Men’s Premier Division third in Anglesea relays

August 18, 2017

Numbers were down for the Athletics Victoria Ekiden Relay held at Anglesea on August 12, but there were still some good performances by Box Hill runners. Our men’s Premier Division team finished 3rd, which is enough to keep us clear on top of the ladder, finishing ahead of our main rivals MUAC and SSH, with Knox and Geelong being the surprise gold and silver medalists.

John Meagher, Chris O’Connor and Michael Eury won the over 50 years division to help take a stranglehold on the premiership in the division.

It should be noted that due to erosion a change was made to the course and athletes actually ran a little further than the listed distance.

A special thank you to Kirsty Ritchie, Jane James and Megan Sloane who acted as club helper officials.

See Ian Sloane’s race report below.

Men Premier Division          (Team place: 3rd)

9.8km  1. Will Potter                          33:45

8.8km  2. Andre Waring                     31:10

7.9km  3. Sam Dipnall                        29:17

6.0km  4. Mitch Dyer                         20:59

5.2km  5. James O’Connell                18:19

4.6km  6. Nick Baggott                       15:59

Men Division 2                      (Team place: 4th)

9.8km  1. Alex Ritchie                        36:29

8.8km  2. Michael Vaughan                34:41

7.9km  3. Josh de Stefanis                  31:45

6.0km  4. Daniel Clark                       21:24

5.2km  5. Russell Clowes                   21:07

4.6km  6. Matt O’Donnell                  20:20

Men Division 4                      (Team place: 6th)

9.8km  1.  Nick Harper                       45:06

8.8km  2.  Jack Hill                             42:38

7.9km  3.  Josh James                         39:14

6.0km  4. Andrew Tunne                    42:36

5.2km 5.  Jonathan Harper                  22:12

Men 50+                                 (Team place: 1st)

9.8km  1. John Meagher                     38:06

7.9km  2. Chris O’Connor                  34:50

5.2km  3. Michael Eury                      22:02

Women Premier Division     (Team place 7th)

9.8km  1. Steph Kondogonis              42:06

8.8km  2. Rhiannon Snipe                  37:15

6.0km  3. Pia Hunter                           26:49

5.2km  4. Chloe Rosenberg                25:34

4.6km  5. Megan Sloane                     25:11



By Ian Sloane

Box Hill places third in Anglesea Ekiden Relay and wins the 50+ division

Box Hill AC was a bit depleted at the Ekiden Relays at Anglesea, with a number of runners unavailable or competing in the City to Surf race in Sydney. Weather conditions were unpleasant with a howling wind gusting at up to 80 knots or more.  It was a miracle that Chris O’Connor managed to get the club tent in and secure it.

This event replaced the Coliban relays which were discontinued when AV formed the judgement that the course was too dangerous. The Geelong Region proposed that this Anglesea relay event replace the Coliban Relay.  Each leg of this trail-type course is of a different length, with the longest leg run first and the shortest leg run last.  The track through the scrub is narrow and it is difficult to get past an opponent.  Some of the course is paved (especially around the start and finish).

The Division 2 race was the first to be despatched at 12.30 and there were another 12 starts to follow at five minute intervals.

We had a solid team in Division 1, but there were a few athletes missing. Melbourne University and SSH also were without key athletes, and Geelong and Knox surprised by getting excellent teams on the line, including athletes who have hardly been sighted this year, such as Jeff Riseley and Nick Wightman.

Division 1 was sent on its way at 12.40 and Essendon dashed to the lead, courtesy of a super-fast leg from Liam Adams (Essendon). Craig Appleby (Knox), Brenton Rowe (Geelong), Nick Earl (Melbourne University), and Mathew Johnsen (Doncaster) were also prominent, with our first runner, Will Potter completing his leg in sixth place, on Johnsen’s shoulder in a solid performance.  The course, as attractive as it is, does not lend itself to spectators, and this report has limited detail about the changes that occurred in each leg.  Box Hill was 82 seconds down on the race leaders.  Competitive rival club, SSH had a modest first leg and were 21 seconds behind our team in seventh place.

Andre Waring, who has been performing exceptionally well this season ran a very competitive leg and claimed two places, bringing Box Hill into fourth position, 71 seconds behind Essendon, with Mitch Brown running their second leg.  Harry Smithers piloted Geelong into second place, with James Hansen (Knox) 57 seconds ahead of our team.  Zac Newman (Melb. Uni.) was 14 seconds behind our team. With Doncaster behind them in sixth place.

Sam Dipnall had been selected to run the third leg, and he performed soundly to maintain fourth position.  At the conclusion of his leg Box Hill was 55 seconds behind Knox, in third position, behind leaders, Geelong, with Essendon holding second position   Geelong was 45 seconds ahead of Essendon, with Knox 66 seconds in arrears of Essendon.

