Sandown Road Relays

Box Hill AC had a very good day in this year’s Road Relay Championships at Sandown Race course on Saturday, 8 July, winning Section 7 and gaining a number of places and Victorian medals. Sandown can be a pretty unpleasant location in mid-Winter, and old-hands commented that the conditions were quite favourable this year with a cold headwind blowing in the back straight.

There was interest in whether any other clubs could knock off Glenhuntly, which has won all but one of the winter races. Doncaster fielded a solid team and Geelong without Lee Troop and Rowan Walker were not at full strength. APS gained Simon Field as a result of the St Kevins merger with APS and this lifted the strength of their team significantly. Knox also have improved noticeably in 2006, and started a good team as well. And Ballarat had the ageless Steve Moneghetti in its team, guaranteeing at least one very fast leg, with Shaun Creighton making an appearance as well.

For those unfamiliar with the race, it is a time tested course, in use for over forty years, with several years where the venue was unavailable. Great runners like Robert de Castella, Ron Clark, Bill Scott, Steve Austin, Andrew Letherby, Chris Wardlaw, John Birmingham, Graham Crouch, Ken Hall, Mike Hillardt, Max Little and may others have run fast times at Sandown.

The top quality performers break 18 minutes for two laps and the very best run 17 minutes 30 or better. The Senior Men’s race involves teams of six runners each completing two circuits of the course, and each runner needs to remember that the second leg will be punishing if they have expended too much energy in their first circuit.

Senior Men

Box Hill’s first leg was allocated to Daniel Clark, and what fine effort he put in. He was not intimidated by the leading runners from other clubs and was right at the front of the field in the leading bunch when he ran though in 6th position just behind Scott Rantall (Geelong). David Ruschena (Glenhuntly) and Liam Adams (Essendon) were at the front and towards the end of the second lap, Adams, running for a Division 2 team shot clear of Ruschena.

Daniel Clark, running very strongly, broke clear of Rantall, a very fine effort indeed, to hand over to Barry Lynch in 3rd place just 5 seconds behind the second placed Knox team, and, importantly, well clear of Doncaster, Collingwood and APS.Barry set off purposefully and completed his first lap in fourth position, with Simon Field (APS) overtaking him during that lap. Glenhuntly opened up a minute’s lead on the field at the end of the first lap of the second leg, but Simon Field reduced the deficit to 22 seconds at the conclusion of the second lap. Barry managed to overtake his Knox opponent and bring Box Hill back to third, 37 seconds behind APS, and gained a buffer of 5 seconds over Knox, with Grant Schmidlechner (Doncaster) one second further back, looming ominously.

This was one of Barry’s best performances at Sandown, with his second lap faster than his first, and helped to ensure that Box Hill was well in contention.

John Meagher, recovered from recent damage to his ribs was our third athlete. John has had many years’ experience at Sandown, and was focussed on his performance. Craig Semple (GH) extended Glenhuntly’s lead. David McNeill (Doncaster), ran past three opposing teams in his first lap, to claim second place for Doncaster, passing John in the process. However, Knox fell away and John got away from the APS athlete.

Geelong’s third runner, however, in running 18 m. 50 crept past to hold third place by 15 seconds. The minor placings, third to sixth, were to change around significantly for the rest of the race, whilst first and second did not alter for the remainder of the race.

Toby Rayner(GH) extended Glenhuntly’s lead in the fourth leg. Adrian Vincent ran for Box Hill, breaking 20 minutes, having a very tight battle the whole way with Ballarat YCW and APS. At the end of the fourth leg, Glenhuntly led from Doncaster by 70 seconds, Geelong were third, 73 seconds behind second, and Box Hill were 38 seconds behind in fourth place, four seconds ahead of Ballarat YCW, with APS a further 17 seconds back.

Andrew White was next up, and had Steve Moneghetti to contend with. Moneghetti passed both Andrew and the Geelong runner to hold third position after the first of his laps. Andrew also claimed the Geelong runner, so Box Hill remained fourth.

Andrew’s first lap (9:09) was very quick and this told a little in his second lap. He was only 18 seconds adrift of Ballarat YCW, meaning that Box Hill had a realistic chance of a medal, depending on the strength of Ballarat’s last runner, and any other clubs behind us who had saved their best runner until the last leg.

Michael Chettle (GH) increased Glenhuntly’s lead over Doncaster, represented by Olympian Rod de Highden. Chris Hamer was our last runner and he pegged back his Ballarat YCW opponent to be one second behind him at the conclusion of the first of his two laps.

In the second lap, Chris demolished his opponent to pull well clear in a fine and controlled exposition of distance running, claiming the bronze medal for Box Hill. Ballarat held fourth place from Knox who picked up two places in the last leg, from APS and Geelong which faded out of the picture.

Our second team, in Section 3 placed 2nd, pipped on the line by a very strong last leg by Marty Fedmowski. All our team ran well with particularly strong legs from Kynan Dawes and Simon Watson.

The Division 5 team also performed meritoriously, placing second, with strong legs recorded by Tim Renowden and Paul Boxshall who showed that he is getting back into very good shape with a sub-21 minute leg. This team was defeated only in the latter stages of the last leg as well.

We had two division 7 teams and the Team 1 comprehensively thrashed the opposition with strong legs from Lachlan Aspinall and Michael Bourne. The second team placed sixth.

