Shock win for Hoskins in MUAC Christmas Gift

MUAC Christmas Gift

Hoskins wins the MUAC Christmas GiftWayne Hoskins has caused a major upset in the MUAC Christmas Gift, beating more fancied rivals to take out the 120m handicap event at the Rawlinson on Wednesday, 16th of December.  The early action gave no indication of the boilover that was about to occur on the hot December evening.  MUAC head coach Manfred Lewandowski had run his discerning eye over the fields for the 120m and 1000m races and assigned marks.  Some athletes, possibly preparing all year for this event, had not recorded relevant times and wild claims were made about how injured they were and how slowly they would run, all in order to secure a favourable handicap.

With Terry Reade in charge of the starter’s pistol, the heats of the gift seemed to go to plan, with Aaron Tan, Lauren Jauncey and Michael Cugnetto-Tendyke all storming through from long marks to make the final.  Jacquie Sharples and Emma Zalcman suffered the wrath of the starter after breaking and were given an extra metre of handicap.  The close observer might have noted that Hoskins ran the heat in flats and was easing up at the line, and concluded that an upset was possible.

MitchThe attention of the crowd, however, has now turned to the 1000m handicap with athletes arrayed on the track for hundreds of metres, waiting for the start. Whilst  David Ulbrick, running off scratch, was the first to make a significant move, quickly making up the gap to Beaumont, Wong and Paroissien, .  Tthe real action was at the front of the field as Jas Neve took a commanding lead into the final lap, pursued by Charlie Sheldon.  Down the final straight, Charlie inexorably reeled Jas in to win by a short head in racing parlance.

A few minutes respite, to allow Wayne to recover from the 1000m he had just run (and to put some spikes on), built the tension as the athletes stood behind their blocks.  In the final were Hoskins, Emma Doyle, the front marker Carmen Deane, Lauren Jauncey, Aaron Tan and backmarker Michael Cugnetto-Tendyke.  Hoskins, in true distance running style, disdained to use starting blocks and looked a lonely figure as the other five athletes crouched down for the start.  A puff of smoke and a bang – the race is on!

Tan and Cugnetto-Tendyke, with at least 15 metres to make up, get into their work early and Jauncey pushes hard but no one can catch the smokey from the distance squad, Wayne Hoskins and he salutes the crowd, Jon Drummond style, as he crosses the line for the win.

After the excitement, the MUAC crowd retired to Trinity College for a bbq and some post race analysis.

Many thanks to Kate Scarlett for organising the bbq, Frank Henagen for organising the venue, Manfred Lewandowski for the handicapping and Terry Reade for starting the races.