Melissa Breen, Abbey de la Motte, Kimberley Bush. Laura-Jane Hilditch, winner Carmen Oakley and Michelle Davis sprint to the line in yesterday’s Latrobe Women’s Gift final.LATROBE sprinter Carmen Oakley made it a hometown victory taking out the 2011 Latrobe Women’s Gift final at Latrobe yesterday.
Running from a handicap mark of 11 metres, Oakley, 23, who is more renowned as a 400 metre specialist, just pipped Launceston 17-year-old Abbey de la Motte (7.25m) on the finish line in the second thrilling gift finish of the day.
Her winning time was 12.80 seconds and the gift victory was her 10th Tasmanian Athletic League-career win.
Victorian runner Laura-Jane Hilditch (9.25m) finished third.
“It was pretty close but it’s definitely my biggest win and I’m pretty happy with that,” Oakley said.
“It felt pretty good and I was trying to catch Michelle Davis to start off because she has been hard to beat this year.
“I got up to her pretty early and just tried to hold on with Abbey de la Motte finishing very quickly.”
Oakley, trained by Peter Fortune who also coaches de la Motte, said her form had been good this season with a couple of victories in warm-up carnivals and she thought she was a chance to win pre-race.
“I know a lot of people here so it’s nice to win in front of them,” Oakley said.
`I haven’t really focused on the 120 metres before but out of those races Latrobe has definitely been the one I wanted most to win.”
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