Olympic aspirant in breakthrough Macksville Gift win: PHOTOS

QUEENSLAND have won just every sports trophy on offer this year, so it should come as no great surprise to see the Macksville Gift prize also heading north, after one of the most successful carnivals in recent times despite inclement weather.

But it took someone special to secure the feature event, Olympic aspirant Aaron Stubbs, who was the back marker for the entire carnival.

The 25-year-old Gold Coaster found the turbo in the final 10 metres to gap a quality field.

"It was a very tough day and I had struggled in the other rounds," Aaron told the Guardian.

"But in the final I got a really good start and had a great top end. Ten to 15 metres out I thought I've got this.

"This is my second Macksville Gift and it is a great honour to win it. I will definitely be back next year."

Aaron said he was feeling "very positive" about his sprinting career, and would soon head to Queanbeyan for the gift there, while harbouring ambitions to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

Macksville Gift president Owen Rushton OAM said the event had been a triumph after a year where the very continuance of the historic race was questioned.

As late as March, the Gift had no major sponsor and had been forced to move its race track due to construction of the Macksville Skate Park.

But a new track was built, and significantly, Active Medical Imaging came onboard with substantial support in a partnership likely to extend well beyond 2015.

At the presentations, Owen made special mention of the efforts over many years of immediate past president Ken Capell, and the small but determined band of volunteers on the Gift committee.

"Every single one of them has done a great job," Owen said.

Despite a dumping of rain in the wee hours of Saturday, the new track stood up well to the pounding of feet, and will only improve with time.

This year's carnival included races from 70m to a mile, a street parade, a presentation of princesses, the ever popular banana hurl, markets and fireworks.

A number of local athletes starred, none more so than Mercedes Peterkin who ran strongly throughout, while the Newman boys from Largs were seemingly in everything, with Tom a finalist in the Gift and Jack clinching the 300m title after running around the entire field in the final bend.

Enjoy the photos from the night's finals.

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