Cross Country – Geelong

Box Hill’s Division 1 team annihilated the opposition at Geelong’s Eastern Park on Saturday 12 July, in a superb display of Cross Country running. Our Division 3 team also won their section, due largely to Adam Pepper who came straight from work and plugged away to finish in a selfless display. And our Under 20 Men’s team was successful in winning the teams’ gold medal as well, with a very solid effort.

This is the best Winter season Box Hill AC has had in a generation. We have had four wins from six races and two second placings (both in relays). The results from the Geelong races were a continuation of the brilliant form our athletes have been displaying all year.

Coreena Cleland started the ball rolling with a bronze medal placing in the first event of the day in the Under 20 women’s race over 3000 metres. Coreena ran a great race and held off an opponent in the concluding stage of the race to place third in her division by three seconds.

The Under 20 men’s race saw three Box Hill athletes toe the line, and they won the team’s race. Stuart Watson ran a cleverly constructed race, running conservatively in the early sections and then increasing his tempo in the second half of the first lap. This effort propelled him into seventh place after he had occupied about 25th position earlier in the race. Mark Poli and Josh de Stefanis also acquitted themselves extremely well. They started boldly and maintained their tempo running in close proximity to each other. Josh deserves special mention because he was unwell with a heavy cold. Yet, he still competed and finished which enabled our Under 20 team to win, which was another example of dedication and determination. Well done Josh. Stuart finished 7th, Mark was 11th and Josh hung on for 14th, meaning the gold medal was Box Hill’s.

The men’s race was a hard run affair. Chris Hamer settled into an excellent cadence early and was close to or in the lead for the first lap. He surged and broke up the leading group, and then established dominance over the field moving into the second lap. There was a large contingent of Box Hill runners to the fore at the front end of the field. Steve Dinneen was up the front, along with Steve Kelly and Daniel Clark. Andrew White opted for a more conservative race plan and was holding a o position in the mid twenties and John Meagher was holding a similar position. Runners from other clubs at the front end of the club included Alan Craigie (Knox), Dan Hornery (Sand.), Shaun Krawitz (GH) and John Kent (Coll.). Olympians Steve Moneghetti (BYCW) and Lee Troop (Geel.) were also in the field but well back, easing into the race. Chris Hamer extended his lead at the end of the second lap opening up a sixty metre gap over the field. Liam Adams (Ess.) started to move forward and looked dangerous, with Krawitz, Dinneen and Hornery running bunched together. Steve Kelly was also very prominent in the leading group. Daniel Clark had shoe trouble, and stopped to remove the shoe, ripped out the insole and continued. This did not sort out the problem so he put another shoe on and continued. This cost him a number of places. Andrew White’s strategy of an easier start was working and he was picking up places the further the race went. Lee Troop was also making huge improvement and had moved forward to be in the top 20 at the end of the second lap after being in the top 60 earlier in the race. John Meagher was running a steady race, holding around 26th to 28th position.

Adrian Vincent was in about 45th position, with Chris O’Connor, perhaps 30 places behind. Steve Griffin was 20 metres behind, ands about 12 positions behind. Graeme Olden had been in contact with Chris and Steve, but slowed slightly in the second lap and was about 90 seconds behind Chris. Adam Pepper completed the Division 3 team, about 4 ½ minutes behind Graeme. Andrew Tunne was further back. The Division 3 team looked like it was doing well in the teams’ race, whilst the Division 1 team was clearly in from of Geelong, Glenhuntly and Ballarat YCW half way through the race.

Chris Hamer maintained his lead at the end of the third lap, but Lee Troop had moved up ominously to take second place, 11 seconds behind him, and Liam Adams had also put in a very strong lap and moved into clear third place. Steve Dinneen, holding seventh position appeared destined to finish somewhere between fourth to seventh place and was battling with Hornery, Krawitz and another athlete for these positions. With Andrew White, eighth, Steve Kelly holding ninth position and Daniel Clark steadying in 24th position (and improving), Box Hill was well represented at the front of the field. John Meagher was only a small distance away holding 28th position. The Division 3 team members (Vincent, O’Connor, Griffin, Olden and Pepper) all looked steady and were holding their positions or improving marginally.

