For the second race in a row, the Box Hill senior mens team failed to fill a team in the senior competition. With the 16 km cross country being traditionally one of the weaker and less popular races for the winter, it was most disappointing that we were not able to muster 6 runners to complete the course as we should have been able to quite easily finish in the top three placings. The ground was surprisingly dry after a couple of days of heavy rain, but a stiff north-westerly breeze made the top section of the course quite challenging. Marcus Tierney started off quite aggressively and chased the leading group for the first lap but didn’t enjoy the big hill too much and lost ground over the last half of the race to be passed by Graeme Olden who finished in 21st place. Marcus was not far behind in 25th place, followed by Chris O’Connor (54th) and Tony Bird (73rd). Tony was the 3rd runner to finish in the over 45 age group and collected a bronze medal for his fine performance.
Christian Ashby continued his fine recent form with a good run in the under 20, 6 km race to finish in second place in a time of 21:30. Christian challenged the leaders for the first half of the race but struggled a bit on the hills and lost touch with the leader on the second lap. With some good performances during the winter season, he can look forward to some fast times on the track this summer.
OPEN 16 km CROSS COUNTRY
UNDER 20 – 6 km CROSS COUNTRY
In the senior women’s race over 4km, Anna Thompson displayed her aggression again going with the front runners for 3km, but some days are diamonds and some days are stone, with Marg Crowley and Leah Rogers accelerating again, Anna was caught between groups and finished a creditable 6th in 15.01. Kerri Jorgensen ran a strong race to finish 10th in 15.23. George Connell and Rachel Johnson ran well to finish 16th and 17th both recording 15.59. Gabby Bombell was 20th in 16.12, Merissa Pickford 47th in 16.41 and Kerry Walker 51st in 19.10.
The Under 20 race over 3km saw Marion Gamble finish 5th in 12.39 with Fiona Pickford 8th in 13.55.
The Under 18 and Under 16 raced over 6km, with Jess DeBruin finishing 2nd in the U 18 in 25.27. Next was Emily Smith – 5th in 26.33, Erica Sigmont -7th in 26.45 and Elisabeth Bird – 12th in 30.31.
The Under 16 division saw Charlotte Roberts claim the Bronze medal in 27.22 just ahead of Jocelyn Keage in 27.48.