Cruden Farm, 27 May 2017

May 27, 2017

16 K Cross Country Cruden Farm (Langwarrin) 27 May 2017

Last year’s positive remarks about the 16 k Cross Country course selected by Athletics Victoria were strengthened this year.  There were a number of slight variations in the 2017 course, but the venue was in excellent order, and challenging too.  The Cruden Farm property belonged to Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who passed away in 2012.  It is a spectacular location. The farm is 54 hectares in size and supports livestock. A look at the ground in the paddocks revealed the largest cow pats that most of the athletes had ever seen in their life and strove desperately to avoid whilst on the course.  The Open Men’s race was a well-designed course of four laps of four kilometres, and the other races were of shorter lengths, but on the same course as the men ran.

Box Hill had at least three standout successes.  Thomas Diamond won the Under 14 race.  Will Potter claimed the silver medal for the senior men’s race and the Box Hill Premier Division team appears to have won the Premier Division team’s title from Doncaster and Melbourne University.

In perfect weather conditions, all the athletes in each race were despatched by Gayle Anderson.

Thomas Diamond represented Box Hill in the under 14 race and ran brilliantly to win the race after finishing eighth last year.  He ran a really great race and pulled away at the end from all the other competitors.  He ran over the finish line over more than 17 seconds ahead of the silver medallist.  Well done Tom – an excellent effort.

In the men’s under 20 race, Box Hill was represented by Alex Ritchie, who finished very respectable eighth, after being very prominent for the first half of the race.  When the pressure was put on the field by Cody Shanahan (Western Athletics), first, and Cassidy Shaw (Geelong), second, the other seven in the leading bunch were not able to maintain their tempo.   Alex placed 10th in this race last year so his 2017 placing was an improvement and he is not far from a top five finish.

Joshua James placed 35th in the Under 18 event.

The women’s race attracted a field of 219 competitors.  Box Hill was represented by Rhiannon Snipe who ran a strong race to place 33rd.  Steph Kondogonis was a little further back in 40th position.  Pia Hunter, who is in very good form at present, placed 58th. Rachel Johnson finished 107th, Chloe Rosenberg was 123rd, Carolyn Fox was 172nd and Beck Mitchell was 189th.  Virginia Moloney won the event, returning to form after placing 4th at Wandin.  Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) is performing well at the moment and won the silver medal after Moloney managed to ease ahead of her later in the race.  Kelly won the cross country at Wandin.  Karinna Fyfe (Glen Huntly) won the bronze medal finishing ahead of Alexandra Paterson (Old Xavier) and Tarli Bird (Glen Huntly).  This leading group ran together in the early stages, with Karinna Fyfe passing Bird and Paterson to place third.

In the men’s 16 k cross Country race there was a large field of athletes assembled (around 355 runners). We had a very strong team although Matt O’Donnell was unavailable with a foot injury.  Sam Dipnall was not racing and Tom Snibson and Michael Vaughan were unavailable.  However, Box Hill’s depth is strong and the club performed well.  Also, it turned out that SSH and Melbourne University were not at full strength, and missing athletes. This gave Box Hill an advantage, and enabled Doncaster to produce a surprise 2nd place in the Team’s race in the men’s Premier Division.

In the first kilometre of the men’s race Box Hill was well represented.  Steve Dinneen went to the  lead, with Ben Ashkettle (Doncaster), Will Potter (BH), Dejen Gebreselessie (Mentone) all contesting the lead in the early stages, with James O’Connell prominent in the leading bunch.  Also running in the lead pack were Anthony Aloisio (Richmond), Matthew Johnsen (Doncaster) Thomas Hynes (Ballarat), Leon Russell-Keely (Bendigo).  Ryan Geard (Western Athletics) and Nick Baggott (Box Hill) were not far off the front either.  Michael Dowel missed the start and had to work his way through the field.  Andre Waring started off mindful that it was a four lap course and worked his way into the race.

