Sandown Road Relays


Great conditions for Sandown were ordered and received this year.  This was a great change from Bundoora, where our athletes and supporters had nearly thawed out after a week.   No wind, no rain, very slightly overcast – this was the year where if you were in good shape, and there was someone of similar ability nearby to challenge you, you ran a PB.

We were delighted to hear that Julian Dwyer had returned to the country, and was running again.  Not only was that excellent news, but we had four senior men’s teams running and two of our best juniors were chosen to complement these teams.

Our Section 1 men’s team was competitive, and following a last minute change in running order, John Meagher set off in the first leg.  John ran a very fine first lap of 9 m. 21 s., which saw us in around 11th position.  His second lap was a sound one and he passed over to Julian Dwyer in 9th place, having picked up several runners to improve our position. Daniel Quin of Melbourne University (18 m. 22) just led in Ruschena of Glen Huntly (18 m. 25) with Fountain of Geelong in third position (18 m. 35).

Julian Dwyer flew off at a great pace and gained three positions in his first lap, in which he recorded the very fast time of 9 m.00.  He picked up another two places in his concluding lap, to bring Box Hill into 4th position, recording a leg time of 18 m. 07, one of the fastest times of the day.  It was very heartening to see him back in the Box Hill colours after a long break, with international travel and races over the last four months.  Glen Huntly had opened up a lead 21 seconds over Doncaster, with Box Hill 31 seconds adrift of the lead.  Phil Sly (PRR) recorded 18m. 00 in this leg to lift PRR to third position.

Doncaster’s Nigel Adkins propelled Doncaster to the lead in this lap and Box Hill briefly held third place until the second of Marcus Tierney’s two laps, when Olympian Lee Troop ran past him in the back straight.  Box Hill held fourth position at the conclusion of this leg, 61 seconds behind Doncaster and only 9 seconds down on Geelong in third place.

In the fourth leg, Glen Huntly regained the lead with Thompson recording another quick performance (18 m. 09).  Graeme Olden held 4th position until later in the second lap when Paul Fenn (Ballarat) ran 17 m. 48 to lift Ballarat to fourth.  The APS runner also ran a smart time lifting their team to third, behind Glen Huntly and Geelong in second, to move our team back into 6th position 23 seconds behind Doncaster.  Graeme ran very courageously and recorded a leg time of 19 m. 26.

In the next leg, David Eadie ran for Glen Huntly, with Steve Moneghetti running for Ballarat Regional Centre and Grant Schmidlechner running for Doncaster.  Moneghetti would have taken off in fourth position, had he been ready, but he missed the changeover and was actually fifth when he commenced his leg.  He put in a mighty effort running a 17 m. 41 leg.  This brought Ballarat into second place61 seconds behind Glen Huntly.  Schmidlechner also ran a fast lap of 18 m. 00 bringing Doncaster into third place 12 seconds ahead of Geelong.  Box Hill was ably served by Luke Yeatman’s evenly paced leg where he ran laps of 9 m. 40 and 9 m. 41 to maintain the team in sixth place 32 seconds behind APS in fifth position.

Glen Huntly maintained their lead, and the battle for the minor placings was an absorbing contest with Gleisner (Ballarat) just holding off Jeremiah (Geelong) by two second after Olympian Sean Quilty (Doncaster) had been dropped off in the second lap.  Scott Jackson held sixth position, and our team finished just over 5 minutes behind the winners, 3 minutes 10 behind second and 1 minute 39 behind fifth.

Our results in the other men’s teams were faultless, with wins in Section 3, 6 and 7, an outstanding performance.  What was impressive was the number of our athletes who ran very evenly in both laps with less than 20 seconds’ difference between the two times.

In Section 3, Dale Bickham’s sub 20 minute first leg was sufficient to get the team of to a winning lead.  Dale managed to record the fast time of 19 minutes 56, always a milestone to achieve.  This was bettered by Paul Boxshall who ran seven seconds faster in 19 m. 49.  This had opened up a lead over Wendouree of over a minute and a half, which encouraged Sam Hassett, returning to racing after a long lay off following injury, to run a very solid race, recording 20 minutes 35.  Andrew White ran exceptionally well, recording laps of 10 m. 00 and 10 m. 03 for a total of 20 m. 03, a very impressive effort for an Under 18 athlete. Michael Jones improved his time from 2000, running 21 m. 05 to anchor the team to a victory with a winning of over 4 minutes.  This team would have held its own in Section 2, which is most encouraging to have such depth.

