Ballarat runner Cooper Sherman on course for a rare double after taking a 70m victory and qualifying fastest for Ballarat Gift | The mail

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THE wheels lined up for Ballarat’s rising sprint star Cooper Sherman, who even caught himself dominating the 70m Ballarat Gift on Saturday Just 48 hours after running a 10.56 for the 100m, qualifying him for the World Championships world juniors, having already earned a spot on the team in the 200m and 400m, 17-year-old Sherman scorched the pristine City Oval turf on Saturday in 7.50 seconds and fell back with a time of 12.23 seconds in the rounds of the 120m Gift. And it wasn’t as though he had been given a hometown handicap with his start in the Gift just four yards out, just 0.25 yards ahead of latecomer and 2020 winner Michael Hanna. In the 70m, Sherman started just three yards out as a latecomer but chased down his more seasoned opponents to claim an impressive win. Incredibly, victory was in his least favorite event, having focused his attention on the 100m to 400m races. His win came from Sam Taylor and Tom Templeton, who were the other two semi-final winners, but in truth they still seem to be right behind the youngster after running the fastest of the three semi-finals. After the victory, Sherman admitted that the 70m had helped him immeasurably in his longer events. “I’ve always been pretty good at the start, but I’d lost it a bit over the years, so the 70m is a great way to improve because it’s about getting off to a good start,” he said. -he declares. “To be honest, I didn’t even expect to make the semi-final, I’m delighted to do it. None of this was planned, I’m working very hard, but I don’t have the build a runner compared to others, I’m grateful for what I’m able to do.” Sherman was also named the fastest runner of the event at a special ceremony on Sunday afternoon before falling back in the men’s final but was unable to pursue southern Australian Duncan Cameron who set a pace dazzling in the morning semi-final before picking up a solid victory in the 120m final. Sherman has a busy few months ahead of him with coach Neville Down saying he will likely send his charge to both national titles and the Stawell Gift in April.