After the midway point in the first lap, Ben Ashkettle then took the reins and led for a while.  Later on Matthew Johnsen took over.  James O’Connell, slipped back, and that may have been as a result of the early pace at the front. Several athletes who were not initially in the leading group started to make progress through the field.  Liam Adams (Essendon) took a while to get going but made rapid progress in the second lap.  Mitch Brown (Essendon) ran a similar race – relaxed at the start and then he cranked it up the further the race went.  Steve Dinneen dropped off the lead group in the second and third laps, and Gebreselessie, Will Potter, Johnsen, Hynes and Ashkettle were vying for the lead.  Adams and Brown made good progress into the fourth lap.  Box Hill athletes who were making an impression were Oscar Robinson who commenced conservatively and passed many fellow competitors eventually, Michael Dowel who passed many, many athletes as he forged forward and Peter Green who was running solidly.

In the finishing stages, the contest was between Gebreselessie and Will Potter. Liam Adams was too far off the pace to pose a threat, as was Mitch Brown who passed Buckingham (SSH), Russell-Keely, Hynes, Ashkettle and Johnson to reach fourth position.  Will Potter ran to capacity, but Gebreselessie had a little more on the day and held off Will Potter in the concluding stages to win by just three seconds.  So Will came away with the silver medal, a fine accomplishment, and a much more accurate reflection of his fitness and ability that the Wandin result a fortnight earlier.  Adams won the bronze medal with Brown fourth and Johnsen, fifth.   Nick Baggott kept plugging away and crossed the line in 13th place.  Steve Dinneen fought on passing a number of fellow competitors in the final lap to claim 16th spot with Andre Waring two places further back in 18th place.  Oscar Robinson would have been well pleased with his 31st place.  He ran a very sensible race and passed many athletes the whole way.  James O’Connell completed our Premier Division team, placing 36th.

Others to finish for our club (in Division 2) were  Peter Green, 39th,  Michael Dowel, 43rd, the evergreen John Meagher (56th ) and winner of his age division and Welday Mebrahtu, 78th.  Ed Doyle recorded 82nd place in a strong run and Garth Calder was 96th and second in his age category.

Josh De Stefanis placed 119th, Michael Petridis was 121st, Jackson Deane, 131ST, Zac Hunter 160TH, Peter Stefanos, 175th, Chris O’Connor, 191st, Nick Harper, 239th, Robert Ashbridge, 252nd, Simon St Hill, 308th, and Andrew Tunne finished 338th.

Many athletes ran one to two minutes quicker than they did the previous year, which was a little surprising, because conditions were pleasant in 2016, although a little warmer.

Men’s results

Name Club Place Time
Desen Gebreselessi Mentone 1 49:11
Will Potter Box Hill 2 49:14
Liam Adams Essendon 3 49:48
Mitch Brown Essendon 4 50:02
Matthew Johnsen Doncaster 5 50:11
Nick Baggott Box Hill 13 50:49
Steve Dinneen Box Hill 16 51:03
Andre Waring Box Hill 18 51:07
Oscar Robinson Box Hill 31 52:33
James O’Connell Box Hill 36 52:45
Peter Green Box Hill 39 53:06
Michael Dowel Box Hill 43 53:19
John Meagher Box Hill 55 54:57
Welday Mebrahtu Box Hill 78 57:40
Ed Doyle Box Hill 82 58:03
Garth Calder Box Hill 96 59:10
Josh De Stefanis Box Hill 119 61:13
Michael Petridis Box Hill 121 61:22
Jackson Deane Box Hill 131 61:51
Zac Hunter Box Hill 160 63:52
Peter Stefanos Box Hill 175 65:12
Chris O’Connor Box Hill 187 65:49
Russell Clowes Box Hill 191 65:58
Nick Harper Box Hill 239 69:17
RobAshbridge Box Hill 252 70:41
Simon St Hill Box Hill 308 77:39
Andrew Tunne Box Hill 338 86:56


Anticipated Division 1 team placings

  1. Box Hill 116
  2. Doncaster 141
  3. Melbourne University 237
  4. SSH 262

Women’s results

Name Club Place Time
Virginia Moloney Coll 1 27:22
Anna Kelly Sth Melb 2 27:29
Karinna Fyfe GH 3 27:47
Alexandra Paterson OX 4 28:09
Tarli Bird GH 5 28:24
Rhiannon Snipe BH 33 32:01
Steph Kondogonis BH 40 32:53
Pia Hunter BH 58 34:04
Rachel Johnson BH 107 36:29
Chloe Rosenberg BH 123 37:39
Carolyn Fox BH 172 42:29
Beck Mitchell BH 189 45:34