Norfolk Island "Gift" 2015
Despite the need to postpone the “Gift” by one day, a great group of athletes, friends and families settled into an afternoon of athletics at the Malcolm Champion Oval on Sunday 6 December.
In over 20 years of staging the Norfolk Island Gift, the events have been based on the World Masters Grading Tables that are used to handicap athletes based on their age and gender to ensure that every participant has an even chance of winning a particular event. It is then up to fitness and preparation that eventually determines the winners and placegetters. The 2015 events included three events, the Norfolk Island Gas Centre 100 metres, the World Traders 400 metres and the Middlegate Mile.
Entries this year included a many school students ranging across all age groups and some of our “senior” athletes took part to including our most senior athlete, Ian Anderson at a sprightly 83 years of age. Almost $2000 in prizes was on offer across the 3 events including prizes for all finalists in the Norfolk Island Gas Centre 100m, and the top 4 finishers in the World Traders 400metres and the Middlegate Mile.
The afternoon’s activities began with the running of the heats of the “Norfolk Island Gas Centre” 100 metres. Mark Kalsrap was again looking for a win, backing up on the 3 previous editions, but his efforts in the first of the 4 heats was not enough to see him progress through to the final for the first time in many years. Relegating Mark to second place in the first heat was Zoe Cribb who eventually was able to secure a spot in the final for a second year running. The second heat raised the prospect of a new favourite for the title when Amber Millett stormed through to finish comfortably ahead of Arki Nobbs and Jack McCowan. Ian Anderson appeared in the third heat alongside the Sadrata sisters, Meresiana and Alesi, who both had shown great promise as athletes during the year. The surprise package was Jordy Godfrey taking out the heat ahead of Meresiana and a fast finishing Douglas Snell. The final heat was the fastest of the day with a close finish between the first three who all progressed to the final. Chayla Williams staked her claim to “favourite” status with a blistering race to pip Andre Nobbs at the post and followed in by another emerging quick, Ella Borg. Great to see Hadyn Evans getting amongst the action with a closely run 4th place in that heat.
The World Traders 400 metres followed the completion of the 100 meter heats and is an event that is run in one mass race with athletes placed on handicap marks around the first bend of the track and into the back straight. The winner is determined by who can make it to the finish line first and with 23 entrants, the firing of the gun began the mad dash. Mark Kalsrap, starting with the least handicap looked like he was determined this year to take the title after his 4th place in 2014 and quickly passed other back markers in a very fast first 200 metres. He was not able to catch the fast finishing girls in front but improved his placing from 2014 to take a podium finish in 3rd place. Arki Nobbs left everything on the track as he fought to reel in markers in front of him, passing at least 15 runners to secure a solid finish and 5th place. Again, Amber Millett impressed with her courageous performance to pick up 4th spot overall but it was the two 11 year olds, Chayla Williams and Ella Borg who fought it out for the title of champion. Both girls raced neck and neck for most of the race with Ella fading towards the end for a well-deserved 2nd place and around 2 seconds behind a very strongly finishing Chayla Williams. Congratulations Chayla on an outstanding effort and your first World Traders 400 metres title. There are sure to be more victories in the future.
The organisers allowed competitors to recover from the exertion of the 400 metres, before calling for starters in the “Middlegate” Mile (1609 metres). Each athlete in this event is given a time handicap from when the race starts. When their time is called they begin the race and chase the field over the 4 laps of the race – first home across the line is then the winner. Jacob Millett unfortunately had a tussle with a bee shortly after his start and had to retire. Jedd Gardner backing up again after his previous wins in 2013 and 2014, again showed he has the makings of a great athlete with another good race. He was able to pass all but one of the athletes starting ahead of him and another solid performance from Jedd had him taking out 2nd place. Jesse Schmitz, at only 8 years of age and who took out 6th place last year, tackled the mile and made it look easy and with very proud parents looking on he ran almost effortlessly into 3rd spot, holding out veteran runner Richard Cribb and winner of this years “Around the Island Relay and Race” who took out 4th place with yet another powerful display. The performance of the afternoon was reserved for the winner of the Middlegate Mile, Sue Mahoney, who had earlier this year shown us her prowess during the Around Island Relay where she steered her team home to win the Relay title. Spending many hours training around Kingston and other locales on Norfolk she was a very firm favourite and did not disappoint. In a dominating display of running she extended her handicap lead after every lap and managed to lap many of the other competitors before crossing the line over 40 seconds clear of the rest of the field to take out first place. Another late entrant in the mile was father of the Sadrata sisters, Emosi, who made the afternoon a real family affair by entering at very short notice. Although not making the prize list his effort was applauded by all in attendance and again demonstrated the great sporting fellowship that this event generates. Well done to all involved.
