The Cross Country Relay meeting was conducted at Jells Park near Glen Waverley on Saturday April 18. Box Hill entered four senior men’s teams, an Under 20 men’s team, an Under 18 men’s team, a men’s 40+ team, three senior women’s teams, and an Under 18 women’s team. All teams performed well, with most placing second, third or fourth. However, we couldn’t win any divisions or age group races, which was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, it was a very steady start to the season, and when a number of athletes, who were unavailable on Saturday, return from injury or other reasons, we will perform even more strongly.
Last year, Box Hill placed second in the Division 1 race, being defeated by Geelong in the last leg. This year’s race looked to be more open, though we did expect Box Hill to challenge for victory. Opponents Glenhuntly, Geelong, Knox, Sandringham and Ballarat YCW all looked to have chances and Essendon which had recruited well, also looked likely to improve from 2008.
The race got under way with Clint Perrett running for Sandringham, in very good form, with Andrew White running our first leg of the two lap course. The course charges down hill from the start before moving through a series of dog legs over undulating ground, and then runners face a long grinding up hill section, running past the kiosk, around a playground area, with a fast downhill part to the finish. Each loop of the course is 3000 metres. Perrett opened up a big lead running a very fast 8:35 for the first lap. Andrew White, running very strongly, was holding second, with Duer Yoa (Eureka, a Division 2 team) in third position, Ballarat YCW were the next team 26 seconds behind Box Hill and were locked together with Doncaster. Glenhuntly and Knox were also close up. At the conclusion of the first leg, Clint Perrett had extended his lead running the extremely fast time of 17:25, a sensational effort. Andrew White also ran a brilliant leg, easily cracking the tough 18 minute barrier, in running 17:51. This had Box Hill in clear second position. Following on were Glenhuntly and Knox together, with Ballarat YCW (BYCW) a little further back.
Barry Lynch was selected to run our second leg and he immediately got to work. At the end of his first lap, he remained in second place, the Paul Martinico extending Sandringham’s lead by 18 seconds. Barry held a 35 second lead over BYCW which was 4 seconds ahead of Craig Semple from Glenhuntly. Barry tried to maintain his momentum in the concluding stages of his second lap, but was overtaken by Geelong’s Mark Tucker who ran a great leg to bring Geelong to be 52 seconds behind Sandringham, in the lead, with Box Hill 3rd, 17 seconds ahead of Doncaster, just ahead of BYCW and Glenhuntly. There was a great deal of movement in the team positions at this stage of the race. Luke Yeatman was the next Division 1 athlete and he ran off confidently. At the conclusion of the third leg, Sandringham remained in front, with Glenhuntly moving from sixth to second, 38 seconds behind the leaders. Geelong’s team was holding third position four seconds behind Glenhuntly, with Box Hill, fourth, a further seven seconds behind. Ballarat YCW and Doncaster were not far behind our team.
After one lap in this leg, Matt Coloe managed to get Box Hill into second place, one second behind Sandringham and level pegging with Glenhuntly, which had the same split time as Box Hill. However, Shane Nankervis (BYCW) was looming behind these three clubs, and he ran a tremendous second lap, overtaking every other team in the fourth leg, passing to Steve Moneghetti (BYCW) with a 31 second lead. Glenhuntly, second, drew ahead of Geelong with Box Hill, fourth. At the end of this leg, we were 31 seconds behind second place.
Steve Kelly ran fifth for Box Hill and immediately set out to catch the teams in front. He ran a very solid first lap, passing Geelong and holding off Sandringham to be 35 seconds behind Glenhuntly after his first lap. Moneghetti led the field by 33 seconds. Steve Kelly held it together really well in the concluding stages of his second lap recording the third fastest Box Hill time of the day, and excellent 18:36. Moneghetti handed over to the BYCW runner 36 seconds ahead of Glenhuntly, with Box Hill 43 seconds behind in third place. Sandringham and Geelong dropped out of contention in the fifth leg.
