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Doran through to Stawell Gift semis

Reigning Australian 100m champion Jake Doran has booked his spot in the semi-finals of the $120,000 Stawell Gift.

Making his debut in the celebrated 120m handicap race on the grass track at Central Reserve, the 21-year-old Queenslander was third in his heat on Saturday.

But Doran’s time of 12.54 seconds off a 0.5m handicap was good enough to claim a position in Monday’s semi-finals.

In a good day for the backmarkers, powerhouse New Zealander Eddie Osei-Nketia also got through to the knockout rounds.

The scratch marker stopped the clock at 12.27.

New Australian 200m champion Aidan Murphy (0.75m), Calab Law (1m) and Jacob Despard (1.25m) also advanced.

The fastest qualifiers were Hamish Lindstrom (8.5m) in 12.05 and Harrison Kerr (9.25m) in 12.08.

The semi-finals and finals of the blue-riband Gift races will all take place on Easter Monday, with the men’s and women’s winners both pocketing $40,000.

Big-name scratch markers Torrie Lewis and Bree Masters were untroubled in advancing to the semis of the women’s Stawell Gift.

Teen sensation Lewis, who did the 100m-200m double at last weekend’s Brisbane Track Classsic, won her heat in 13.97.

Masters was even more impressive, crossing the line first in heat 13 in 13.77.

Other backmarkers to win their heats included Mia Gross (0.75m) in 13.80 and Taylah Cruttenden (1.75m) in 13.88.

West Australian Cruttenden was a close second to Lewis in the under-20 100m final at the national championships in Sydney earlier this month.

Danielle Shaw (5.5m) and Carla Bull (6m) were the fastest women’s heat winners on Saturday in 13.64.

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