Brimbank Park Cross Country

Our Section 1 men’s team took 4th place, behind Glen Huntly APS and Geelong, but ahead of Ballarat and other Section 1 teams in the 16 k. Cross Country Race at Brimbank Park.  With only 7 senior Box Hill athletes contesting the long race, there was little margin for error.  Those of you who have run the course know how formidable the venue is, and total competitor numbers are always low for this particular race.  The conditions at this Keilor venue were again atrocious, with freezing wind and rain assailing the runners, particularly in the second lap of the three lap course.  Conditions were so bad this year that the customary ghoulish gathering at the top of the hill was minimised due near hypothermia.  Fortunately the race takes athletes up the goat track twice, not three times, as the first lap is now a truncated half lap of Brimbank Park.  Three trips up that ascent would have been even more inhumane than the agonies of running it twice in such abysmal conditions.

Box Hill’s male ranks were depleted this year by illness injury and (dare one say it) common sense.  Nevertheless, Box Hill was well represented in the early stages in the first third of the field, with Patrick Kelly surprising with a very bold forward showing in the first lap.  Patrick later revealed that he did not realize how much further than an 800 m. track race the 16 k cross country actually was so he found the going fairly tough in the concluding stages.

Running close to the front of the field in the early stages was Marcus Tierney who ran very competitively and strongly, placing 11th after a very solid race.  Marcus maintained his position throughout the race after having a sustained battle with several nearby runners from other clubs, and had good reason to be satisfied with his performance after the race. Dale Bickham has run in excellent form throughout the Winter races and it was no surprise to see him complete the race in the respectable position of 24th place, just in advance of Paul Boxshall, 26th and Luke Yeatman, 28th who both appeared to improve their position in the last half of the race.  Adam Pepper also competed solidly in this race, placing 45th after a strong sustained finishing kick.  Earlier in the race, Tony Bird had been running in a similar position in the field, when an injury to his foot compelled him to retire.  This meant that it was essential for Patrick Kelly to complete the race to ensure that we had a scoring team.  With strong encouragement from Box Hill’s supporters, Patrick managed to lift his tempo in the concluding stages of the race and finish in 132nd position, enabling our Section 1 to score points.

Sam Hassett finish 6th in the Men’s Under 20 6 K Cross Country in 21 m. 35 s. in an encouraging display after injury.  Sam was within striking distance of 4th and 5th placegetters in this race. Kate Thornton finished 11th in the Women’s U/18 division of the same race in 31 m. 27 s.

In the Under 14 and Under 16 3k Cross Country, Christopher Hamer placed 1st in the Under 14 3 k. Cross Country.  Hayley Tomlinson was the first placegetter in the Women’s Under 14 race, eclipsing all the female competitors in the Under 16 division.  Juliet Thornton was 3rd in the Under 16 race.  Sarah Evans placed 9th in the Under 14 race.

In the Under 18 division, Andrew White placed 3rd in a fine display of distance running.  Andrew put in a barnstorming finish to pass one opponent and nearly catch the second place-getter in the last 500 metres.

In the same race, Nicki Chapple placed 7th in the Women’s 4 K Cross Country.  Jessica de Bruin placed 2nd in the Women’s Under 20 4k in the same race.  Marin Gamble place 27th in the Open Women’s race, just ahead of Megan Sloane who placed 30th in the same race.  Megan was the winner of the Women’s 45 years division.

Audra Papworth was 7th in the Women’s Under 20 division.

A Grade          

Position Time   Team placings
 1 Nigel Adkins Doncaster 51 m. 51 1st Glen Huntly 51
Mark Thompson GH 52 m. 42 2nd APS 123
Jay Bourke Ball YCW 53 m. 10 3rd Geelong 188
11  Marcus Tierney 56 m. 03 4th Box Hill 266
24  Dale Bickham 58 m. 34
26  Paul Boxshall 58 m. 38
28  Luke Yeatman 59 m. 11?
45  Adam Pepper 62 m. 00
132  Patrick Kelly 70 m. 56


6               Sam Hassett                                     21 m. 35  (U/20)
3               Andrew White                                13 m. 45.4 (U/18)
1               Christopher Hamer                         11 m. 16 (U/14)

Women’s Results                                   Team Placings

7 Nicole Chapple 15:30.5 5 Box Hill 64
27 Marion Gamble 16:50.3
30 Megan Sloane 16:56.1


2 Jessica  de Bruin 15:46.3 (U/18)
7 Audra Papworth 17:30.8 (U/20)
11 Kate Thornton 31 m. 27 (U/18)
3 Juliet Thornton 12 m. 29 (U/16)
1 Hayley Tomlinson 11 m. 29 (U/14)
9 Sarah Evans 13 m. 48 (U/14)