September 2, 2018
Half Marathon at Yarra Boulevard, Burnley, September 2
By Ian Sloane
After the abandonment of the Ekiden at Anglesea, Box Hill retained a strong position on the ladder, at the top of the pack, with just two rounds to go. Our club had 18 senior men and three senior women on the line. The half Marathon distance is a little over 21 kilometres, and athletes found very cool, but relatively windless conditions at the start which were ideal for this race. There is a water station for athletes who need to have a drink. The course consisted of a small out and back loop, followed by four out and back sections.
At the start of the race, three athletes broke clear. These were Nick Earl (Melb. Uni), Charlie Park (Melbourne University) and Harry Summers (Box Hill). They established a gap of over fifty metres after the first kilometre. There was a big second group which contained several Melbourne University athletes (Frankie Conway, Caleb Muller and Eric Ueda) and there were a number of Box Hill athletes there as well, including Andre Waring, 7th, Nick Baggott, 17th, Will Potter, 18th, Steve Dinneen, 20th and Klarie McIntyre, 22nd. Also going well in the early stages were Alex Ritchie, John Meagher and Josh De Stefanis. Even at this early stage, as far as the teams’ race was concerned, it was clear that Melbourne University had a big group at the front end of the field. Doncaster also had four athletes in the first 60 and SSH, the team that defeated us twice in earlier races, were light on with only three athletes (Sean Guiney, Samuel Quirk and Luke Frazzetto) in the first 75. Western Athletics had five in the first 50 as well.
By the commencement of this lap, Charlie Park had led the other two athletes, something which would come back to bite him later on, with Harry Summers and Nick Earl were in reasonably close attendance. Andre Waring was competing with Anthony Aloisio (Richmond) for fourth place, with Matthew Clarke (OX) behind them. Steve Dinneen held 13th place, with Klarie McIntyre bursting out of his skin with a brilliant run, holding 15th position. Nick Baggott was within sight of this group, with Will Potter a small distance behind. James O’Connell was our next runner through. Alex Ritchie and Josh De Stefanis are both having an excellent winter and they ran through strongly picking up additional positions every lap. Harry Summers withdrew after the half way point.
Nick Earl was vying with Charlie Park for the lead when the runners appeared again. Matthew Clarke had moved in to third place. Anthony Aloisio was fourth, Andre Waring fifth and Frankie Conway (M Uni) was sixth. Klarie McIntyre and Steve Dinneen were running very close together, ahead of Will Potter and Nick Baggott. It needs to be pointed out that this is an exceptional effort from Nick Baggott. He prefers the 800m and 1500m track distances, so for him to be in such a prominent position in a half Marathon is great testament to his undoubted ability and enormous determination.
At the start of the third full lap, Charlie Park was still holding Nick Earl at bay. Matthew Clarke was a clear third, and looking strong 25 seconds behind the leader. Anthony Aloisio was fourth 19 seconds behind third. Andre Waring still held fifth place and he was 11 seconds behind Aloisio. Will Potter moved to 16th position, with Steve Dinneen 17th and Klarie McIntyre 19th. Nick Baggott was around 25th.
The next time the runners appeared Nick Earl had dropped Charlie Park, who was losing momentum. Matthew Clarke, third, was still improving and clearly catching Park. Aloisio held fourth and somehow, Liam Adams, in a surging burst moved to fifth. Andre Waring lost a few places in this section of the race and ran through in 10th place. Will Potter was around 13th and moving forward better than the runners around him with every stride. Klarie held 15th position, marginally ahead of Steve Dinneen, 16th. Nick Baggott was about 19th. Alex Ritchie was 43rd, John Meagher, 46th and Josh De Stefanis was 47th.
At the start of the fourth and final full lap Earl was still in the lead. Matthew Clarke was making inroads in to his lead and Charlie Park was 15 seconds behind Clarke. Suddenly Liam Adams ranged up with a big finish, passed Aloisio and was after the runner in front. Frankie Conway was in 6th place. Andre still held 10th position. Will Potter continued to impress, moving to 13th place. Steve Dinneen 15th, Klarie McIntyre, 16th and Nick Baggott, 19th made up the Box Hill Division 1 team.
