STAWELL - Ararat's Sarah Blizzard carried the hopes of the region on her shoulders in the final of the State of Victoria Strickland Family Women's 120m Gift yesterday.
The Marcus Cooper Stable star set the second fastest qualifying time of 13.60 seconds during her victory in heat seven on Saturday, before again claiming victory (13.70s) in the second semi final on Monday.
The two convincing wins saw Blizzard go into the final of the $6000 feature event as one of the favourites and she got away to a solid start.
Blizzard, off a 12.5-metre mark, and fellow 17-year-old Holly Dobbyn left the rest of the field in their wake as the two teens battled it out up the famous Central Park straight.
Dobbyn from Ballarat just pipped Blizzard on the line by 0.14 of a second.
There was plenty of drama earlier in the day during the final of the 400-metre ASICS Bill McManus Backmarkers event featuring Fraser Heard.
Heard was well poised as the race entered the final stages, but got caught up in a tangle with an opponent and both runners took a tumble.
Heard gallantly got back up and crossed the finishing line in seventh position.
For full story on all of Ararat's runners who competed in the 2014 Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival see Friday's edition of The Ararat Advertiser.