Section 6 saw a very strong Box Hill team entered, recording a clear victory. Team Manager, Rob Falkenberg singled out Patrick Kelly for special praise.  Patrick recorded two quick laps and ran the overall time of 21 m. 05, which promises a very impressive future. Tony Bird got the team off to a flying start with a 21 m. 24 beginning.  This put us in a very solid position, with Adam Pepper (22 m. 07), Patrick Kelly, and stalwart Chris O’Connor (21 m. 51) showing how even this team was.  They demolished their opposition early in the race.

Our Section 7 team was also successful.  Matt Slater ran a very strong final leg (22 m. 58) to ensure the team’s victory after Jamie Strudley (23 m. 49), Dave Ayers (24 m. 28) and Dave Boyd had taken the team into the lead.  Julian Cosgrove also0 ran a leg in Box Hill colours.  He recorded 24 m. 53 for the 6.2 k. circuit.

Unfortunately the Sandown relays were not a great day for our women’s teams. Due to a number of injuries, athletes being unavailable and a few last minute withdrawals we were not able to field a team in most of the divisions. Those who did run, however, put in some good performances.

Our women’s open team started strongly with Nikki Chapple running a good first leg, finishing in 5th place against strong opposition in the time of 21:57. She was followed by Marion Gamble running a time of 24:52 and Megan Sloane in 24:37.

The highlight of the day was the wonderful performance of Box Hill’s under 16 team. Hayley Tomlinson lead off with a brilliant run of 10:34 for the one lap journey around the Sandown circuit. This brought the team into first place in their age group and also ahead of all the under 18 and under 20 teams. Georgie McCallum ran a strong second leg to finish in a time of 12:10 and extend the teams lead. Juliet Thornton running third, continued her good form and pulled further away from the chasing teams to cross the finish line in first place, running a personal time of 11:32. The under 16 girls won by almost 2 minutes, also finishing ahead of all the under 18 teams. Congratulations to Hayley, Georgie and Juliet.

It is immensely satisfying to have three Senior Men’s teams and the girl’s Under 16 team ascendant on the same day.  Thanks to all those club members who officiated or went to the course to support Box Hill, including Val and Les Armstrong, and Julie Milner.  Thanks also to those members who assisted with Team Management duties and to Ian and Megan Sloane for once again providing afternoon tea.

Later, David Ayers revealed that he could have run faster if pressed, by making three or four trips, at near race pace, to the car park to see whether the afternoon tea table had been set up (it hadn’t because there were still Box Hill runners on the course).

Our performances (unofficial)

Section 1

Leg Runner Lap 1 Lap 2 Total BH Position Leader’s Time BH Time
1 John Meagher 9:21 9:50 19:11 9 18:22 19:11
2 Julian Dwyer 9:00 9:07 18:07 4 36:47 37:18
3 Marcus Tierney 9:40 9:44 19:24 4 55:41 56:42
4 Graeme Olden 9:39 9:47 19:26 6 73:56 76:08
5 Luke Yeatman 9:40 9:41 19:21 6 92:12 95:29
6 Scott Jackson 9:51 10:10 20:01 6 110:24 115:30

Placings and times (unofficial)
1                 Glen Huntly                                   110:24
2.                Ballarat                                           112:20
3.                Geelong                                          112:22
4.                Doncaster                                      112:57
5.                APS                                                 113:51
6.                Box Hill                                          115:30

Section 3

Name First Lap Second Lap Total Time
Dale Bickham 9:42 10:14 19:56
Paul Boxshall 9:47 10:02 19:49
Sam Hassett 10:14 10:21 20:35
Andrew White 10:00 10:03 20:03
Michael Jones 10:37 10:28 21:05

Team Result:         First

Section 6

Name First Lap Second Lap Total Time
Tony Bird 10:38 10:46 21:24
Adam Pepper 10:54 11:13 22:07
Patrick Kelly 10:17 10:48 21:05
Chris O’Connor 10:39 11:12 21:51

Team Result:         First

Section 7

Name First Lap Second Lap Total Time
Jamie Strudley 11:13 12:36 23:49
Dave Ayers 12:56 11:32 24:28
Dave Boyd 13:11 13:25 26:36
Matt Slater 11:39 11:19 22:58

Team Result:         First

Julian Cosgrove                                  12:08                +                12:45            24:5