With five strong Men’s teams entered we were looking for a great commencement to the Winter season, and we weren’t far off our hoped-for position. After last year’s rock hard ground conditions AT Brimbank Park, most runners opted for spikes, as usual, with the softer ground evident . For once, we did not have to make any last minute changes to our leading teams, as our chosen team members turned up as expected.
In his first run for Box Hill in an A Grade (Section 1) Winter Team, Christian Ashby set off with the horde of runners seeking a leading position at the first turn. At the end of his leg we held 9thposition in the teams race with Glen Huntly, Geelong, Ballarat Harriers and Doncaster holding the leading 4 positions. We were trailing 4th place by 1 m. 02 s, at this stage. It seemed likely that we would be able to advance to a more prominent position, with Julian Dwyer to run second. This happened, with Julian running an exceptional leg, recording nearly identical splits for his two laps, with the second lap a little faster than his first. His outstanding contribution lifted Box Hill back into contention and his time of 18 m. 33 was the fastest time recorded until Julian Paynter’s (Glen Huntly) splendid run in the last leg. Julian handed over in 4th place, only 8 seconds behind Glen Huntly, then in third position. He has recently lifted his training and fitness level, and looks capable of performing at an exceptionally high level this year if everything continues to go well.
Tom Waters ran third. Tom has had a very successful summer season and won the Handicap 5 K. race a fortnight ago. He recorded his fastest time at this course (20 m. 19 s.) holding the team’s placing at fourth, only a few seconds behind Ballarat YCW, which had come through, and ahead of Geelong, back in 5th place. The gap between our team and the leading two clubs widened from this point, but we had a tremendous battle with Ballarat YCW and Geelong, which also was hanging on doggedly. Scott Jackson set off in fourth place and handed over in 3rd place, five seconds in advance of Ballarat YCW with Geelong a further 7 seconds behind in 5th. Two of our three fastest runners on the day ran in the concluding legs. Marcus Tierney recorded the second fastest Box Hill time on the day (19 m. 34 s.), although surrendering 3rd place to Robbie Ellis from Ballarat YCW. Ellis recorded the third fastest time of the day (18 m. 37 s.), and Marcus who tried valiantly to stay with Ellis, ran the second fastest Box Hill leg. He handed over in 4th place to Graeme Olden, who ran another gritty leg, this year rewarded with a bronze medal for the team and himself. Graeme passed his opponent from Ballarat YCW, Russell Boyle, part way through the second lap, and pulled away during the second lap to finish 55 seconds in advance of Ballarat YCW.
Meanwhile, at the front of the field, Glen Huntly with a resurgent run from Julian Paynter, now recovered from injury, recorded the fastest time of the day (18 m. 12 s.) to finish nearly two minutes ahead of Doncaster, with Box Hill, as mentioned above, finishing strongly in third place for the Bronze medallion. It was pleasing to see Marcus and Christian’s coach, John Mallinder, on the course supporting the team and his athletes.
Our C Grade team finished second, with sound performances from all runners. Kynan Dawes ran especially well to bring the team up to second place, nearly catching Eureka (making up well over a minute in the final leg). Jamie Strudley had the misfortune to damage his calf in the first lap but gritted his teeth and finished the leg to enable the team to finish in a gutsy performance.
Chris O’Connor and John Vaitkunas both ran well too.
Our D Grade team finished in 3rd place with Adam Pepper being the fastest runner.
Great results were again recorded by our Junior teams. The Under 20 team of Tim Renowden, Stephen Dineen, and Simon Bromley won their division in a convincing performance. This was a most pleasing result and our team received its gold medallions in the presentation ceremony late in the day.
The Under 18 team placed second for the second year in a row. Team members, Simon McGuinness, Matt Spain, and Sam Hassett placed second overall in this age group. We congratulate both our teams on their tremendous performances. The boys later made a savage assault on afternoon tea.
Thanks to Rob Falkenberg for managing the Junior teams very effectively, as always.
Section 1 Manager
A (Section 1) Ist Leg 2nd Leg Total Leader B.H. Time Position
Christian Ashby 9:57 10:39 20:36 19:12 20:36 9th
Julian Dwyer 9:17 9:17 18:33 38:12 39:09 4th
Tom Waters 9:58 10:21 20:19 58:00 59:28 4th
Scott Jackson 10:10 10:38 20:48 77:20 80:16 3rd
Marcus Tierney 9:28 10:06 19:34 96:12 99:50 4th
Graeme Olden 9:50 10:09 19:59 114:25 119:49 3rd
1. Glen Huntly 114:25
2. Doncaster 116:17
3. Box Hill 119:49
4. Ballarat YCW 120:44
C (Section 3)
Michael Jones 10:45 11:23 22:08
Chris O’Connor 10:35 10:41 21:16
John Vaitkunos 10:42 11:12 21:56
Jamie Strudley 10:45 11:50 22:35
Kynan Dawes 10:10 10:30 20:40
1. Eureka 107:41
2. Box Hill 108:33
D (Section 4)
Tony Bird 11:08 11:36 22:44
Adam Pepper 10:49 11:14 22:03
Dave Boyd 11:57 12:06 24:03
Kerry Walker 14:38 15:00 29:38
3. Box Hill
Tim Renowden 10:38 11:08 21:46
Stephen Dineen 10:50 11:23 22:13
Simon Bromley 11:10 11:07 22:17
1. Box Hill
Simon McGuinness 10:51
Matt Spain 10:46
Sam Hassett 9:57
2. Box Hill
The opening event of the Athletics Victoria Calendar saw a large number of teams competing. Our senior team ran very well and were in a consistent 5th spot after changes 1, 2 and 3. Gabby Bombell opened with 24.10 to hand to Georgina Connell who ran 25.32. Anna Thompson ran the third leg in 23.43 which represented the 9th fastest time of the day. Rachel Johnson completed the event for Box Hill in 23.49 and brought the team into 4th outright. A check of the entries by the officials confirmed that Athletics Essendon were competing by invitation, which saw Box Hill elevated to the Bronze medal position.
The division 2 team from the club of Louise Oakley ( 25.32 ), Wenona Nettlebeck ( 26.36 ) and Elisabeth Bird ( 27.10 ) were in a consistent 5th all day and finished in this position at the end of the relay.
The under 20 team were running the 3k laps, and Marion Gamble lead them off to run 12.34 and hand to Rachel King in second spot. Rachel kept the team in second running 12.55 and handed to Eliza Eddy who brought the team through to the finish in 2nd. Eliza ran 12.21, however the team was competing by invitation and had to go away empty handed.
The under 16 age group saw strong performances from our girls. The teams were lead off by Jess DeBruin ( 12.08 ) and Jocelyn Keage ( 12.11 ) which saw us in 2nd and 3rd at the end of leg 1. A solid run from Emily Smith ( 12.09 ) took her team to 1st for the final change while Jess Lees ( 12.24 ) kept her team in 2nd place. The final leg saw Heidi Riordan record the 3rd fastest underage run for the day with 11.37, taking Box Hill number 1 team to the Gold Medal. Jenita Dunner held off a fast finishing Jacinta McIntosh of Eureka to give her team the Bronze medal with a run of 12.59.