Chris Hamer ran a great last leg. He took off with a deficit of 79 seconds behind the leader and 43 seconds behind second-placed Glenhuntly. After his first lap, one of the quickest of the day, he was only 36 seconds behind Ballarat YCW having already caught Glenhuntly’s final runner. Urged on by Box Hill team mates he continued to peg back his BYCW opponent. However, his rival had just enough of a buffer which Chris was unable to bridge and Ballarat YCW reached the finish line just 14 seconds in advance of Chris Hamer’s final charge down the long hill to the finish line. The BYCW athlete collapsed to the ground such was the effort he expended to hold off Chris’s finishing burst. Ballarat YCW deserves congratulations for their win, particularly their final three runners who managed somehow to stay in front. Chris’s time was one of the fastest of the day, equaling Andrew White’s excellent opening leg of 17:51. Glenhuntly held onto third place, 64 seconds behind our team, with Sandringham fourth, Geelong fifth and Essendon sixth, anchored by the fast finishing Liam Adams.
Box Hill’s Division 2 team ran exceptionally well to place second, behind Eureka. Eureka’s time would have been good enough for seventh place in Division 1 and they were missing a couple of their top runners. Daniel Clark ran the fastest time of 19:13. Anthony Aloisio recorded the brilliant time of 19:29, a tremendous effort for an Under 18 runner. John Meagher also ran under 20 minutes, recording 19:47. Michael Dowel, another Under 18 athlete, also did well running 20:45.
Box Hill finished second in Division 5 with Chris O’Connor and Andrew Nagel being the standout performers. Our Division 7 team placed fourth but will take third place points as the team just in front was competing by invitation. The Over 40 men’s team won the bronze medal. The Under 20 team was placed fourth. The Under 18 team was placed fourth and were unlucky not to win the bronze medal, being credited with the same time as the third placegetters. Tom Potter ran a brilliant lap being timed at 9:34, a mighty effort for an Under 18 athlete. Other team members, Jonathan Tree and Mitchell Dyer, were impressive in their efforts too.
Our women’s teams had their best results for some years. Division 1 came fifth with a very fast leg recorded by Rachel Johnson (21:54). Division 3 was second with Tracey Taylor recording the quickest leg (25:12). Our Division 4 team came third with Liz Dobson the fastest runner (27:17). Eloise O’Brien (11:49) got the Under 18 Women’s team off to a good start and the girls won the Bronze medal. Amy Carrig also ran a fast lap (11:58).
Thanks to club members and parents who assisted with registration, managed teams and did official duties for your help, in particular special thanks to Steve Griffin, Mrs. Griffin and to David Boyd who helped the club by acting as officials and to Chris O’Connor for once again organizing all the teams beforehand and on the day.
Also a special member to those athletes who competed for Box Hill for the first time on Saturday. Welcome to Julie Norney, Tracey Taylor, Charmain McNally, Eloise O’Brien, Stuart Downes, Jonathan Love, Peter Stefanos and Chaai Kathirasan. Welcome back to Alex De Greenlaw and Prue Healy who have been absent from the club for a number of years.
|Division 1||1st Leg||2nd Leg||Total||Leader’s Time||B.H. Time||Position|
|Andrew White||8:35||9:16||17:51||19:05 (Sandy)||19:46||2nd|
|Barry Lynch||9:26||9:50||19:16||36:03 (Sandy)||37:07||3rd|
|Luke Yeatman||9:35 (est.)||9:44 (est.)||19:19||55:37 (Sandy)||56:26||4th|
|Matt Coloe||9:08||10:05||19:13||74:37 (BYCW)||75:39||4th|
|Steve Kelly||9:09||9:27||18:36||92:56 (BYCW)||94:15||3rd|
|Chris Hamer||8:47||9:04||17:51||111:52 (BYCW)||112:06||2nd|
Division 1 Team Results
|1. Ballarat YCW||111:52|
|2. Box Hill||112:06|
|Josh de Stefanis||10:36||10:55||21:31|
Division 2 Team Results
|2. Box Hill||121:37|
|Alex de Greenlaw||22:06|
Division 5 Team Results
|2. Box Hill||127:12|
Division 7 Team Results
|3. Running in the ‘Burbs (Inv)||101:24|
|4. Box Hill||101:29|
O/40 Division Team Results
|1. APS United||63:54|
|3. Box Hill||77:04|
U/20 Division Team Results
|1. Ballarat YCW||58:52|
|2. Keilor St Bernards||61:08|
|4. Box Hill||67:21|
U/18 Division Team Results
|4. Box Hill||30:46|
|3. APS United||92:49|
|4. Melbourne Uni||94:31|
|5. Box Hill||95:18|
|2. Box Hill||78:04|
|2. Running in the Burbs||82:33|
|3. Box Hill||83:00|
|2. Ballarat YCW||34:38|
|3. Box Hill||36:51|