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Tahlia Evans wins the Norfolk Island “Gift” 2018

Tahlia Evans wins the Norfolk Island “Gift”


Early on Saturday afternoon, the 10th February, with the rain clouds lifting over the Malcolm Champion Oval, a rising star emerged to take out the 20th Edition of the Norfolk Island Gift. Tahlia Evans posted the fourth fastest time in winning her heat and saved the best until last to win the final ahead of Sophie Pulsford and a very fast finishing Chayla Williams.


Place getters in the 100 metres and the first four athletes across the line in the World Traders 400 metres and the Middlegate Mile were:


Norfolk Island Gas Centre  “Gift” 100 metres:


  • 1st   Tahlia Evans

  • 2nd   Sophie Pulsford

  • 3rd   Chayla Williams

  • 4th   Ella Rogers

  • 5th   Charlie Carr

  • 6th   Sy Jason

  • 7th   Ella Borg

  • 8th   Koszta Deszecsar


World Traders 400 metres:


  • 1st    Sophie Pulsford

  • 2nd   Tahlia Evans

  • 3rd   Ella Rogers

  • 4th   Chayla Williams

  • 5th   Telani Schmitz

  • 6th    Charlie Carr


Middlegate Mile:


  • 1st   Teva Evans

  • 2nd   Vinnie Martinovich

  • 3rd   Jesse Schmitz

  • 4th   Croyden Snell

  • 5th    Brandon Borg    


With just over 50 entries across the 3 events for the afternoon and a great age range of 8 years old to nearly 40, the Norfolk island Gift pits all ages and genders against each other using a handicap system developed by World Masters Athletics. Everyone has an equal chance to win but fitness levels and tactics plays a big part in who eventually wins.


With around $2000 in total prizes on offer there was plenty of enthusiasm to gain a podium finish resulting in some outstanding results and great competition.

Tahlia Evans, Ella Borg, Ella Rogers and Charlie Carr all won their respective heats and progressed through to the final on their times with Ella Rogers firming as the favorite for the title with the fastest time heading into the final.


With the “Gift” final scheduled for the last event of the afternoon, it was on to the World Traders 400 metres with 20 competitors placed around the track on their respective handicap marks before Starter, Tim Rogers, fired the gun to get the race underway. Favorite for this event was last year’s winner Tahlia Evans but her dream of back-to-back wins was to be dashed by 8-year-old Sophie Pulsford (whose age handicap placed her almost 50 metres ahead). In a very courageous run Sophie dug deep to hold off a strong finishing Tahlia to take first place barely one second ahead of Tahlia. Ella Rogers finished in fine style to take out third spot ahead of the Chayla Williams, Telani Schmitz and Charlie Carr.


The Middlegate Mile, the toughest of the afternoon’s events, was next up and attracted a field of 12. To start, the athletes lined up in single file with each athlete commencing running at specific timed intervals that are determined based on gender and age handicaps. With the back markers sometimes starting over 1 minute behind much of the rest of the field it becomes a real challenge to reel in those in front. With his younger sister, Tahlia, shining in the sprint events, it was up to Teva Evans to take up the challenge of the mile. As the back marker in this event it took more than the first lap to start to pick up the first of the earlier starters but he steadily worked his way through the field and finally took the lead in the latter part of the last lap to take out this years mile title. Vinnie Martinovich had taken the lead after passing by Callum Clay and George Peay early into the second lap and held the front until Teva ran him down in the home run. The Schmitz family picked up another prize and third place in the mile with Jesse Schmitz proving that he is an athlete on the rise with a very consistent performance. Croyden Snell, who had to watch most athletes start well before he did and only a few seconds in front of Teva, also ran very well to reel in most of the field and to take out 4th place ahead of Brandon Borg, CJ Sharp and Tony Martinovich.


Back then to the final of the Norfolk Island Gas Centre “Gift” 100 metres.

Ella Rogers had come into the final with the fastest heat time and shared the same handicap as Tahlia Evans as they lined up for the start. Koszta Deszecsar had qualified second fastest but his afternoons campaign had also included starts in the 400 metres and the mile. Chayla Williams, with the third fastest heat time had passed on the mile to save her energy for the 100 final. With a great turn out of family and friends lining the track the field settled for the start. With a good start Tahlia quickly displayed her dominance but had to work hard to drag in Sophie Pulsford (starting a little over 11 metres in front), eventually winning by half a second over Sophie. Chayla ran strongly through the finish but could not catch Tahlia or Sophie, taking out third spot. Ella Rogers ran into 4th with a time over half a second slower than her heat time, ahead of fast finishing Charlie Carr. Sy Jason picked up 6th place followed by Ella Borg in 7th and Koszta rounding out 8th place.


Prize giving followed, with Athletics Norfolk Island President, Brentt Jones and board member, Tim Rogers presenting.  Tahlia Evans received the Norfolk Island Gas Centre 100 metres “Gift” plaque and cup as well as the $400 that accompanies it. All eight finalists in the 100 metres and the first six place getters in the 400 and five in the mile received a range of very generous prizes provided by the following wonderful sponsors:


  • Norfolk Island Gas Centre

  • World Traders

  • Air Norfolk Travel ( TravelWorld)

  • Norfolk Island Building Supplies

  • Norfolk Island Supermarkets

  • Max’s Department Store

  • Pete’s Place

  • Paradise Resort

  • Governors Lodge

  • Pawpaw’s Pumpshed

  • Cascade Motors


Thank you to our sponsors for their continuing support and to all participants and family supporters for a great afternoons activity.

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