The big names continue to sign up for the Christmas Carnivals series, with confirmation national 400m champion and Rio Olympian Morgan Mitchell will compete at Latrobe, Devonport and Burnie.
The 22-year-old will run in the 120m gifts at Latrobe and Burnie, along with her pet event the 400m at Devonport.
“I have only competed in two other pro events before,’’ Mitchell said on Tuesday.
“I'm a newbie, but I do love pro races, I think they're exciting and it changes the game a little bit.
“Plus I love the chase. I'm not sure what I'm expecting really, I just want to have a good hit out, gain some more experience with pro racing and see where I'm at with my fitness. It should be a good week.”
Joining Mitchell at the carnivals will be a number of her training partners, including Victorian 100m and 200m champion Will Johns and Bendigo Black Opal winner Sam Baird.
The squad’s coach Peter Fitzgerald said his Melbourne-based group were looking forward to their first taste of series.
“We have been training really hard, and to date there has been no serious racing in Victoria,’’ Fitzgerald said.
“The Christmas Carnivals will be our first serious hit out. It gives all the athletes an opportunity for some hard racing in a unique (for them) environment.
“As a coach it gives me an opportunity to see how individuals are travelling, with a view to making adjustments in training for the New Year.
“I personally have not been to the Christmas Carnivals before, either as an athlete or a coach.
“I have heard only good things from both athletes and coaches over the years so I am really looking forward to coming down, having a look for myself and getting into the spirit of handicap racing.”
Mitchell, who is mentored by Cathy Freeman, is coming off a strong 2016 where she competed in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the Olympics.
She recently helped promote the Nitro Athletics concept alongside superstar Usain Bolt.
She said she was hoping to ‘’run even faster” in 2017, with Tasmania a good starting point for that.
Mitchell joins Ryan Gregson, Genevieve LaCaze, Issac Dunmall, and Elly Graf as big name visiting runners for the upcoming series.
READY TO RACE: Rio Olympian Morgan Mitchell is a confirmed starter for the upcoming Christmas Carnivals series. Picture: Getty Images