With seven Box Hill athletes in Sydney for the weekend, the Box Hill senior mens teams were greatly depleted and failed to fill the A grade team for the first time in many years. Despite this absence, the four Box Hill runners who travelled to Ballarat all ran well around the course at Ballarat Uni. Chris O’Connor was the first Box Hill runner to finish in 68th position, closely followed by Tony Bird (86th) then David Boyd (146th) and Ian Sloane (205th).
The picturesque setting of Ballarat University was the backdrop for this tough race. As expected the weather was cold and windy, but no snow this year!! A hilly, muddy and twisting course greeted competitors. The senior women raced over 6km done as 2 x 3k laps. Running the race of her life, Anna Thompson refused to give in to World junior Silver medallist Susie Power and Atlanta 1500m finalist Marg Crowley. Susie pulled away in the final lap, but Marg and Anna exchanged places several times with the experience showing and Marg sneaking away to give Anna the Bronze. Rachel Johnson, recovering from foot soreness ran well to finish 32nd in 26.01. Megan Sloane was 45th overall and scored the bronze medal in the 45plus age group. New athlete Merissa Pickford, better known for her sprinting prowess showed enormous grit and determination to finish 61st in 30.22.
1. Susie Power GHY 22.12
2. Marg Crowley ATE 23.12
3. Anna Thompson BOH 23.19
The U 20 team performed well, winning the Gold Team event with Marion Gamble 7th, covering the 4km in 17.38. Hot on her heels was Rachel King, 8th in 17.40. A good battle between Fiona Pickford and Katherine Lukey brought back scenes of the National 800 final, however Pickford gained the upper hand this time in 9th position in 19.01, with Katherine 10th in 19.20
The U 16 3km-race saw Charlotte Roberts fight hard and never give in despite numerous challenges. Charlotte was rewarded with her first Victorian Championship, winning the event in style.
1. Charlotte Roberts BOH 12.53
2. Kellie Williams BYC 13.11
3. Erin Gustus EKA 13.37