Box Hill performed superbly on Sunday September 4 to win the Victorian Half Marathon team race convincingly. In a real team performance, Box Hill relegated Glen Huntly to fourth position to claim its first victory of the season after numerous second places during the Winter season.
John Meagher, Chris O’Connor, Andrew White, Simon Watson, Adrian Vincent, John Vaitkunos, David Jimenez and Paul Boxshall commenced in the men’s race and Jess De Bruin, Amanda Harper, Joc Keage, and Inge Magher started in the women’s section.
Magnus Michelsson started off extremely fast, and spread-eagled the field. A visiting Kenyan runner, Joseph Ndirangu, tried to follow, but was quickly out-distanced. John Meagher looked to be in great shape and positioned himself well at the front of the remaining athletes with Rowan Walker Geelong. Adrian Vincent settled into 13th place, with Simon Watson, Andrew White and David Jimenez all to the forefront of the field. Chris O’Connor was a little further back, but running smoothly. Further back in the field, Jess de Bruin was running a solid race with Amanda Harper and Joc Keage running side by side.
As the race progressed Magnus Michelsson drew further ahead, Rowan Walker overtook the Kenyan visitor, and John Meagher drew clear of two athletes who had been trying to pass him. Adrian Vincent settled into about 13th place amongst a group of four or five athletes. A little further back Simon Watson was running by himself, with Andrew White running in a smaller group. Close on his heels was David Jimenez who was running energetically. Chris O’Connor opted for a more conservative start, being placed in the mid 60s, and steadily improved his position during the race. Paul Boxshall was in the 90s and John Vaitkunos was further back, perhaps around 120th position. Jess De Bruin was the first placed of the Box Hill women and about one minute behind her in the early stages, Amanda Harper and Joc Keage were running together. Inge Magher withdrew from the race.
Magnus Michelsson consolidated his lead as the race drew towards its conclusion. John Meagher maintained his place as 3rd Victorian, also winning the leading Veteran’s gold medal in a great display. Adrian Vincent, having passed a number of athletes and getting to perhaps as high as 9th place suffered a bad patch in the concluding three kilometres of the 21.1 k distance, and came over the line in 14th position (if the wheelchair entrant and the Kenyan were excluded from the results). Andrew White finished 23 seconds later two positions behind Adrian. David Jimenez had also had a bad patch mid-race, but regained his tempo in this long race to finish strongly, placing 22nd, whilst Chris O’Connor continued to overtake many runners during the concluding stages of the race to finish in 35th place, just ahead of Simon Watson, 38th, who has been hampered by injury and illness recently. Paul Boxshall appeared in the results listed as having place 87th, and must have been running in civilian dress, with John Vaitkunos completing the men’s teams placing around 108th.
This was another pleasing surprise to win the race, following our Victory in this race two years ago, with Glen Huntly’s Section 1 runners either opting to avoid the race, or, in several cases, using it as a training run. Peninsula Road Runners appear to have placed second, ahead of surprise third placed Diamond Valley.
The women’s team appeared to be the leading Section 2 team, fighting it out with Eureka. Jess De Bruin was our first female athlete home in 15th place, followed by Amanda Harper, 25th, who drew away from Joc Keage, 29th, in the latter stages of the race.
There was good support from non-competing Box Hill supporters, with Julie Milner, Kate Beever, Glenn White, Wes Windsor, Megan Sloane and John Meagher’s fiancee, Jackie all on hand to encourage our athletes.
Provisional Men’s Results
1 Magnus Michelsson Collingwood 1:06:00 2 Rowan Walker Deakin 1:07:13 (3 Joseph Ndirangu Kenya (Inv) 1:09:00) 4 John Meagher Box Hill 1:09:19 (3rd outright) 15 Adrian Vincent Box Hill 1:13:28 17 Andrew White Box Hill 1:13:51 23 David Jimenez Box Hill 1:14:31 36 Chris O'Connor Box Hill 1:17:10 39 Simon Watson Box Hill 1:17:37 88 Paul Boxshall Box Hill 1:23:14 109 John Vaitkunas Box Hill 1:24:57
Provisional Women’s results
1 Susan Michelsson Collingwood 1:14:49 2 Kate Seibold-Crosbie Sandringham 1:17:45 3 Kylie Dick Doncaster 1:18:03 16 Jess De Bruin Box Hill 1:26:54 25 Amanda Harper Box Hill 1:32:50 29 Jocelyn Keage Box Hill 1:34:26
Unofficial team scores:
Mens Division 1 1. Box Hill 53 2. PRR 86 3. Diamond Valley 96 4. Glenhuntly 110 5. Geelong 123 6. Melb Uni 139 7. Keilor St.B 162 8. Malvern 163 9. Aths Essendon 173 10. Knox 242 Mens Div 4 1. Box Hill 235 2. Nunawading 244 3. Melbourne Uni 275 4. Coburg 276 5. Glenhuntly 646 Womens Div 2 1. Box Hill 64 2. Collingwood 68 3. Eureka 72 4. Coburg 84 5. Traralgon 133