Saturday 22 July saw the return of Cross Country running to Jells Park after a long absence. Box Hill was well represented in the senior events and had runners in many of the junior events as well.
Special thanks to Carole De Greenlaw, Luke Yeatman, Julie Milner, Rob Falkenberg, Dave Boyd, Barry Whittle and David Ayers who came along to act as officials on the day. Many thanks also for Ian Sloane and Chris O’Connor for their assistance with team management duties and to Megan Sloane for once again providing afternoon tea.
The junior races were held prior to the senior races, although the Under 20 men’s race, run over 8 kilometres, was combined with the Senior Women’s event, over the same distance.
Kate Wall ran very well to place 7th in the Under 20 race running 27:09. Harriet Hodgkinson and Charlotte Mahoney placed 10th and 14th respectively in the Under 18 and Under 16 events. Danny Krause also ran in the U/16 men’s event, placing 10th.
The men’s race attracted a very big field, and a large pack quickly developed at the front of the field with perhaps twenty men bunched together as the rest of the field started to string out.
This race had four three kilometre circuits of the difficult course. Marty Fedmowski (Mentone) and Alan Kent (Collingwood) took the early pace and this cost them both places later on because the tough course extracted its toll on the exuberance they displayed early. Collis Birmingham (Eureka) loomed up ominously and started extending those who had expended too much energy early. Andrew White was tucked in this bunch in about 12th place. Close up were John Meagher and Daniel Clark, with Kynan Dawes running particularly well.
We appeared to have 6 runners in the top 40, meaning that provided all our top placed runners maintained their places we were very competitive, vying for a top 3 position. Paul Boxshall also looked as if he had made great progress with his fitness.
After the completion of the first lap, Steve Moneghetti (BYCW) , ranged up to challenge Collis Birmingham and Russell Dessaix-Chin (NSW) joined in as well. Liam Adams (Essendon) and Toby Rayner (GH) were also prominent and David Ruschena (GH) appeared to be travelling well. Andrew White held 11th position with John Meagher in 18th position and Daniel Clark slipping back through the field. Simon Watson moved forward to get closer to Kynan Dawes and Adrian Vincent.
By the time the leaders had run three laps, the field had broken up and it was apparent that Birmingham, Moneghetti and Dessaix-Chin had the race between them. Ruschena had passed all the others bar the three leaders. Fedmowski had slopped out of the top 10 and Toby Rayner found the going too tough and surrendered a number of places as well. Then Birmingham surged decisively dislodging Moneghetti and Dessaix-Chin in a race winning move. Moneghetti was able to hold off Dessaix-Chin to claim the silver medal. David Ruschena came in 4th place ahead of Lachlan McArthur (Don).
Andrew White maintained his position and momentum, in 11th, one place behind Rayner, with John Meagher in 20th position. Kynan Dawes held 35th position. Then close together came Simon Watson, 41st, Adrian Vincent 43rd and Daniel Clark who steadied again and finished 45th. This meant we finished third in Division 1 a few points behind Doncaster.
David McNeill, Doncaster, missed the finish, running part of a fifth lap, and inexplicably was reinstated in 9th position, which was a curious decision, as normally when an athlete make an error of judgement, they are recorded in the place in which they cross the line. Hopefully, this will not occur again as it disadvantages any athlete who manages to learn the course beforehand and run on it correctly.
Our other athletes plugged on well with team members finishing from 52nd (Paul Boxshall) through to 166th, placing the Division 3 team 3rd. Results appear below.
The Senior women’s race over three laps, one lap of 2 K and two laps of 3 K proved to be a demanding course with some solid hills and long downhill stretches. Sam Crowther (Knox), Scott Vance (Frankston) and Ben Ashkettle (Doncaster) with three other athletes opened up a gap on the rest of the field. Early on, Duayne Christou was running in the company of Ruben and Navin Arunasalam in 11th 12th and 13th positions.
