Saturday 21 May 2016 – Cruden Farm Cross Country

May 21, 2016

16 K Cross Country Cruden Farm (Langwarrin)

What an inspirational choice of terrain by Athletics Victoria in picking this venue.  It was as close to perfect a course for Cross Country, and brilliant terrain.  The property belonged to Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who passed away in 2012.  It is a spectacular property, and many athletes stayed on well after the conclusion of the final race to savour the aspect and amenities. The farm is 54 hectares in size and supports livestock as a look at the ground revealed.  The Open Men’s race was a will designed course of four laps of four kilometres, and the other races were of shorter lengths, but on the same course as the men ran.

In perfect weather conditions, all the athletes in each race were despatched by Brendan Ferrari, AV’s long time starter.

Thomas Diamond represented Box Hill in the under 14 race and finished a very respectable 8th, recording the time of 15:09 for the 4 K course.

In the men’s under 20 race, Box Hill was represented by Alex Ritchie, who finished 10rth, Jack Prendergast, 22nd and Carlos Norman, 28th. Alex Ritchie is going really well this year and consistently finishes at the front end of the field.  Jack and Carlos are also showing improvement and will continue to improve during the winter season.

Tamsyn Lovass competed in the girls’ under 16 race and finished a respectable 11th.

We had two representatives in the women’s under 20 race, Chloe Rosenberg, who ran well to place 9th and Jessie Muirden, who also performed very creditably in finishing 10th position.

In the under 18 boys’ race, Lucan Pamminger ran very impressively to place 9th.  Lucas has been improving steadily and this was a fine effort to make the top 10.

The women’s race attracted a field of over 190 competitors.  Box Hill was represented by June Petrie, who finished 41st and won her age division, Amanda Harper, who ran a steady race to place 87th, Rachel Johnson, who finished 97t1h, Pia Hunter, 104th and Kerry Putt who finished 130th.  We had three other competitors but their names were omitted from the results, so we can only assume that there was a timing chip defect. One of these was Carolyn Fox who recorded the time of 40:49.

In the men’s 16 k cross Country race there was a large field of athletes assembled (around 350 runners). We had a team not quite at full strength, with Steve Dinneen unavailable.  However, Box Hill’s depth shone through and we had some exceptional performances which you will read of as this report unfolds.

A group of athletes quickly detached themselves to form the leading group.  Nathan Hartigan (Ballarat) decided to crank up the pace and he led.  In close attendance were Toby Rayner (GH), Jack Rayner (Wes), Nick Earl (M Uni), Tim Logan (DV) and Nick Wightman.  Within striking distance were Will Potter (BH), with James O’Connell breathing down his neck.

By the end of the first lap, Logan dropped away, but all the other athletes noted above were contesting the lead, with Hartigan leading followed by Toby Rayner and Jack Rayner.  Nick Earl was next followed by Nick Wightman.  Will Potter held 6th position, fractionally ahead of James O’Connell.  Five seconds behind these two Box Hill runners was Dion Finocchiara, followed by Nick Baggott a further 10 seconds behind.  Andre Waring and Peter Green were also amongst the leading contenders.  Michael Dowel looked impressive in this lap and was eight seconds adrift of Peter Green.  Ten seconds further back was John Meagher.  Chris Bradford was also in the top hundred as was Zac Hunter.

At the end of the third lap Jack and Toby Rayner held a slight lead over Nick Earl and Nathan Hartigan, with a slight gap to Nick Wightman.  Then followed Will Poptter, sixth (38:37) and James O’Connell seventh, two seconds down on Will.  Dion Finocchiara (38:58) was 19 seconds behind James, in ninth position with Nick Baggott holding thirteenth, nearly half a minute behind (39:27).

Then followed Peter Green 37th (40:51), Andre Waring 47th (41:20), John Meagher, 50th (41:50).  Michael Dowel (53rd, 42:02) was in touch with John.  Chris Bradford (42:54) held 65th position.  Zac Hunter (44:23) was making progress and passing athletes as he commenced his fourth lap. David Jimenez (45:19) and Tony Langelaan (46:34) were also going well.  Garth Calder completed the third lap in around 47:29.