Another break allowing a little more recovery time for athletes in the 400metres and mile, and then it was back to the 100 metre start for the running of the “Norfolk Island Gas Centre”100 metres final. Some impressive heat times meant that the final was going to be a close contest with little more than ½ a second separating the heat times of the 8 finalists. With no Mark Kalsrap in the final favourite status lay on the shoulders of Chayla Williams, having posted the fastest heat time but in an event like this it is still anyone’s race. As the front marker, Amber Millett, who had given the mile a miss to save her energy for the 100 metre final, looked set to star. An initial false start and call back took their toll and almost a second slower than her heat time she ran into 8th place just behind Jordy Godfrey. Ella Borg and Zoe Cribb fought a close battle for 5th and 6th with Zoe victorious after only being separated by a photo finish. Meresiana Sadrata reeled in many of the front markers to fall agonisingly short of the podium and a 4th place finish behind back marker, Arki Nobbs. Again, the photo finish came into play with Chayla Williams just pipping Arki to take 2nd place However, it was veteran Andre Nobbs who had saved his best until last, to improve on his 2nd place in his heat and to take out the Norfolk Island Gas Centre 100 metres title for 2015 and with it, the winners’ cheque of $400 and the “Gift” perpetual shield.
At the conclusion of the Norfolk Island Gas Centre”100 metres final the prize giving was held with prizes awarded by President of Athletics Norfolk Island, Brentt Jones. Ian Anderson attended the afternoons events and as one of the major sponsors was invited to present the prizes in the “World Traders” 400 metres. Thank you to Ian for his ongoing support.
Athletics Norfolk Island is grateful for the attendance of parents and friends to support the athletes at these annual events and thanks to those who assisted with timing and preparation of the event for the afternoon particularly Rose Evans and Brianna Stephens.
As in previous editions of the “Gift”, a range of very generous sponsors has assisted Athletics Norfolk Island in providing great support for the prizes on offer for these events. Athletics Norfolk Island and all entrants are always extremely grateful for this ongoing support. Particular thanks to our very long time sponsors of the “Gift”, Chris and Karen Gatehouse from the Norfolk Island Gas Centre, which has been the title sponsor of the “Gift” since its inception. Grateful thanks also to Ian and Monica Anderson of “World Traders” for their very generous support for the 400 metres. Our sponsors are:
Norfolk Island Gas Centre
Pete’s Place and NI Building Supplies
Max’s department Store
South Pacific Resort Hotel
Paradise Hotel & Resort
Paw Paws Pumpshed
Norfolk Island “Gift” 2014 - Results
“Norfolk Island Gas Centre” 100 metres:
1st Andre Nobbs - Gas Centre prize and perpetual shield
2nd Chayla Williams - Travel World $150 voucher & NI Building Supplies voucher
3rd Arki Nobbs - NI Building Supplies and Governors Lodge vouchers
4th Meresiana Sadrata - Foodland voucher
5th Zoe Cribb - Max’s Department Store voucher
6th Ella Borg - South Pacific Resort voucher
7th Jordy Godfrey - Cascade Motors voucher
8th Amber Millett - Paradise Hotel & Resort voucher
“World Traders” 400 metres:
1st Chayla Williams - $250 World Traders Asics shoe voucher
2nd Ella Borg - $100 World Traders Asics shoe voucher & Foodland voucher
3rd Mark Kalsrap - $50 World Traders voucher and Governors Lodge voucher
4th Amber Millett - South Pacific Resort Hotel voucher
1st Sue Mahoney - Athletics Norfolk Island Prize $250
2nd Jedd Gardner - Pete’s Place voucher
3rd Jesse Schmitz - Max’s Department Store and Paw Paws Pumpshed voucher
4th Richard Cribb - Foodland voucher