Bradley Jones may have missed out on a spot in Stawell Gift final on Monday but after switching from rugby union to running, the 25-year-old was very happy with what he achieved in an event he had targeted all season.
Jones came fifth in his semi-final, running the hallowed 120 metre grass course at Central Park, Stawell in 12.677 seconds in his second appearance Stawell.
Victorian Dhruv Rodrigues-Chico won the Stawell Gift final in 12.151 seconds from a 7 metre handicap.
Alexia Loizou, who ran the fastest time in the women's heats, won the women's gift final in 13.579 seconds from a 5.75 metre handicap.
Canberra-runner Clare Di Salis came third in her semi-final with a time of 14.140 seconds from a 6.5 metre handicap.
Lauren Wells narrowly missed out on a spot in the women's gift final, running second to Hana Basic after breaking the start and having to go back, but won the Jack Donaldson Handicap 400 metres race.
Jones, a PE teacher at Mt Stromlo High School, said his Stawell result made him more determined to keep running, improve his starts and make a future final.
"After today, it only makes me hungrier," he said.
Jones and Vikings Rugby team mate Jake Knight, who came sixth in his Stawell Gift heat on Saturday, set their sights on the Queanbeyan Gift a few years ago.
They were probably the fastest wingers on their rugby team, and it was serendipitous they played with the Oakman-Hunt twins, Michael and Dean, because their mother, Debbie Oakman, was a track coach.
Oakman took the aspiring runners on and after three months of training, the pair tackled the Queanbeyan Gift and made the semi-finals.
"Our rugby bodies were probably five or ten kilos heavier than all the other guys. We looked out of place a bit but we went quite well, so from that we thought it would be pretty cool to go to Stawell," Jones said.
"I think after that first gift we ever went to we realised we needed to lose a bit of size because we were both bulked up and muscly from rugby."
Jones admits he didn't do very well at his first Stawell Gift in 2017.
"But obviously we're starting to go a bit better and hopefully if we stick at it over the next few years, I'd love to win the Queanbeyan Gift and I'd love to make a Stawell Gift final," he said.
Jones said he didn't finish on Saturday as well as he wanted to.
"If I can either get a bit fitter or drop a few more kilos to finish that 120 metres off, I could probably compete in future years," he said.