The 16 K Cross Country venue was held for the second consecutive year at Ballam Park in Frankston about two months earlier than is customary. Box Hill fielded depleted teams in the senior races with five senior female athletes and six senior male athletes starting in their respective races and with all finishing.
The women’s race was contested over the short 4 K distance. Whilst Lisa Jane Weightman and Susie Michelsson got off to a fast start, Sarah Grahame also started out quickly, but was unable to maintain her early pace. Weightman (Ring.) drew away from the other competitors, with Michelsson (Coll.) placing second and Robyn Millard (APS) taking third position.
Sarah Grahame held on to 9th position in 15 m. 23, in a very promising performance. Rachel Johnson also ran solidly to place 17th in the time of 15 m. 52 around two minutes behind the winner. Amanda Harper was the next Box Hill finisher, recording 16 m. 06 for 23rd place, slightly ahead of Heidi Riordan 16 m. 08, in 25th position. Megan Sloane, former winner of the title, finished in 47th place, recording 17 m. 00. Inge Maher completed the women’s contingent, running the time of 19 m. 10 s for 100th position. Box Hill came 2nd in the Women’s Section 1 team’s race a commendable effort.
Our Under 20 women’s team also placed second with Kate Wall 5th (11:59), a fine effort, Hayley Tomlinson, 6th in 12:05 and Priscilla Barrington, 13th in 13:46.
The men’s 16 K Cross Country was held over four 4 K loops of the undulating course which also hosts a number of other sporting venues. The 16 K Cross Country (formerly the 10 mile Cross Country) has been contested for over 110 years, although fields have dropped off significantly since the 1970s and 1980s. There were 310 finishers this year.
Andrew White started off with the leading pack of 8 runners to be the top placed Box Hill runner including Michael Chettle (GH), Rod de Highden (Don), Magnus Michelsson (Coll.), Scott Rantall (Geel.), who took the lead at one stage, Alan Faila (Don.) and Ryan Jackson (Knox). After a restrained start, Lee Troop (Geel.) joined this group as did Rowan Walker (Geel.) who was a considerable distance off the leading group in the first lap. Further back were Simon Watson, 24th, Graeme Olden (in the high seventies), Chris O’Connor (177th and Bill Dyer (181st). Barry Whittle completed the Box Hill contingent.
The third lap saw more change with Lee Troop exerting his influence with a long pronounced surge to lead from de Highden, walker and Michelsson. Andrew White held 7th, but was detached from the leaders.
The final lap saw Lee Troop extend his lead. He was followed in by Rod de Highden who held on well from Michael Chettle in third place. Andrew White did not find the fourth lap to his liking and completed the course in 18th place, slipping 11 places over the last 4 kilometres. Simon Watson also eased in the concluding stages, and was the second Box Hill athlete to greet the finish in 44th place, with Graeme Olden picking up a number of places in the concluding stages to place 62nd. Chris O’Connor overtook a number of competitors in the last lap to place 122nd. Bill Dyer finished 150th, with Barry Whittle running 246th completing the team. Box Hill’s Section 1 result was our lowest placing to date this year, and with the return of a number of absent runners, will hopefully be the season’s nadir.
Our junior results were encouraging, with Duayne Christou 6th, in the time of 21:20, Ruben Arunasalam, 10th in 21:53, and Navin Arunasalam 11th in 22:01 placing 3rd in the under 20 men’s team’s race.
Danny Krause was 12th in the Under 16 4000 m. race in the time of 16:26.
Men’s Open 16 K Cross Country 18 Andrew White 55:11 44 Simon Watson 58:07 60 Graeme Olden 59:34 122 Christopher O'Connor 65:03 150 Bill Dyer 66:40 246 Barry Whittle 75:35 Men’s Under 20 6 K Cross Country 6 Duayne Christou 21:20 10 Ruben Arunasalam 21:53 11 Navin Arunasalam 22:01 Men’s Under 16 4 K Cross Country 12 Danny Krause 16:26 Women’s Open 4 K Cross Country 9 Sarah Grahame 15:13 17 Rachel Johnson 15:52 23 Amanda Harper 16:06 25 Heidi Riordan 16:08 47 Megan Sloane 17:00 100 Inge Watson 19:10 Women Under 20 3K Cross Country 5 Kate Wall 11:59 6 Hayley Tomlinson 12:05 13 Priscilla Barrington 13:46 Men Division 1 Team results 1. Glenhuntly 79 2. Doncaster 98 3. Geelong Region 104 4. Collingwood Harriers 319 5. Knox 375 6. Melbourne University 383 7. Peninsula RR 391 8. Keilor St Bernards 392 9. APS United 489 10. Diamond Valley 584 11. Box Hill 640 Men 40 Plus 1. Keilor St Bernards 16 2. Melbourne University 62 3. Malvern Harriers 64 4. Box Hill 70 5. Wendouree 72 Men Under 20 Team results 1. Frankston 11 2. Knox 20 3. Box Hill 27 Women Division 1 Team results 1. Glenhuntly 53 2. Box Hill 74 3. Knox 125 Women Under 20 Team results 1. Athletics Essendon 13 2. Box Hill 24