Mikielee on fire in Fiji

by admin on August 20th, 2019

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BRONZED ATHLETE: Proud Aussie Mikielee snow with her medals from Fiji

Glen Innes athletic star Mikielee Snow has won two bronze medals and run personal best times at the Oceania Melanesian Championships held in Fiji recently.

Snow was part of the Regional Australia Team (RAT) that performed well at the games finishing fourth on the medal table despite the small size of the group, with four gold, one silver and seven bronze medals.

In the women’s medley relay Snow ran a very quick back straight to put her team in a good position in the home leg for the team to collect a bronze medal.

Snow bagged another bronze as part of the RAT 4x100m team along with Leilani Jones, Kayla Montagner and Jessica Peris.

Snow also performed quite well in her individual events, running a personal best of 12.64 in her under 18 100m heats, before backing up well to place 6th in the final.

She went one better on the final day in the 200m, finishing third in her heat, but showed a good ability to run multiple rounds as she ran into a stiff headwind only a couple of hours later to place fifth in the final.

Miss Snow was one of the youngest athletes to compete in the under 18s division but also stepped up and ran in the opens women’s competition against much more seasoned athletes in the relay’s and said she will better for the experience.

“I definitely want to go back because I’ll be older and stronger and hopefully better equipped to gain podium finishes,” she said.

Jodie, Mikielee and Tony Snow

“I reckon considering my age I ran really well in Fiji and I am very happy with my results, but I know I will do better now that I have had this experience.

“Things like training in sleet and cold weather and then running in very hot tropical conditions has taught me a thing or two about preparation.”

Mikielee’s father Tony said that her coach has discussed starting weight training now that the Fiji competition has concluded.

“Her coach and I think that a small weight regime will help Mikielee with the power she needs to win races against older girls,” he said.

“She nearly always keeps up with her opponents out of the blocks but falls behind slightly in the middle stages of a race, in the transition phase.

“This type of training is part of the plan to grow with Mikielee as she grows.”

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More severe weather for Wimmera

by admin on August 20th, 2019

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Picture: PAUL CARRACHER WIMMERA is set for another windy day,the Bureau of Meteorology renewed a severe weather warning for the region.

The bureau report said Wimmera residents couldexpect strong and damaging winds throughout the day.

The reportsaid acold front south of the bight will move rapidly eastwards on Tuesday, crossing Victoria on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

North to northwesterly winds will strengthen ahead of the front late Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Damaging winds averaging 50 to 60 kilometres an hourwith peak gusts of 90 kilometres an hour are forecast to develop on Monday afternoon across the Wimmera.

They will reach the south-west, central and north-central forecast districts and contract eastwards across parts of the north-east, west, south Gippsland and east Gippsland forecast districts into the evening.

Wind gusts of about 110 kilometres an hourare possible inalpine areas.

The bureau issued a warning to sheep graziers across theMallee and Wimmera.

It warned sheep graziers that cold temperatures, rain and showers and strong north-westerly winds could hit on Monday, particularly during the afternoon and evening.

There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.

The State Emergency Service advisedpeople to move vehicles under cover or away from trees, secure or put away loose items around the house, yard and balcony, and keep clear of fallen power lines.

People who need help in floods or storms should call their service unit on132 500.

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Lofthouse returns to top of competition

by admin on August 20th, 2019

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DETERMINED: Keith Lofthouse showed his iron grit at the weekend in the Peter Gibson Handicap event. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

VETERANKeith Lofthouse has returned to the top of theStawell and AraratCrossCountryClub following a win in theeight-kilometre Peter Gibson Handicap at Dunneworthy Common in Ararat.

He said he had givenserious thought to a premature end to his running season after a series of nine races with in which he could finish no better than ninth.

But in the lead up to the Peter Gibson Handicap he ran a close second during a 10-kilometre event, increasing his confidence heading into race in Ararat.

Lofthouse said he had been facing some issues during his previous races.

“I was in poor form and ordinary health,” he said.

“There were no signs of improvement and thought I might have been doing myself more harm than good.

“I really thought about pulling the plug.

“And then, unexpectedly, I ran a strong five-kilometre race with the Stawell Amateurs and it was like a light being switched on.

“I was unfit one day and fit the next and the turnaround has stunned me.”