Our fourth competitor was Mitch Dyer, running in his last AV Winter race this year, before returning to the USA where he is studying.  Mitch ran a dynamic leg and reduced the deficit to 29 seconds, behind third-placed Essendon, and it was obvious that their best runners had already competed, so we were confident that we could move into the bronze medal position in succeeding legs.  Geelong, via Nick Wightman and Knox via Jeff Riseley were in first and second positions respectively.  Riseley moved his team to within 10 seconds of Geelong.  Essendon were just over two minutes behind Knox in third place, with Box Hill fourth.

Our fifth runner, James O’Connell, strode off purposefully chasing the Essendon athlete.  The results suggest that he ran the fastest Division 1 fifth leg (apart from an errant time recorded for Doncaster where the recorder probably miscalculated the time).   James moved past the Essendon athlete to get Box Hill into third place, an excellent effort, and he finished off very strongly, sprinting flat out to the changeover point.  Knox had overtaken Geelong in this leg, claiming the lead by 28 seconds from Geelong with Box Hill a further one minute 44 down on second place.  Essendon had slipped to fourth (73 seconds behind our team), ahead of SSH, fifth, and the University of Melbourne, sixth.

Nick Baggott had the shortest leg and was our last runner.  He performed very creditably.  With Knox and Geelong battling it out at the front, he moved Box Hill a little closer to the leaders, and really drew away from fourth position.  Knox held off Geelong by 19 seconds to win the event, with Box Hill third. The Melbourne University runner, Matthew Scott, roared past SSH and Essendon to claim fourth position.

This outing was not our best effort, but a number of our runners performed extremely well, and the third place cements us at the top of the premiership table, with two events to go in the winter season.  We have won five of the races, come second once and had two third placings.  We do a solid buffer over all the other teams, however, we must not be complacent, and we have to aim to win at least one of the remaining events.

Our Division two team also went well, running across the line in fourth position.  Alex Ritchie opened up and ran to the changeover point in third position, Michael Vaughan ran a very respectable leg to keep Box Hill in contention.  Josh De Stefanis has been getting much fitter during the course of the winter season, and he ran a good leg.  He handed over to Daniel Clark who has been returning to form this winter.  Daniel was well-pleased with his efforts, as he should have been – he ran a really competitive time, one of the best of the day, and the second best in Division 2.  These two legs lifted Box Hill into the pointy end of the field, as high as fourth.  Russell Clowes also gave a good account of himself and maintained the team’s fourth position.  It was really pleasing to see Matt O’Donnell competing again, after being lout with an injury.  He anchored the team and crossed the line in fourth position.  Matt has many good performances to come, and we all look forward to seeing his onward development and progress.  Western Athletics were too strong ion this division and won by a long margin

Some of the provisional times did not equate when one added up the elapsed times for all the runners.  Presumably AV will provide upgraded results and times.

Division 1 Team placings:

  1. Knox                       2:27:20
  2. Geelong                   2:27:39
  3. Box Hill                  2:29:29
  4. Melbourne Uni        2:32:17
  5. Essendon                 2:32:32

Division 1 times:

  1. Will Potter             33:45
  2. Andrew Waring   31:01
  3. Sam Dipnall           29:17
  4. Mitch Dyer             20:59
  5. James O’Connell   18:19
  6. Nick Baggott          15:56

Division 2 Team placings

  1. Western Athletics    2:33:39
  2. Frankston                2:37:48
  3. Old Xavier              2:38:59
  4. Box Hill                  2:45:46

Division 2 times

  1. Alex Ritchie           36:29
  2. Michael Vaughan  34:41
  3. Josh de Stefanis     31:45
  4. Daniel Clark          21:24
  5. Russell Clowes       21:07
  6. Matt O’Donnell     20:20

Division 4 Team

  1. Box Hill                  3:11:46

Division 4 times

  1. Nick Harper           45:06
  2. Jack Hill                 42:38
  3. Joshua James         39:14
  4. Andrew Tunne      42:36
  5. Jonathon Harper   22:12

50 + team results

  1. Box Hill                  1:35:01
  2. Ballarat                    1:39:36
  3. Victorian Masters    1:42:21

Division 50 + times

  1. John Meagher          38:06
  2. Chris O’Connor      34:50
  3. Michael Eury          22:02

Women’s Division 1 results

  1. Glenhuntly
  2. Knox
  3. Western Athletics

7     Box Hill                 2:36:55


Women’s times

  1. Steph Kondogonis 42:00
  2. Rhiannon Snipe     37:15
  3. Pia Hunter             26:49
  4. Chloe Rosenberg   25:34
  5. Megan Sloane        25:11