On a cold sunny day, our open Men’s Section 1 team performed magnificently to take second place at Bundoora Park, one point behind Glen Huntly. This is our best Winter race result for 2000, eclipsing our performance at the Cross Country relays and the third place from Brimbank Park. With an ounce of luck we would have secured first place, but without Scott Jackson, Christian Ashby, Tom Waters (who withdrew mid race with a calf niggle) and Chris Bunney, we missed the team gold medal by the smallest imaginable margin. Trevor Vincent, having made a computational error (the first the writer has ever observed), believed that Box Hill had defeated their juggernaut. Unfortunately, this was not the case. However, we will go to Sandown full of confidence that we can do even better.
The race was a tremendous battle between two remarkable athletes selected to run in Australia’s Olympic Marathon team, Steve Moneghetti (Ballarat YCW) and Lee Troop (Geelong). They had an outstanding duel for 11 kilometres trading the lead on numerous occasions, and breaking clear of all other contenders. Moneghetti broke clear of Troop when Troop suffered a stitch in the fourth lap, which forced him to drop back slightly. Moneghetti’s winning margin was around fifteen to twenty metres, not a substantial margin over 12 kilometres. Both Troop and Moneghetti recorded outstanding times on the four lap course, running just over thirty-five and a half minutes for the 12 k. distance.
Steve Moneghetti has been in outstanding form this year, possibly his best ever, which is amazing considering his illustrious career, and the high level he has achieved since his initial international representation in the World Cross Country Championships in Lisboa, Portugal, in 1985. Steve had the good fortune to become a father for the third time on Tuesday, with his wife delivering a baby boy. He looks to be on track for a very high quality result in the Olympic Games. Lee Troop recovered from a stress fracture of the femur ten weeks earlier to compete in the Olympic Marathon selection trial, to be the third Australian over the line. This exceptional effort contributed to his well-deserved selection as Australia’s third marathon representative for Sydney.
Meanwhile, behind the two leaders, Andrew Letherby was running his best race since placing third in the National 10,000 m. Track Championship in Melbourne in March this year. After losing contact with the leaders, he settled in a cadence which saw him draw clear of other runners, and saw him perform very meritoriously, whilst not surrendering a great deal of ground to the leaders. He finished only 45 seconds behind second-placed Troop. Andrew has improved substantially since his Brimbank Park debut, and finished well in advance of all the athletes who beat him just a few weeks ago. It has been really exciting to have had Andrew join our club, and his third placing has given our team a new impetus.
Julian Dwyer, meanwhile, running his second Winter race, also steadily pulled clear of other leading runners, and moved into fourth place, which he held until the finish. He extended and consolidated his lead over other runners in the concluding stages of the race. Ultimately he finished fourth, a splendid effort, on which he is sure to build. He won this race two years ago and is getting back into that sort of shape. Julian now appears to have recovered completely from the serious injury which plagued him last year, and is training really well, with Andrew Letherby. Both Julian and Andrew look set to perform extremely well at Sandown in a fortnight.
Marcus Tierney has not enjoyed good health for the last month or so, but he clearly demonstrated that he is back to his best by moving through the field impressively. Marcus was in the company of many athletes who have represented their state and their country, finally finishing 15th. Graeme Olden, recovering from illness, was the next Box Hill athlete across the line, followed in very closely by Glenn Tooze, in a tough sprint battle to the line. Graeme was only 23 seconds behind Marcus Tierney, with Glenn a further one second behind. Glenn ran very well for 3rd in the Eaglehawk to Bendigo race last week. Kynan Dawes performed impressively to take 48th place, in one of his better races, completing our Section 1 team.
Our Section 3 team also performed well. Adam Pepper is enjoying his best season ever, and was placed 75th, just ahead of Tony Bird who came 77th. Jonathon Tyler ran a solid race for 94th, just in advance of Jamie Strudley, 106th. Chris O’Connor survived the course without tearing a calf muscle or anything else, placing 122nd. Dave Boyd completed our team’s participation placing 196th, which was an encouraging result.
With Scott Jackson, Christian Ashby, Tom Waters and Chris Bunney to return for Sandown in a couple of weeks’ time, we are confident of an excellent result in our next competition, in all grades. Any registered runners wishing to be considered for selection who have not competed officially need to inform selectors that they are available, immediately. Please speak to Graeme Olden, Chris O’Connor, Rob Falkenberg or Ian Sloane.
Our Junior Men ran well in the Under 20 race, led in by Ben Bissett who placed 3rd to win the Bronze medal. Congratulations Ben on a fine run. Ben managed to get into second place in the middle of the race but his Shepparton opponent proved to be a very determined customer and drew ahead, marginally, in the concluding stages of the race. Matt Spain ran a fantastic second half in his race and placed 7th, with Sam Hassett running 10th returning from an enforced layoff. We believe that they won their team’s race.
In the Women’s race, Anna Thompson ran extremely well to place second and win the silver medal. Unable to respond to a very hard surge from the race winner, Susan Michelsson, she nevertheless ran a very impressive race to place a clear second. Georgie Connell ran up to her best to record a time just over thirty-one minutes, whilst Megan Sloane ran solidly to place 30th in 33 m. 12s, which gained her the silver medal in her age division (45+).
Special thanks to all the Box Hill people whom turned out to assist with officiating and manning the food tent. Your efforts were greatly appreciated.
Mens’ Open 12k
Section 1 Grade
|1||Steve MONEGHETTI||Ball YCW||35:36|
|3||Andrew LETHERBY||Box Hill||36:24|
|4||Julian DWYER||Box Hill||37:08|
|15||Marcus TIERNEY||Box Hill||38:45|
|21||Graeme OLDEN||Box Hill||39:08|
|22||Glen TOOZE||Box Hill||39:09|
|48||Kynan DAWES||Box Hill||41:28|
Men U/20 8 km.
Women Open 8km.
TEAM 3rd. (unofficial)
Women U/18 4km.
|4.||Jessica De Bruin||15:22|
Women U/16 4 km.
Women U/14 4 km.