Before his revivalhe would have been at Prince of Penzance odds to win but hissecond place in the 10-kilometre raceshot him into contention for the handicap.

Despite the improvement Lofthouse said he had still held some doubts about his chances.

“I still didn’t think I could win,” he said.

“The 10-kilometrerace was on a fast and flat course and I always race well there, but the Gibson race had a challenging hill and I thought that might find me out.”

He said his confidence was further shaken by another poor 10-kilometre race at Stawell just 24 hours before.

It was a resulthe just could not explain.

“It was a tough course and I struggled all the way,” he said.

“I wasn’t saving myself,I just couldn’t do any better.”

In the handicap he gave the much improved Shevahn Healy a 15-secondstart.

Lofthouse lost sight of her as they climbed the Cherry Tree Track.

He said he estimated her lead had extended to 45 seconds as they began the downhill trek.

“I caught her with two kilometres to go but to Shevvie’s credit she stuck like glue and I was surprised to see she was only seven seconds behind me at the finish,” he said.

Healy, has developed into an endurance specialist andclocked a personal best for the distance.

She ralliedto suppress a late charge from 2015 Gibson winner Jack Trounson, who was backafter a six-week spell interstate.

The next race is the Trounson Family sponsoredeight-kilometre run in the challenging Ararat Hills on Sunday.

Free entry is offered to fun runners.

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Southern Phone appoints new managing director

by admin on August 20th, 2019

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WELCOME: New Southern Phone Managing Director David Joss, Chairman Bill Hilzinger, and outgoing Managing Director, Mark Warren. Photo supplied. SOUTHERN Phone Company Ltd is pleased to announce it has appointed David Joss as Managing Director, effective from July 1, 2016.

David is succeeding Mark Warren, who is retiring after leading the organisation for two years.

“After an extensive executive search, the Board is very pleased to have David take the reins of Southern Phone,” Chairman Bill Hilzinger said.

“He brings extensive regional-focused telecommunications experience and will play an enormous role in building on the business’s achievements.

Mark has really set the business up for success over the past couple of years, and we believe that David is the right person to take it forward to great heights.”

Having worked as CEO of Bendigo Bank subsidiary Community Telco Australia, and in marketing and business development roles with SingTel Optus, David brings more than 20 years’ industry experience to Southern Phone.

David, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, said, “It is an absolute pleasure to join the Southern Phone team.

The business’s foundations are very solid.

The company has enjoyed great success by focusing on customer service and regional communities.

I look forward to consolidating and building on these core pillars, as well as embracing new opportunities that will result from the changing telecommunications landscape within Australia.”

David has a history of community involvement, having been an inaugural commissioner for AFL – Central Victoria, Chairman of a Victorian Football League Club and various governance roles in primary and secondary schools.

“I’ve been active in community based sport and education for many years which I think aligns very well with the community ethos of Southern Phone,” he said.

Outgoing Managing Director Mark Warren will remain at Southern Phone until mid-August to help in the handover.

“It has been a privilege to work with the staff and the Board at Southern Phone,” he said.

“The success of the business is the consequence of the efforts of the people who work at Southern Phone.

I am retiring with the business in good shape, and I want to acknowledge the efforts of everybody.

I wish David and the Board and the Staff, every success in the future.”

There are 41 shareholders from shire councils all over the state, 18 of which are in the Southern region.

They are: * Bega Valley Shire Council

* Bombala Council

* Boorowa Council

* Cooma-Monaro Shire Council

* Cootamundra Shire Council

* Eurobodalla Shire Council

* Goulburn Mulwarree Council

* Harden Shire Council

* Palerang Council

* Queanbeyan City Council

* Shoalhaven City Council

* Snowy River Shire Council

* Tumbarumba Shire Council

* Tumut Shire Council

* Upper Lachlan Council

* Wingecarribee Shire Council; and

* Yass Valley Council.

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Second’s out, Round 2

by admin on August 20th, 2019

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Rich pickings: Richie Porte leads his former Sky teammates including eventual champion Chris Froome during the Tour de France. Picture: Getty ImagesIN a race with as many variables and uncontrollables as the Tour de France there are always going to be countless what-ifs, if-onlys and damn-that-Team-Skys.

