Ladies Gift handicap events over 120m.

Redbank Plains-based Grant won his heat, semi-final and the final off a handicap of 9.25m.

In the final at Bill Paterson Oval, 17-year-old Grant ran 12.67 seconds to beat QE2 runner Ardyn Foy (12.72) and UQ representative Sam Toleman (12.75).

Chambers won the Ladies Gift final in 14.14 seconds off a handicap of 4.50m.  She beat Demi Wynyard (14.22), from UQ, and another Ipswich club sprinter Liz Melrose (14.28).

All three finalists started their campaigns from heat two on Sunday, with Wynward off 11m and Melrose off 15.5m.

“I was very thrilled about it,” said Chambers, who turns 21 in November.

“It was a really good day throughout the heats and semis . . . perfect weather to actually be running in.”

Chambers came fifth in last year’s Ladies Gift and third in 2013.

She is also hoping to contest this weekend’s Mulgowie Gift, being nominated for the 100m and 400m.

She won last year’s Mulgowie Gift.

The Bellbird Park world junior championship competitor has been focusing on the 400m.

“At the moment it’s just training for nationals really,” the former 100m and 200m sprinter said.

“Then after that, if it all goes well at nationals in March, I’m looking to maybe qualify for world championships.”

She said running in the Ipswich handicap races provided some excellent early competition preparing for a new season.

“I’ve been competing pretty much every weekend so to get out there and do a different race like a handicap race is quite a change-up,” she said.

Grant had previously placed in the 2016 Novice Gift at the Gold Coast coming from a school athletics background.

“I think he’s going to start getting more into the bigger competitions,” Chambers said of her cousin.

Pascoe, who played a major role organising the 35th annual carnival, was delighted to see established runner Chambers and up and comer Grant fulfil early season goals.

“He (Grant) has really improved in the last six months,” Pascoe said.

Other club competitors on Sunday included Daniel Qualischefski, Lorenz Ryan, Tara Chaplin and Hayley Wright, who also work with Pascoe.

Among the family combinations were Michael Berlin and his daughter Erika Berlin, father and son Brad and Antony Buhse and the loyal Stolberg family featuring Theresa, Ryan and Toby.

Pascoe said Queensland Athletics officials worked extremely hard to collate all the results while working with the Queensland Athletic League.

Pascoe said another fantastic effort was by the Ipswich Little Athletics Club, which provided the electric timing and photo finish equipment.

Colourful race caller Graham Banister was at his best, offering statements like:  “They have finished across the track like a spilt packet of Jaffa’s”.


Major races

120m Lightning Gift final:  1 Nicholas Grant 12.67;  2 Ardyn Foy 12.72;  3 Sam Toleman 12.75;  4 Daniel Qualischefski 12.96;  5 Travis Iles 12.99;  Benjamin Hayward DNF.

120m Ladies Gift Open final:  1 Larissa Chambers, 14.14;  2 Demi Wynyard 14.22;  3 Elizabeth Melrose 14.28;  4 Katie Colebourne 14.40;  5 Tara Chaplin 14.44;  6 Michelle Mackey 14.62.