During the final lap, Lee Troop overtook Chris Hamer to assume the lead and extended his margin to a 16 second gap at the finish, a quality performance. Chris ran a tremendous race and although not successful in winning the event, it won’t be long before he wins a senhis own right. Liam Adams was not able to make any further impression on Chris and placed third. Steve Dinneen put in a sensational last lap to eclipse all those around him and finish with a clear gap of five seconds in fourth place. It seems that Steve is not far away from winning a senior title in his own right as well. Andrew White, seventh, and Steve Kelly, eight also ran very good last laps, each improving one position. It could well be said that both these young men will win medals in the near future as well. Daniel Clark picked up four athletes in the last lap as he strove to get back to the front end of the field, crossing the finishing line in 20th position and not long after that, John Meagher sprinted to the finish in 30th position. Our Division 3 team members held their positions enabling a very satisfying win.

John Meagher and Chris O’Connor both finished fourth respectively in their age group competition.

The women’s race saw three Box Hill women start: Amanda Harper, back for a short visit from Mumbai in India, Megan Sloane and Kerry Putt. Amanda hurt her ankle during the race and was obliged to withdraw. Megan improved her position the further the race went and finished 67th which was good enough for third place in her age group and Kerry Putt finished 88th. Insufficient women started for a team placing.

Box Hill Men’s Division 1 team now leads the Premiership ladder by 11 points (on 74 points) from Geelong on 63 points with Ballarat YCW third on 54 points, with Knox fourth , on 47 points and Glenhuntly fifth with 46 points. There are four events left in the season, so we must maintain our pre-eminence by having a full turn up at each of the remaining events on the calendar.

Historical note (supplied by Trevor Vincent):

According to his records, Box Hill has won the ‘A’ Grade/Division 1 teams’ race at the 16K Cross Country (previously the 10 Mile Championship) four times in the past; in 1968, 1971, 1975 and 1979. Individual winners competing for Box Hill have been Tony Benson in 1971, Bruce Jones in 1972 and 1973, Brian Lewry in 1977 and 1983, Steve Austin in 1978 and Bill Scott in 1979, though it is possible that one of these performances might not have been in Box Hill strip.


Leading Open Men’s Results
1. Lee Troop       Geelong     50:50
2. Chris Hamer     Box Hill    51:06
3. Liam Adams      Essendon    51:26
4. Steve Dinneen   Box Hill    51:41
5. Dan Hornery     Sand.       51:46
6. Shaun Krawitz   Glenh.      51:58
7. Andrew White    Box Hill    52:30 
8. Steve Kelly     Box Hill    52:58

Name             Place      First lap    Second       Third        Finish
Chris Hamer        2        12:41        25:37        38:22        51:06
Steve Dinneen      4        12:51        25:53        38:53        51:41
Andrew White       7        13:12        26:30        39:20        52:30
Steve Kelly        8        12:54        26:01        39:26        52:58
Daniel Clark      20        12:54        26:12        41:01        54:37
John Meagher      30        13:18        27:07        41:22        55:50
Adrian Vincent    53        13:49        28:47        43:44        57:56
Chris O’Connor    72        14:56        29:55        44:57        59:44
Steve Griffin     94        14:44        30:08        45:59        61:12
Graeme Olden     145        15:22        31:30        47:54        64:16
Adam Pepper      252                     36:12                     75:12
Andrew Tunne     293                                               86:43

Under 20 6K Cross Country
Name                Place     Time
Stuart Watson        7        20:30
Mark Poli           11        21:00
Josh de Stefanis    14        21:14

Under 18 8K cross country
Cameron Nagle   17th   37:49 

Team Results
Division 1
1.   Box Hill            71 
2.   Geelong            172 
3.   Glenhuntly         182 
4.   Ballarat YCW       273 
5.   Sandringham        322
6.   Essendon           338

Division 3
1.   Box Hill           616 
2.   Sandringham        657 
3.   Western Athletics  664 
4.   Melbourne Uni      733 
5.   Coburg             771 
6.   Knox               970

1.   Box Hill            32 
2.   Knox                41 
3.   Ballarat City       45 
4.   Ballarat YCW        50 
5.   Western Athletics   51

Open Women’s Results
67   Megan Sloane        17:08
88   Kerry Putt          18:00

Under 20 Women’s results
3    Coreena Cleland     12:07