The final race on the 2008 Winter program was held on Saturday, September 20 at the King’s Domain, otherwise known as “The Tan”.
It was a cool, grey day, and this seemed to impact on runners’ performances. It began raining in the fourth leg. This event is a happy hunting ground for Box Hill having won the inaugural Division 1 event in 2005, the silver medal in 2006, the gold medal in 2007, and a host of victories in the Division 3 and 5 men’s competition as well as the Under 20 men’s and Under 18 men’s team competitions.
Presentations were postponed because of the inclement weather.
With four of Box Hill’s best performers from 2008 unavailable for various reasons (Chris Hamer, Steve Dinneen, Bouchaib Chefnaoui and Barry Lynch), and a host of others with injuries, our team sheet looked a little depleted. However, fortunately, as far as our Division 1 team was concerned, Luke Yeatman was available and Navin Arunasalam returned from America whiich meant that we had a decent team on paper. The start was a shemozzle, with the starter firing the gun as an afterthought when the field was already on its way. Luke Yeatman excelled himself in the first lap, running the smart time of 11:43, and although behind our main rivals, he was close enough to give us hope that we could overtake a number of other clubs when their less accomplished runners stepped out. Essendon stormed to the lead in this leg through Liam Adams who ran the fastest time of the day. His time, taken from when he actually started, rather than when the gun fired, was 11:01. Yuer Doa from Eureka, running for Ballarat City was not far behind running the second fastest lap of the day in 11:09. Box Hill held 9th position after the first leg. Navin Arunasalam set off on the second circuit and at the conclusion was still in ninth position, although Box Hill had dropped a little time on other Division 1 clubs. In this leg, Ballarat City’s Tyson Popplestone passed Essendon’s Michael Brown by a very small margin and Geelong remaining in third place ahead of Knox, fourth, followed by Glenhuntly, 5th. Box Hill was 91 seconds from the lead.
Matt Coloe ran our third leg, and ran a smart time, recording 11:37 which propelled us forward by two places and reduced the deficit behind all the other teams, now 65 seconds down on third place. We could see that there was a strong chance if all remaining runners could run competitive times we could hope for a medal. Matt handed over to Steve Kelly who held sixth place and brought us closer to the other clubs in front and reduced the deficit behind third to just 49 seconds.
Glenhuntly assumed the lead in this lap following a brilliant individual effort from Toby Rayner who recorded 11:11. Geelong moved into second place with Knox in third. Ballarat City had expended all their best runners and they held fourth but had lost momentum. A medal looked like a possibility with Daniel Clark and Andrew White still to come.
Daniel strode off purposefully on his lap and held it together particularly well, moving past two opponents and finishing just 28 seconds behind Glenhuntly which occupied third place, so we were now only 41 seconds down on the leaders, Geelong. One slight problem was that Lee Troop was Geelong’s last runner. Knox took the lead at the end of the fifth lap, from Geelong by seven seconds, with Glenhuntly, third, a further six seconds behind. Daniel had set up the possibility of a medal placing with his lap, and he tagged Andrew White at the changeover.
Andrew White sprinted off looking extremely determined, and he ran down everyone but Geelong, with Lee Troop beating him to the line by just 20 seconds. Andrew overtook his Glenhuntly and Knox opponents during the lap as well as reducing the lead which Geelong held by a significant amount. He ran a brilliant lap of 11:13, the fifth fastest of the day, meaning he anchored the team to the silver medal position. In doing so he also ensured that Box Hill won the Winter Championship for the first time ever, since the Cross Country and Road Championships merged 28 years ago. Box Hill last won a Winter Cross Country or Road Championship in 1979, so this was an extra special occasion.
Congratulations to all our Winter athletes and their coaches who combined so well throughout the long season to ensure such a stunning result.
Probably just as pleasing was the victory we scored by finishing seventh in Division 3 which ensured the Division 3 Winter Championship was also ours. Team members Andrew Nagle, Steve Griffin, Scott Boxshall, Nic Baggott and Adrian Vincent acquitted themselves well to place seventh, in a team depleted somewhat by illness and injury.
Our Division 5 team finished 10th to secure fourth place for the season. We didn’t start a Division 7 team, and so we finished 10th overall for the season.
Without John Meagher and Graeme Olden, and with Chris O’Connor sporting a calf injury and unable to exert pressure on his competitors, our Over 40 team had their leanest competition for the season in sixth position, meaning a clear second place for the year (with two victories and three silver medal placings meaning a successful year, if not the championship).
Our Under 20 men excelled themselves yet again, with another victory. Congratulations to Josh di Stefanis, Mark Poli and Michael Dowel on their performance, securing the gold medal and the Winter Championship, an outstanding effort. Stuart Watson was unavailable due to injury, and he has contributed to this exceptional result in a major way as well. Our Under 20 men recorded five wins and two seconds for the season with one DNS and they won the Championship from Western Athletics by six points.
We fielded two Under 18 teams and Daniel Balassone, Kyle Martin-Alcaide and Anthony Alosio performed well to finish fourth, just 20 seconds out of a bronze medal. The second team also ran well, with Danny Schneider, Mitchell Milnes and Johnathon Tree combining to place 10th in the race. The Under 18 team placed 9th in the Winter Championship in their age group.
Our women’s teams performed soundly. Our Division 1 team placed 8th with Emma Steer recording the fastest leg in 15:13. The Division 1 team secured overall 6th position in the Winter Championship. The Division 2 team placed 12th with Megan Sloane running the fastest leg in 16:06. The Division 2 Women’s team finished equal 12th for the season and will be relegated to Division 3 in 2009.