Jack Rayner finally broke away from Toby Rayner to win the race, becoming one of the youngest winners of this historical event.  Nathan Hartigan fought back to pass Nick Earl in the concluding lap to take the bronze medal, with Nick Wightman finishing fifth a little way behind.

Will Potter ran exceptionally well to cross in sixth place.  His previous race was not a true reflection of his fitness and competitiveness.  Will gained Victorian representation last year and there is no reason to suspect that this can be attained in 2016. It is wonderful to see him racing at his best and it appears that there is the capacity for even   James O’Connell performed brilliantly for seventh place. James had been disappointed with his run at Wandin Park and this demonstrated clearly that he is in excellent form.  A top ten finish is a really great achievement and there will be more improvement to come this winter season.  Likewise Dion Finocchiara, in finishing tenth, also showed how well he is running and how fit he is. Nick Baggott strode over the finishing line in 12th place.  This is a great effort as well.  Nick continues to impress at every outing and it would appear that he is in the best form of his life. Peter Green, 38th and Andre Waring, 50th, completed the Division 1 team.  We believe that Box Hill won the team competition from SSH and Melbourne University.

Others to finish for our club in Division 2 were the amazing John Meagher (51st) and winner of his age division, Michael Dowel, who will do better as the season progresses and he leaves injury behind, 55th, Chris Bradford, 73rd, Zac Hunter 74th, David Jimenez 100th  and Tony Langelaan who was 129th.  John’s effort was incredible, reminiscent of the evergreen Steve Moneghetti.

Garth Calder was 138th, Jackson Deane, 159th, Peter Stefanos, 182nd, Luke Crozier, 197th, Graeme Olden, 217th, Robert Sanbridge, 225th, Anthony Whitby, 238th, Conor Yung (248th), Simon St Hill, 292nd and Andrew Tunne, 326th.

Please note that these positions are those published provisionally on AV’s web site and will be revised.

Now we turn our attention to the 15 K Road Championship of Victoria, held around Lake Wendouree at Ballarat. If we are to maintain our lead in Division 1 and challenge for the premiership in other divisions we need every athlete available to compete.

Name Lap time 2nd lap time 3rd lap time Place Time
Jack Rayner (Wes) 25:16 1 50:15
Toby Rayner (GH) 25:14 2 50:32
Nathan Hartigan (Ball) 25:16 3 50:39
Nick Earl (M Uni) 4 50:44
Nick Wightman (Geel) 5 50:50
Will Potter (BH) 12:34 25:33 38:37 6 51:33
James O’Connell (BH 12:34 25:36 38:39 7 51:55
Dion Finocchiara (BH) 12:39 25:48 38:58 10 52:17
Nick Baggott (BH) 12:49 26:01 39:27 12 52:48
Peter Green (BH) 13:08 26:52.? 40:51 38 54:52
Andre Waring (BH) 12:58 26:51 41:20 50 55:59
John Meagher (BH) 13:25 27:19 41:40 51 56:24
Michael Dowel (BH) 13:16 27:05 42:02 55 57:06
Chris Bradford (BH) 13:51 28:15 42:54 63 57:35
Zac Hunter (BH)unterH        14:50 29:36 44:23 74 58:45
David Jimenez (BH) 14:41 29:56 45:19 100 61:01
Tony Langelaan (BH)   30:24 46:34 129 62 57
Garth Calder (BH) 15:25 31:20 47:29? 138 63:43
Jackson Deane (BH)   31:20   159 65:07
Peter Stefanos 15:53 32:26   182 67:53
Luke Crozier 16:39 34:01   197 68:04
Graeme Olden 17:21 34:58   217 70:23
Robert Ashbridge 18:12 36:14   225 71:09
Anthony Whitby 17:14 35:03   238 72:08
Conor Yung   35:48   (248) 72:56
Simon St Hill 18:41     292 78:59
Andrew Tunne 20:31     326 87:41


Estimated Division 1 team placings

  1. Box Hill 123
  2. SSH 156
  3. Melbourne University 187
  4. Geelong 271
  5. Collingwood 275
  6. Glenhuntly 296
  7. APS 401
  8. Knox 1147