After a two-year hiatus the prestigious Somerset Gift returned in full swing with over 100 athletes taking to the Somerset College athletics track in a bid to stake a claim of the $23,000 in prize money on offer.

There were several highlights throughout the day including:

  • The coveted Michael Brohier Cup was taken out by first time Gift entrant Adam Evans. In a nail-biting finish, Evans finished the stronger over the illusive Scott Walsh, with David Thornton finishing in third (Thornton was later overheard on the phone to his mentor Alex Beck, questioning whether his technique advice given the previous day had really helped).
  • The Under 13 100m Male Final was closely contested with Somerset students Thomas O’Brien and Jackson Yeung finishing second and third respectively.
  • Aidan Mackie and Harrison Georgeson finished second and third in the Under 14/15 100m combined male race.
  • Lucy Twigg capped off a stellar afternoon by finishing fifth in the Open Female 100m Final. Despite coming off the back marker in most of her races, Twigg showed her capacity to finish strongly and continued to back up well all afternoon.
  • Alumni Ryan Neale finished second in the 300m Open Final and was joined on the podium by fellow Alumni James Arnold who finished second in the Open Mile.
  • The Georgilopoulis brothers dominated the Pole Vault Competition with Marcus and Liam placing first and second in the Open competition and Alex Arbuthnot third. In the Open Female comp, Dash Newington claimed the top prize while Somerset student Kassia Brown finished second, and Sienna Clare third. Many thanks to Howard Arbuthnot for his time in overseeing this competition on the day.

In our two main races some great stories came to light. Despite being one of the oldest competitors on the day, Ramona Casey made the trip up from Newcastle worthwhile by taking out the Open Female 100m Final. In the Open 100m Final, 2022 Commonwealth Games Triple Jumper Julian Konle snuck home him in a tight finish. The pair – first time winners of the Somerset Gift, each collected $5,000 for their effort.

The Gift epitomises College, Community, and Competition, and these traits were once again highlighted throughout the day. Our friends from the Mudgeeraba Special School were of great support and assistance and their 50m race reflected the opportunity to be included means for these students.

A special moment also occurred when it became evident our youngest competitor and current Somerset student Arabella Delzoppo lined up for the Under 12 100m Girls Heat. Despite competing against much older athletes, Arabella – a prep student wasn’t overawed by the occasion, giving her all from start to finish. Her attitude and effort are to be commended and she is definitely an athlete to watch out for in the future.

Many thanks to those who assisted on the day especially Bruce Duncan and the Queensland Athletic League, Jacqui and Olivia Sina, John Bacon, Stephanie Oppermann, and Sherry Wilson. The Logistics Team for their support in setting up, Tayla Haynes for her assistance in putting the programme and marketing materials together, and of course all our sponsors who – without them the day wouldn’t be possible.

Click here to watch Channel 9’s coverage of the event.

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