Sprinter makes history with Gift double
By GREG WHITE
CAMPERDOWN runner Matthew Pilkington achieved what every expert claimed was impossible, winning both feature events on the Macksville Gift program on Saturday.
Fresh from taking out the day's blue ribbon highlight, Pilkington backed up minutes later to win the Cath Miles Memorial 70-metre Sprint.
"Nobody has ever done what Matt was able to accomplish," Gift publicity officer Bill Richardson said proudly.
"Great stamina is needed to give so much in a short space of time."
Pilkington's effort was superb.
After showing patches of speed in the earlier heats, he hit top form to win his semi-final.
Richardson said while all this was going on, not many noticed Pilkington's quiet progress through the 70-metre rounds.
"No wonder," he said.
"Most thought the sprint was just a back-up if he went off course in the Gift."
Both finals went without a hitch for the city flyer and history was created.
In her first professional appearance, Nambucca teenager Laura Duncan streaked away from a class field for home-town victory in the Ladies' Sprint.
"The crowd got right behind her," Richardson said.
"Laura's win came straight after the Gift so there was a real buzz about the place."
After early morning threats of rain, the skies cleared for perfect running conditions.
"The Little A's interspersed with the heats to keep the crowd on their toes all day," Richardson advised.
"With the festive atmosphere and the fun everybody had in the street parade it was one of the best Gifts the town has seen."