But from Meander to Monaco and Montmartre, Richie Porte fans the world over will be lamenting that he should have finished second in Paris.

As SBS’s 12-time stage-winner Robbie McEwen pointed out, Porte was undoubtedly the second best rider in the event.

But for the 1 minute 45 seconds the Tasmanian lost to a puncture on stage two, he would have been 33 seconds ahead of the best of the rest.

Instead he finished fifth, his best Grand Tour result, 35 seconds behind Brit Adam Yates in fourth, 56 off Colombian Nairo Quintana and the podium and 72 off the second place of Romain Bardet, the Frenchman whose stage-19 breakaway win was the most decisive move of the final week.

Wherever he may have deserved to finish, Porte’s performance did categorically resolve two issues.

Firstly, it put to bed criticism that he cannot last three-week tours out in front and that his niche was the week-long races like Paris-Nice, Giro del Trentino, Volta a Catalunya and Volta ao Algarve that adorn his palmares.

Secondly, it answered the question of who BMC’s best general classification contender is and hopefully killed off the team’s indecisive policy of joint leadership.

Having also endorsed Porte’s training regime of peaking later in the World Tour season, his impressive display suggests that while he does not lack for legs, what he really needs is another four-lettered ‘l’-word.

Every professional sportsman can point to examples of bad luck, but Porte seems to have so many in his saddlebag that he must have a taken a one-rider detour under a corridor of ladders somewhere early in his Grand Tour career.

When he assumed Sky team leadership in the 2014 Tour he promptly fell ill; when he was team leader at last year’s Giro he was penalised for what race organisers had initially described as a moment of admirable sportsmanship, then promptly crashed within sight of the safety of the neutral cut-off zone; and as one of the favourites in this year’s Tour he first suffered the untimely puncture and then crashed into a motorbike that decided to stop directly in front of him.

While having sympathy for Porte (who celebrated with James Boag), it is impossible not to also toast the one man who beat him beyond any question.

Tour organisers were accused of doctoring the race route in an attempt to hinder the dominance of Chris Froome. The Brit’s response could be understood in many more than the four languages in which he conducts post-race press conferences.

Restricted to just four of the genuine mountain-top finishes he has made his own in recent years, Froome demonstrated his frightening versatility.

As expected, he made time on the ascents, but also on descents (utilising the unorthodox but effective aerodynamic bum-up technique), through cross-winds on the flat and in time trials.

Only prevented from claiming four straight wins by cobblestone crashes in 2014, the Kenyan-born, South African-raised, Britain-representing, Tasmanian-holidayer is without doubt the best rider of his generation (as Porte has long said).

And the class act extends beyond the saddle as can be seen by Froome’s patient and polite succession of interviews moments after the sort of physical exertion the journalists asking the questions could never comprehend.

In previous Tours, Froome has been struck, had urine thrown at him and branded a “dopé” but consistently let his results speak for him.

The constant suspicion of pharmaceutical assistance meant that at one stage the most requested internet search after his name was “Chris Froome drugs”.

Now it is “salary”, “wife” and “running”, the latter pointing to Youtube clips of him using two feet rather than two wheels up Mont Ventoux following the motorbike pile-up (the best of which is speeded up and accompanied by the Benny Hill theme tune).

In admiring Froome, recognition must also be made of his team. The only slight quibble over McEwen’s observation would be that Porte was clearly the second best team leader in the race.

It can only be guessed at how good Froome’s loyal army of support riders, particularly Wout Poels, Sergio Henao and the Welsh wonder Geraint Thomas, would be if they were to follow the same route as Porte and switch teams to pursue their own general classification ambitions.

On the three-week race’s final ascent up the Col de Joux Plane, when every other team of substance was down to just one rider in the yellow jersey group, the yellow jersey himself had no fewer than four teammates for company, and, more importantly, assistance.

When Porte came unstuck on stage two, it cost him 105 seconds and a podium finish, when Froome skidded off on stage 19, he was back underway on Thomas’s bike even before the commentators had noticed.

Porte has another opportunity in the global spotlight next month when he makes his Olympic debut.

He remains in the form of his life, the hilly road race will be like a Tasmanian training ride to him and his support riders will be BMC teammate Rohan Dennis and late call-up Simon Clarke, the man who gave up his own wheel for Porte in last year’s Giro.

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