Jells Park Relays, 22 April 2017

April 22, 2017

Jells Park Relays 22 April 2017

Box Hill AC had a stellar opening to the 2017 XCR Winter season, with a superb win in the Men’s Premier Division.  We also won the Men’s Division 4 relay, the 50 + Men’s race and the Under 14 Boys’ Relay.  Box Hill was first across the line in Division 6 (but by invitation), third in Division 2, third in Division 7, second in the Under 20 Men’s relay, 10th in the Under 18 race and winners of the gold medal in the Under 14 Men’s division.


Our women’s teams finished 7th in Premier Division, 4th in Division 4, 6th in the Under 18 competition and 7th in the 40+ division.

292 teams started, many by invitation because athletes registering had missed a box on the AV web site that they had to check to compete in relay meetings.  It is hard to comprehend why athletes who have paid money to represent their club should be forced to say that in addition, they want to run relays as well.  There doesn’t appear to be any good reason for this.


Last year, the Division 1 team members performed extraordinarily well, holding second or third place until taking the lead in a decisive last leg from Will Potter who ran 33 seconds faster than he did in 2015, a tremendous improvement and had the tenth fastest time of all the competitors.

James O’Connell and Nick Baggott performed brilliantly last year when selected in the Division 1 team. James O’Connell improved his time over the two lap circuit by a huge 31 seconds from 2015, and Nick Baggott improved his previous best effort by an enormous 80 seconds from 2015.

This year there were some additional huge PBs on the two lap Jells Park circuit.  James O’Connell slashed a further 26 seconds off his 2016 effort in recording the 18th fastest time of the day. Will Potter recorded the second fastest time of the day, pruning 12 seconds off his 2016 PB.  Matt O’Donnell flew around the course in his leg and shaved 56 second off his 2016 race time.  Matt recorded the seventh fastest time of the day, an exceptional performance.  What an amazing effort. Andre Waring went even better, dropping his time by a minute, to record the 21st fastest time of the day (18:59).  Thomas Diamond, in the Under 14 event ran 11:03 in 2016 and ran the great time of 10:15 this year, a massive 48 second improvement and well worth drawing attention to.   This was the fastest leg of the day in the under 14 race.  Alex Ritchie also impressed in running 19 m. 59 in the Under 20 race.


In Division 1, the field was despatched a few minutes after the designated starting time.  Andre Waring was our first competitor, and he ran straight to the leading pack, sharing the lead when running down the hill after the uphill start.  By the time the first lap of the first leg was completed he was in around tenth position, but four of the athletes were from Division 2 teams.  Hockey (Melbourne Uni) led the runners, followed by Smithers (Geel.), Richards (Knox), Brown (Essendon) and Kelly (GH).  Andre was nearly level with Kelly. Mitchel Brown surged in the second lap, leaving all other clubs trailing in his wake.  The only athlete to hang on to an extent, was Harry Smithers, but this was the last time Geelong was to be in a medal-winning position.  Brown’s time was considerably slower than his previous efforts, but he propelled Essendon to the lead, followed by Geelong.  Then followed Melbourne University, Glen Huntly.  Box Hill was in fifth place after Andre handed over to Steve Dinneen, just ahead of St Stephens Harriers (SSH).


Steve got past Geelong to hold fourth place after his first lap, behind SSH (Sean Guiney) with Melbourne University (Frankie Conway) and Glen Huntly (Nicholas Hamnick) ahead of him.  The relative positions didn’t change in the second lap of this leg.  SSH held a narrow lead of eight seconds over Melbourne University.  Glen Huntly were a further nine seconds behind.  Box Hill changed in fourth positions 22 seconds behind third place.  Collingwood was fifth, nearly a minute behind our team.


Matt O’Donnell set off with great determination and he passed Glen Huntly (Mark Thompson) and Melbourne University (James Maguire) in his first lap, which he ran in 9 m. 03 s. This was a ripping lap and he closed the gap on SSH (Sam Quirk) to six seconds! He looked like he would roar past Quirk and did so shortly after, by the time he appeared in the distance running up the hill to the changeover point, he had opened up a solid gap and the changeover point Box Hill had a sixteen second buffer.  Matt should be extremely proud of his efforts – he brought the team from fourth to the lead and he converted a deficit of 39 seconds into a lead of 16 seconds, running a huge PB in the process.


James O’Connell was our fourth team member and he also set of with purpose.  When he took off, the lead was 16 seconds and by the completion of his first circuit, he had stretched it to 33 seconds.  This was a mighty effort.  Glen Huntly were in the bronze position, 12 seconds down on SSH with the Melbourne Uni team nine seconds adrift.  Doncaster had moved into fifth place, due to a solid leg by Matthew Johnsen.  When James completed his leg, Box Hill held a 41 second lead and he had pruned a whopping 26 seconds off his previous fastest time.  Another cracking effort and promises much for the winter season.


