Gec makes her mark

Alicia Gec (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Taylors Lakes’ Alicia Gec had to overcome more than just her opposition to claim the girls 100 metre handicap at the Stawell Gift.

Gec was one of the backmarkers heading into the final, but was able to do enough to come through and win by 0.037 of a second.

Heavy rain fell on Monday with many doubting the finals would go ahead and with several races postponed.

Gec wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

“It feels amazing, considering the uncertain weather conditions I was unsure if the event was going to be run in the first place,” she said.

“Although I anticipated that it would be fairly wet on the Monday, neither I nor the many other families and athletes expected the weather to intensify so drastically, in which the thought of it being cancelled was becoming more likely.

“However, thanks to the support of the officials, the track was made as dry as possible enabling the race to proceed.”

Gec said she didn’t set many expectations heading into the event at Stawell. Her brother and younger twin sisters were also competing, with all three girls in the one event with her sisters both making the semi finals.

“I approached the race without any major expectations. In the past, having competed in similar conditions during cross country, I focused solely on the finish line, hoping to cross the line with my best efforts,” Gec said.

“While my sisters and I have participated in the Stawell Gift over the past two years, our minds were always set predominately on the longer distance events like the 800 metre and 1600 metre “This year, we shifted our strategy towards the sprints and I was lucky enough to come home with the win.”

Gec decided to try the 100 metre event after feeling really good in her 200 metre training.

For the 16-year-old, she’s been involved in athletics for 10 years.

“I have used it as a tool to stay fit and healthy. In more recent years, I have become more competitive in the sport, achieving state medals in the 400 metre and 400 metre hurdles for LAVIC [Little Athletics Victoria] and AVIC [Athletics Victoria].

“I will be taking part in the 400 metre hurdles at nationals in Adelaide and hope to maintain some successful results.”

Now with a taste of success at Stawell, Gec isn’t content to settle on that.

“My aspirations include coming back to Stawell in the future to secure a win in the women’s 120 metre handicap.

“Although it can seem daunting for a teenager to win such a prestigious race, I have become even more motivated after this victory to work harder during the off season and to stay more consistent with my trainings.

“It’s truly inspiring to see young female athletes winning the event and I hope to do so in the future. In addition, wearing the green and gold has always been a major ambition of mine.

“With dedication and persistence I hope to fulfil this goal.”