Nick Earl led in the race, grittily holding off Matt Clarke, who had eroded his lead in the concluding stages. It was Earl’s first AV winter title. Liam Adams ran a sensational last out and back leg, and secured the bronze medal. Charlie Park held on to fourth, with Aloisio, placing fifth, holding off Frankie Conway, sixth. Andre Waring steadied in the latter stages to run a huge personal best (67:35) and finished 10th. Andre has had such a good winter season, running his best placings and times at practically every outing. He deserves congratulations on this excellent improvement, as does his coach, Steve Dinneen. Will Potter also had a cracker of a race, recording a PB, because he had never run this distance previously. His time of 68:20 is a really respectable effort and he also needs to be congratulated. He improved his position substantially in the last two laps to surge home in 11th place. Steve Dinneen, 14th and Klarie McIntyre, 15th, ran well too. Klarie was in the best form of his life and ran a PB by more than a minute, a brilliant achievement. This was clearly his best run for a very long time and shows that he has a very good future in longer road races. And Nick Baggott took around a minute off the time he ran in 2017, which the writer believes makes it a PB for him. He had to ease back with a calf strain in the latter stages but did not surrender any places, which was a very courageous effort. Lesser athletes would have pulled out and Nick did not. Despite all these excellent places and times, Melbourne University eclipsed us on the day and deserve to be congratulated for their win because they got so many of their good athletes on the starting line. Because we finished second, we can’t now be defeated in the Premier Division, even if we don’t turn up at the final event for the year, the Tan relays. Doncaster surprised everyone by finishing third, whilst SSH had many of their top athletes out and they came 7th meaning that they can’t get near us, even if they were to win the final event on the calendar.
Our Division 2 team went well too. Alex Ritchie had another excellent performance and placed 42nd. Every race this season has been a success for Alex, and his eyes will surely be on Division 1 in the future. Josh De Stefanis had his best run for many years and finally he is reaping the reward for hard work in training. He finished 43rd, and passed many, many competitors in the race. Well done Josh – this was a very fine effort. John Meagher also excelled, winning his age division and finished in the remarkable place of 45th. James O’Connell placed 87th and Luke Crozier ran well to finish 130th, just ahead of Russell Clowes, 131st.
Chris O’Connor, 147th, was third in his age category. Peter Stefanos, 171st was seventh in his age category whilst Garth Calder, 175th, was fourth in his age category. Full results are listed below.
Rachel Johnson placed 44th to be the best performed of our female athletes. Box Hill did not finish a female team.
Provisional individual placings
- Nick Earl Melbourne University 1:05:32
- Matthew Clarke OXA 1:05:41
- Liam Adams Essendon 1:05:59
- Charlie Park Melbourne University 1:06:36
- Andre Waring Box Hill 1:07:35
- Will Potter Box Hill 1:08:20
- Steve Dinneen Box Hill 1:08:49
- Klarie McIntyre Box Hill 1:08:54
- Nick Baggott Box Hill 1:09:17
- Alex Ritchie Box Hill 1:12:27
- Josh de Stefanis Box Hill 1:12:31
- John Meagher Box Hill 1:13:09
- Luke Crozier Box Hill 1:21:01
- Russell Clowes Box Hill 1:21:02
- Chris O’Connor Box Hill 1:22:09
- Peter Stefanos Box Hill 1:23:32
175: Garth Calder Box Hill 1:23:51
- Kennedy Chen Box Hill 1:24:50
- Stephen Ross Box Hill 1:30:26
- Simon St Hill Box Hill 1:44:19
- Andrew Tunne Box Hill 2:01:46
- Jane Grebinski South Melbourne 1:17:46
- Erchana Murray-Bartlett Collingwood 1:18:24
- Sophie Ryan OXA 1:19:31
- Rachel Johnson Box Hill 1:33:50
- Kristine Hopkins Box Hill 1:50:20
- Belinda Dutton Box Hill 2:07:17
Men’s team placings
- Melbourne University 32
- Box Hill 68
- Doncaster 123
- Western 138
- Glen Huntly 258
- Collingwood 278
- SSH 358
- Richmond 254
- OXA 266
- Ballarat 282
- Box Hill 322
- Western Athletics
- Athletics Waverley
- Box Hill
- Box Hill
50 – 59 Age division
- Box Hill 16
- Box Hill #2 108