The Victorian 8 K Championship was held at Lardner Park near Drouin. This is a very tough course with fences to jump, ditches, a variety of surfaces to run across and some gut-busting tough hills to negotiate. The men run two laps and the women run one lap. Last year Box Hill dominated the race, bringing a great deal of joy tour supporters and spectators. This year was no different. Box Hill’s men’s and women’s teams ran and performed brilliantly.
There was a stream of grey singlets with the white horse at the top end of the field in the men’s race, even without Steve Dinneen’s presence (he is training and living in Kenya at the moment). The start was a ferocious sprint to get to a narrow drive way and then onto the first hill, a tough one too! Our leading runners positioned themselves really well. In a race reminiscent of last year’s wonderful performance there were 5 Box Hill athletes in the top 16 at the conclusion of the first lap and John Meagher anchored the Division 1 team in 36th position, with Adrian Vincent just behind him in 35th position. Ahead of them were Chris Hamer, 3rd, Andrew White, 4th, Steve Kelly 6th, Matt Coloe 13th and Daniel Clark 16th. Clint Perrett Sandringham had opened a long lead of perhaps 80 metres over Duer Yoa, Eureka, in second place with Toby Rayner, Glenhuntly 5th. We had three of the top six positions and were looking great.
Other runners who were going well included Luke Yeatman, 12 seconds behind Adrian Vincent, Chris Apadakis, a recently joined member, Chris Bradford, also recently joined, Navin Arunasalam, Josh de Stefanis, Bert Pelgrim and Andrew Nagle. Also representing Box Hill in an excellent team turnout were Chris O’Connor, Graeme Olden, Russell Clowes, Dave Stevens and Andrew Tunne.
When runners appeared on the skyline, with 600 metres left to run, Perrett had extended his lead over the field, with To by Rayner running through the field, passing those who had been in front of him to take second spot, clear of Duer Yoa. Then followed Andrew White, fourth, Chris Hamer fifth, Krewitz, Glenhuntly, and Steve Kelly seventh. Daniel Clark ran a magnificent second lap to place 10th and shortly after
Matt Cole finished in 19th position. John Meagher, 32nd, and Adrian Vincent, 39th, both ran a great second lap too, picking up 4 and 6 places respectively.
Andrew White is in brilliant form at present and both Chris Hamer and he could consider themselves unlucky not to stand on the podium. Special mention must be made of Steve Kelly’s run. He ran out boldly in the first lap to be in contention and he held it together superbly in the second lap in what must be one of his best ever efforts. Well done Steve. It was also exciting to see Adrian Vincent getting in to top form and he will surely improve further as he gets fitter. John Meagher’s effort was remarkable too, placing 4th in the 40-44 age group, and Box Hill clearly won the Division one team’s section.
Luke Yeatman showed that he was very fit at the Cross Country relays and his 68th placing was not indicative of his races yet to come. Navin Arunasalam ran a good race and was followed in not long after by Chris Apadakis and Josh de Stefanis.
Bert Pelgrim, silver medallist in the 50-54 age group, and Andrew Nagle finished together, both running well, in advance of Chris Bradford and Chris O’Connor, who was fifth in the 45 – 49 age group.
Box Hill clearly won Division 1 from Glenhuntly and Geelong. Eureka won Division 2 from Box Hill.
The women’s race produced a great result for Box Hill, and the team managers and administrative support members cannot remember when Box Hill placed in the women’s Division 1 or A grade. It is possible that is Box Hill Women’s club’s best ever result. The one lap course attracted fewer starts than the men’s race, but the sprint to the first hill was no less intense. Newly joined member Mai Tagami was prominent early and was closely attended by Rachel Johnson who is in even better form this year than she was in 2008. Susie Michelsson, Collingwood, eventually broke clear of Kate Seibold-Crosbie, with Kathryn Ewels, Traralgon, placing third ahead of Tarli Bird, Glenhuntly, and Isabella de Castella, APS. Knox was not well represented in the women’s division, which is an unusual occurrence, so there were opportunities for other athletes and clubs. Mai Tagami unleashed a tremendous sprint but narrowly failed to catch her Diamond Valley opponent, finishing in 12th place, with Rachel Johnson a further eight seconds behind in 13th position. Julie Norney, recently joined, is running in the best form of her life and she placed 21st with June Petrie, also recently joined, a further 12 seconds behind. Julie won the bronze medal in the 40- 45 age group and June won the gold medal in the 45 – 49 age group. Kate Ackland is also very fit and she was Box Hill’s fifth athlete across the line 38 seconds behind June, with Margie Conley putting up one of her best Cross Country performances, as well, to dip under the 17 minute barrier by two seconds. Tracey Taylor finished four seconds adrift of Margie and Megan Sloane, who won the silver medal in the 55+ age group, was next over the line. Talitha Crawford and Kerry Putt were not too far behind, completing the Box Hill finishers.
We had a number of junior men and women racing as well. Michael Dowel was prominent in the Under 18 4 k., finishing 11th in the combined U/20 and U/18 race, a little over a minute behind the winner. Chaai Kathirasan placed 41st, a little further backed and James McNiece completed our Junior men’s division.
Eloise O’Brien and Penny Townsend ran in the junior 3 k. race.
At the time of writing, official team placings had not been calculated or released, but it appears certain that Box Hill has won Men’s Division 1, placed second in Division 2 and probably won Division 5. In the women’s section, it appears that Box
Hill has snuck into second place in Division 1 by the narrowest imaginable margin and won Division 3. Confirmation will be provided when the teams race results are posted on the web site. Overall, these are great team results and it was an excellent day for Box Hill.
|Name||Club||Place||First lap time||Final Place||Finishing time|
|Josh de Stafanis||BH||14:10||89||29:13|
|1 Box Hill||77|
|7 Ballarat YCW||345|
|2 Box Hill||486|
|3 Aths Waverley|
|I. de Castella||APS||5|
|2 Box Hill||70|
|4 Melbourne Uni||72|