Our Under 20 Women finished seventh, with Coreena Cleeland running the fastest lap in 15:13.
Chris O’Connor, Graeme Olden, Rob Falkenberg and Julie Milner offered great support and leadership behind the scenes throughout the season and we have all been rewarded with our best Winter finish in 30 years. In short, a fabulous result for Box Hill Athletic Club and a richly deserved one which all people who have contributed to can take credit and pleasure from.
Men's Division 1 Individual Performances Leg Runner Lap time Position Leader’s time BH time 1 Luke Yeatman 11:43 9 11:01 11:43 2 Navin Arunasalam 12:25 9 22:27 24:08 3 Matt Coloe 11:37 7 34:20 35:45 4 Steve Kelly 11:52 7 46:28 47:37 5 Daniel Clark 11:38 4 58:34 59:15 6 Andrew White 11:13 2 70:08 70:28 Division 1 Performance Running Sheet (Running watch) Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4 Leg 5 Leg 6 Ess 11:01 Ball City 22:37 Ball City 34:20 GH 46:28 Knox 58:34 Geel 70:08 Ball City 11:09 Ess 22:37 Ess 34:32 Geel 46:34 Geel 58:41 BH 70:28 GH 11:12 Geel 22:42 Geel 34:48 Knox 46:48 GH 58:47 GH 70:45 Geel 11:13 Knox 22:45 Knox 34:49 Ess 46:55 BH 59:15 Knox 70:50 Sand 11:19 GH 23:22 GH 35:17 Ball City 47:14 Ess 59:16 Ess 71:39 Knox 11:23 Don 23:31 Don 35:29 Don 47:30 Don 59:50 YCW 72:41 Ball YCW 11:34 YCW 23:49 BH 35:45 BH 47:37 Ball City 60:19 Don 72:55 Don 11:41 Sand 23:56 YCW 36:42 YCW 48:59 YCW 60:33 Sand 73:50 BH 11:43 BH 24:08 Sand 37:32 Sand 50:17 Sand 62:41 Ball City 75:26 Division 1 Placings 1. Geelong 70:08 2. Box Hill 70:28 3. Glenhuntly 70:45 4. Knox 70:50 Leading Times (Open) Liam Adams Athletics Essendon 11:01 Duer Yoa Ballarat City 11:09 Clint Perrett Sandringham 11:10 Toby Rayner Glenhuntly 11:11 Andrew White Box Hill 11:13 Craig Huffer Glenhuntly 11:17 Nicholas Wightman Geelong 11:18 Daniel Hornery Sandringham 11.19 Luke Hurring Knox 11:21 Ben Toomey Knox 11:23 Matt McDonough Geelong 11:24 Lee Troop Geelong 11:26 Tyson Popplestone Ballarat City 11:28 Tom Fawthorpe Ringwood 11:28 Adrian McGregor Nunawading 11:31 Matthew Brown Essendon 11:33 Jamie Huggett Ballarat YCW 11:34 Steve Moneghetti Ballarat YCW 11:34 Daniel Clark Box Hill 11.35 Mitchel Brown Essendon 11:36 Matt Coloe Box Hill 11.37 Division 3 Box Hill Times Andrew Nagle 13:42 Steve Griffin 13:13 Scott Boxshall 15:08 Nic Baggott 14:38 Adrian Vincent 13:04 Division 3 Placings 1. Melbourne Uni 64:40 2. Knox 65:05 3. Western Aths 65:55 7. Box Hill 69:54 Division 5 Box Hill Times Adam Pepper 15:58 Russell Clowes 14:37 Dave Stevens 16:26 Dave Boyd 20:07 Division 5 Placings 1. Oakleigh 52:30 2. Melbourne Uni 53:44 3. Bendigo 54:11 10. Box Hill 66:59 40+ Division Box Hill Men’s Times Dave Ayers 13:59 Andrew Tunne 16:18 Chris O’Connor 17:09 40+ Division Placings 1. APS 38:04 2. Ballarat City 40:15 3. Bendigo 41:44 =6. Box Hill 47:43 Under 20 Box Hill Men’s Times Josh di Stefanis 12:27 Mark Poli 12:39 Michael Dowell 12:38 Under 20 Men’s Team Placings 1. Box Hill 37:44 2. Western Aths 39:45 3. Doncaster 42:10 Under 18 Box Hill Men’s Times Team 1 Daniel Balassone 13.30 Kyle Martin-Alcaide 12.10 Anthony Alosio 12.20 Team 2 Danny Schneider 14.01 Mitchell Milnes 13.28 Johnathon Tree 15.53 Under 18 Men’s Team Placings 1. Ballarat YCW 37:00 2. Essendon 37:02 3. Knox 37:40 4. Box Hill 38.00 10. Box Hill 43.22 2008 Women’s Team Performances Division 1 Women’s Times Emma Steer 15:13 Talitha Crawford 15:42 Emily de Luca 15:44 Kate Ackland 16:06 Division 1 Women’s Team Placings 1. Knox 54:08 2. Glenhuntly 55:42 3. APS 57:59 6. Box Hill 62:45 Division 2 Women’s Times Megan Sloane 16:06 Margie Conley 16:12 Rebecca Lau 16:10 Suzanne Andrews 16:53 Division 2 Women’s Team Placings 1. Knox 56:20 2. Doncaster 58:58 3. Traralgon 59:16 10. Box Hill 65:27 Under 20 Women’s Team Harriet Hodgkinson 16:50 Ali Wilson 17:15 Coreena Cleland 15:13 Under 20 Women’s Team Placings 1. Sandringham 42:26 2. Wellington 45:06 3. Frankston 45:44 7. Box Hill 49:18