In the women’s race Anna Thompson (Glenhuntly) opened up a sizeable lead over Kate Smyth (GH) and Lisa-Jane Weightman (Knox), and this remained the case for the rest of the race. Sarah Grahame ran hard to get into a leading position, perhaps 9th or 10th. Further back, Fiona Turner started well in around 25th position in the women’s section, with Rachel Johnson further back in 30th position or so.
Amanda Harper was a little further back, but running a controlled race, with Jess de Bruin 15 to 20 places behind her, and Georgie Connell and Megan Sloane close to each other 40 seconds behind. Suzanne Andrews, a recently joined member was two minutes further back, and not far behind her was Inge Watson.
Crowther, Vance and Ashkettle broke clear of the pack they were running in and finished in that order. Duayne Christou put in a fighting effort to overtake five opponents in the second half of the race and as he raced down the long downhill section he drew closer to fifth place, but couldn’t quite overtake the fifth-placed runner. Nevertheless he finished officially fourth because the fourth placed and fifth placed runners were competing by invitation. Navin Arunasalam steadied in the second half of the ace and improved his position to 10th (officially 7th) whereas Ruben Arunasalam slipped a few places to complete the journey in 15th place (12th officially). This was a good enough performance to tie for first place with Knox on points.
Meanwhile, the leading women maintained their positions, whilst Fiona Turner, in one of her best Cross Country outings improved her placing to 15th overtaking a number of other athletes in the field, with Rachel Johnson also doing well to come in two places behind in 17th position.
Sarah Grahame paid the price for her early fast attack and finished 24th, with Amanda Harper, 26th, completing the Division 1 team. The team finished 3rd, behind Knox and Glenhuntly, a very good effort. Jess de Bruin steadied and completed the race in 44th position, followed by Georgie Connell, 58th, who found a little extra energy in the concluding stages to outlast Megan Sloane, 59th. The Division 2 team placed 5th. Suzanne Andrews and Inge Watson finished not long after to complete Box Hill’s contingent. We were one runner short of a third team.
Female Under 16 14 Charlotte Mahoney 18:48 Under 18 10 Harriet Hodgkinson 17:32 Under 20 7 Kate Wall 27:09 Senior Women 15 Fiona Turner 31:50 17 Rachel Johnson 32:18 24 Sarah Grahame 32:54 26 Amanda Harper 32:58 44 Jessica De Bruin 34:30 54 Georgie Davies 35:22 55 Megan Sloane 35:25 87 Suzanne Andrews 38:07 93 Inge Watson 38:33 Male Under 16 10 Krause Danny 28:44 Under 20 1 Sam Crowther Knox 25:58 2 Scott Vance Fkn 26:09 3 Ben Ashkettle Don 26:55 4 Ryan Mathews INV 27:20 5 Tyson Popplestone INV 27:22 6 (4th) Duayne Christou 27:28 7 Ruben Arunasalam BH 28:53 12. Navin Arunasalam BH 29:56 Senior Men 1 Collis Birmingham 38:01 2 Steve Moneghetti 38:15 3 David Ruschena 38:50 10 Andrew White 39:57 18 John Meagher 40:41 31 Kynan Dawes 41:57 37 Simon Watson 42:21 39 Adrian Vincent 42:43 41 Daniel Clark 42:47 52 Paul Boxshall 43:31 73 Sam Dipnall 44:58 79 Graeme Olden 45:18 154 John Vaitkunas 49:26 166 William Dyer 49:51 193 Scott Boxshall 51:09 245 Adam Pepper 55:03
Women Division 1 1. Glenhuntly 54 2. Knox 64 3. Box Hill 82 Women Division 2 1. Geelong Region 67 2. Ringwood 114 3. Collingwood 128 4. Glenhuntly 134 5. Box Hill 153 Men’s Under 20 =1. Knox 23 =1. Box Hill 23 Men’s 40+ 1. Keilor St Bernards 17 2. Box Hill 44 3. Malvern Harriers 52 Men’s Division 1 1. Glenhuntly 82 2. Doncaster 155 3. Box Hill 176 4. Geelong 281 Men’s Division 3 1. Mentone 278 2. Nunawading 510 3. Box Hill 524