The Under 20 team, consisting of Navin and Ruben Arunasalam and Duayne Christou. Finished in third position, just 15 seconds behind second placed Knox. The times our juniors ran were reasonably even and Duayne broke 21 minutes for his leg.


Competition has been tight in the women’s division 1 competition this year with Box Hill sitting 2nd on the ladder behind Glenhuntly and just ahead of Knox, Sandringham, and Eureka.

With such a close battle going on for the winter premiership the competition at Sandown was bound to be strong. Fiona Turner ran well on what was a very competitive first leg bringing the team into the change over in 6th place, but close behind the 4th and 5th teams.

Sarah Grahame took over and ran a blistering first lap and although she faded slightly on the second lap she had moved the team up to 4th place behind Knox, Sandringham and Malvern. Amanda Harper ran next and although she lost ground to the leading two teams she passed the Malvern runner to hand over to last runner Rachel Johnson in 3rd place.Rachel ran well but on the last lap she was unable to hold off a fast finishing Eureka team to bring the team in to the finish in 4th position.

Our teams in Division 2 and 3 were unable to get up into the placings but Heidi Riordan ran very well and division 2 and it was good to see George Davies (Connell) competing for the first time this winter.

Our Under 20 female team are also vying for the premiership this season. Ali Wilson, Sarah Cant and Kate Wall all performed very well to finish well ahead of all teams except the strong Frankston combination to claim the silver medal.


Division 1 Results and times
Leg    Runner     Lap 1 Lap 2  Total  Pos Leader  BH time
1  Daniel Clark   9:22  9:44   19:06   3  18:23   19:06
2  Barry Lynch    9:49  9:48   19:37   3  37:44   38:43
3  John Meagher   9:42  9:57   19:39   4  56:43   58:22
4  Adrian Vincent 9:52 10:01   19:53   4  75:14   78:15
5  Andrew White   9:09  9:41   18:50   4  94:49   97:06
6  Chris Hamer    9:36  9:42   19:18   3  113:47 116:23

1. Glenhuntly   113:47
2. Doncaster    114:46
3. BOX HILL     116:23
4. Ballarat YCW 116:58
5. Knox         118:22
6. A.P.S        118:31

Fastest Times (not exhaustive)
Collis Birmingham 18:07
Liam Adams        18:15
David Ruschena    18:23
Steve Moneghetti  18:28
Toby Rayner       18:29
Simon Field       18:29
Please note these times are running watch times and are not official.

Division 3
Leg Runner      Lap 1	Lap 2	Total 
1  Tim Heron	10:29	10:58	21:27
2  Sam Dipnall	10:12	10:44	20:56
3  Kynan Dawes	 9:54	10:10	20:04
4  Graeme Olden	10:30	10:43	21:13
5  Simon Watson	 9:51	10:14	20:05

Team Result:
1. Mentone      103:38 
2. BOX HILL     103:45
3. APS          108:11
Division 5
Leg Runner              Lap 1	Lap 2	Total 
1  Graham Craigie       10:42	11:35	22:07
2  Kevin Craigie        10:39	11:19	21:58
3  Tim Renowden         10:19	10:47	21:06
4  Paul Boxshall        10:13	1035	20:48

Team Result
1. Frankston   75:43
2. BOX HILL    75:59
3. Sandringham 90:04

Division 7
Team 1
Leg Runner              Lap 1   Lap 2   Total 
1  Michael Bourne       11:16   11:16   22:32
2  Scott Boxshall       11:47   12:07   23:54
3  Bill Dyer            11:16   11:45   23:01
4  Lachlan Aspinall     10:39   10:57   21:36

Team 2
Leg Runner              Lap 1   Lap 2   Total 
1  Barry Whittle        12:19   12:35   24:54
2  Adam Pepper          12:43   13:47   26:30
3  David Featherston    11:57   12:19   24:16
4  Brett Nuske          13:20   14:02   27:22

Team Result
1. BOX HILL 1     91:03
2. Williamstown   95:15
3. Knox           98:31
4. Ballarat YCW   99:05
5. Collingwood   100:50
6. BOX HILL 2    103:22

Junior Team
Under 20
Leg Runner              Lap 1   Lap 2   Total 
1  Ruben Arunasalam     10:22   11:23   21:45
2  Navin Arunasalam     10:23   10:51   21:14
3  Duayne Christou      10:13   10:33   20:46

Team Result: 
1. Doncaster  60:58
2. Knox       63:30
3. BOX HILL   63:45

 Division 1
Leg Runner              Total 
1  Fiona Turner         23:42
2  Sarah Grahame        22:57
3  Amanda Harper        24:51
4  Rachel Johnson       23:43

Team Result
1. Knox          88:48
2. Sandringham   92:08
3. Eureka        94:27
4. BOX HILL      95:14

 Division 2
Leg Runner        Total 
1  Heidi Riordan  24:36
2  Megan Sloane   25:57
3  George Davies  26:15

Team Result

 Division 3
Leg Runner              Total 
1  Inge Watson          29:15
2  Kerry Putt           28:51
3  Harriet Hodgkinson   26:19

Team Result

Under 20
Leg  Runner     Lap 
1  Ali Wilson   11:30
2  Sarah Cant   11:20
3  Kate Wall    11:53

Team Result: 
1. Frankston   32:42
2. BOX HILL    34:43
3. Knox        35:49