Flemington Road Racing Championships

Our depth in Section 1 has taken a backward step with the departure of Andrew Letherby and Julian Dwyer, yet in a number of ways the team performance was pleasing in this year’s, 10 k. road championship. Marcus Tierney was unavailable, as he is travelling overseas at present, having concluded his doctoral studies.  Nevertheless, we fielded two full teams in the rather chilly conditions which faced the field of nearly 400 athletes who toed the line on Saturday 18 May.  This race is the premier road race in the winter season and usually attracts a high quality field at the top end of the competition.

Box Hill had 14 starters, with Patrick Kelly starting of with a bold burst of speed to be in amongst the very large group of accomplished runners for the first 500 metres of the race.  Lee Troop, (Geelong), in an official fitness test for his Marathon place in the Commonwealth Games showed early pace, taking the lead from 23 runners in the lead pack after two and a half kilometres.  Craig Mottram (Geelong), Nick Harrison (Glen Huntly), Steve Moneghetti (Ballarat YCW), Simon Field (St Kevins), Rod de Highden (Doncaster), Richard Gleisner (Ballarat YCW), David Eadie GH), Paul Fenn (Eureka) and a number of others were prominent early in the first of the three laps to be run in this race.

Dale Bickham started off fast early, to be running side by side with Graeme Olden in the first 30, followed by Paul Boxshall 50 metres to the rear, with Luke Yeatman and Sam Hassett being in the first 60 as well.  Patrick Kelly had settled into his race pace in around 95th place.  Further back we had four athletes reasonably close together, with Adam Pepper, John Vaitkunas (competing for the first time in several years after a break), Tony Bird and Chris O’Connor running within a minute of each other.  Matt Slater was further back.

Doncaster appeared to be in a winning position in the teams’ race at this early stage seemingly eclipsing Doncaster with Geelong not far behind.  Box Hill appeared to be in about 6th position in Section 1.

After the completion of the second lap, Craig Mottram had exercised authority over the filed and moved well clear, with Steve Moneghetti showing he was still extremely competitive, moving through the field into second place with Lee Troop slipping back imperceptibly and Nick Harrison and Rod de Highden looking strong.  Simon Field fell away after a strong start to fall out of contention for a top finish.  Of the Box Hill athletes, Graeme Olden continued his forward momentum, picking up several places in the concluding stages and finishing with his trademark 100% commitment right to the finishing line, with Paul Boxshall maintaining his forward progress to place solidly.  Luke Yeatman also improved his relative position making up some ground on Paul to finish about half a minute behind, with Dale Bickham paying the price for his enthusiasm in the first lap just behind Luke.  Sam Hassett maintained his position and was in the first 60 or so. Patrick Kelly held on to finish just outside the first 100, to make up our Section 1 team.

Doncaster beat Glen Huntly in Section 1 for the second time this year by around 7 points, and Geelong were not very far behind in third place.  Official team placings have not yet been posted, but it appears that Box Hill was in about 6th place, behind Ballarat YCW and APS.

All times and placings are listed below.  It was pleasing to see a number of Box Hill supporters on the course shouting for our athletes.

Andrew White was prominent in the Under 18 10 kilometre race for the first six kilometres.  Unfortunately he was inconvenienced by an annoying niggle on the side of his knee and was compelled to pull out short of the finish.

Leading performances

1          Craig Mottram            29 m. 07
2          Steve Moneghetti            29 m. 41
3          Nick Harrison            29 m. 45
4          Rod de Highden            29 m. 49
5          Lee Troop  29 m. 55

Division 1 Box Hill Performances

Position Name Time
27 Graeme Olden 31 m. 53
37 Paul Boxshall 32 m. 32
49 Luke Yeatman 33 m. 02
51 Dale Bickham 33 m. 08
60 Sam Hassett 33 m. 27
101 Patrick Kelly 34 m. 53

Section 3 

126 Chris O’Connor 35 m. 42
134 Adam Pepper 36 m. 01
136 John Vaitkunos 36 m. 09
153 Tony Bird 36 m. 40
243 Matt Slater 39 m. 47

Other Box Hill Competitors 

287 Wes Windsor 41 m. 52
317 Dave Boyd 43 m. 29

Open Women

With a number of regulars, such as Nikki Chapple, Megan Sloane and Georgie Connell missing, it was left to the relative newcomers of the club to “fly the flag” in the women’s open 10k at Flemington. In the cold, windy conditions, Fiona Turner was our first runner home in 46th place in the time of 42:35. She was followed by Audra Papworth in 51st place and Amanda Harper 56th .

46.  Fiona Turner 42:35
51.  Audra Papworth 44:03
56.  Amanda Harper 45:50

Under 20

Without the benefit of official team results, it appears that the under 20 women again won the teams race (as they did in the Brimbank relays). Emily Smith was close to the leaders in the first lap and despite losing some ground in the second half of the race finished 4th in 39:42. Jocelyn Keage is still returning to full fitness after some setbacks last year and was suffering from a cold but still managed to finish 8th ahead of Beth Bird in 11th place.

4.  Emily Smith 39:42
8.  Jocelyn Keage 42:42
11. Beth Bird 45:50

Under 18

Georgie McCallum and Amy Zagato got in some good over-distance work to finish 4th and 6th respectively in their 10k road race debuts.

4.  Georgie McCallum   44:10
6.  Amy Zagato  45:35

Under 16

Hayley Tomlinson ran another great race to win the under 16 , 3k event at Flemington in a time of 10 minutes flat. Hayley not only beat all the under 16 girls, but also beat all but two of the under 16 boys. Sarah Evans also ran well to finish 15th in a time of 11:54.

1.  Hayley Tomlinson   10:00
15. Sarah Evans   11:54