Nick Baggott was Box Hill’s fifth leg runner.  He maintained Box Hill’s lead and extended the margin by 22 seconds.  Lachlan Aspinall (SSH) and Charlie Park (Melb. Uni.) fell further behind, and Box Hill held a lead of 63 seconds over SSH and opened the gap over Melbourne University to one minute 58 seconds.  Doncaster raced past Glen Huntly, whose medal chances were now finished thanks to Nick’s strong run, his second fastest ever leg at Jells Park.


Will Potter ran brilliantly in 2016, and this year he was even better as noted above. Running the second fastest leg of the day, in itself a highly meritorious effort, Will held off a determined challenge from SSH (Ben Buckingham, who ran the third fastest time of the day) and pulled away from every other team.  Melbourne University, who were the 2016 winter runners up to Box Hill in the winter competition held on to third place, two minutes and two seconds behind Box Hill.  Fast finishing Doncaster (Ben Ashkettle) maintained fourth place to beat Glen Huntly and Essendon, sixth.


This victory was an excellent beginning to the winter season and we have great depth, with four of our Division 2 team members running under 20 minutes and one just over 20 minutes.


The Division 2 team faced a battle, with the three top placed teams performing very strongly.  Western Athletics won the race with a bold performance.  They had very fast times for Division 2 and would have finished in fifth place in Division 1.  Old Xavierians were second with a phenomenal run from David McNeill, an Olympian, running the sizzling time of 17 m. 26, one minute 52 behind Western Athletics.  Box Hill placed third with convincing legs run by Sam Dipnall, running an excellent time of 19:08, Daniel Clark (19:56), Peter Green (19:45) and Michael Dowel (19:33) anchoring the team to third place, 22 second behind Old Xavierians.


Premier Division

Andre Waring               9:17                 9:42                                      18.59

Stephen Dinneen          9:42                 9:51                                      19:33

Matt O’Donnell            9:03                 9:31                                      19:28

James O’Connell           9:17                 9:40                                      18.57

Nicholas Baggott                                                                              19:03

William Potter              9:00                 9:23                                      18:23


  1. Box Hill                          113:29
  2. SSH                            114:32
  3. Melbourne University     115:31
  4. Doncaster                      117.17
  5. Essendon                       118:41
  6. Glen Huntly                    118:59


Division 2

Sam Dipnall                  9:22                 9:46                                       19:08

Daniel Clark                 9:41                 10:15                                      19:56

Peter Green                   9:42                 10:03                                      19:45

Michael Vaughan         10:16               10:53                                      21.09

Klarie McIntyre                                                                                  20:03

Michael Dowel             9:40                 9:53                                      19:33


  1. Western Suburbs             117:42
  2. Old Xavier                      119:22
  3. Box Hill                          119:44


Leading performances

Dave McNeil                OX                  17:46

Will Potter                   BH                  18:23

Ben Buckingham          SSH                18:25

Nick Earl                      M Uni             18:27

Mitch Brown                Ess.                 18:28

Harry Smithers             Geel.               18:32

Matt O’Donnell          BH                  18:34

Liam Adams                 Ess                  18:36

Matthew Clarke            OX                  18:37

Liam Cashin                 Western          18:45

Anthony Aloisio           Rich.               18:47

Callum Drake               Wes                 18:48

Isaac Hockey                M Uni             18:51

Reilly Shaw                  Geel                18:53

Bwn Kelly                    GH                  18:54

Sean Guiney                 SSH                18:56

James O’Connell        BH                  18:57

Thomas Thorpe            SSH                18:57

Ben Ashkettle               Don                 18:57

Andre Waring             BH                  18:59


Division 4 Results

  1. Box Hill                  113:07
  2. GH                          117:57
  3. Maccabi                  118:14

Division 6

  1. Box Hill (Invitation) 88:17
  2. Richmond               93:20
  3. GH                          94:53

Division 7

  1. SSH                        90:48
  2. Melbourne Uni       100:56
  3. Box Hill                  102: 36

Under 20 Men

  1. Mornington             62:21
  2. Box Hill                  62:41
  3. SSH                        64:20

Under 18 Men

  1. Box Hill (Invitation) 33:59

Under 14 Men

  1. Box Hill                  32:47
  2. Williamstown         34:29
  3. Collingwood           34:40

40+ Men

  1. Box Hill (invitation) 70:03

50+ Men

  1. Box Hill                  66:20
  2. Victorian Masters   70:05
  3. GH                          7149

13   Box Hill 2              84:01