XCR ’19 Round 5 – Sandown

July 6, 2019

Box Hill won four divisions at the Sundown Relays on 6 July, led by star performers Harry Summers, Courtney Powell and Doug Buckeridge.

By Ian Sloane

By Sandown Relay standards, weather conditions were rather benign.  The sun was shining, the air temperature was 18º C, and the wind ameliorated to a breeze, not a gale, during the afternoon, with absolutely no hint of rain, which is normally a factor. 

This year Athletics Victoria introduced timing chips for every team in all races.  The chip was secured by a piece of elastic that could be worn around the wrist.  It was then to be passed to the next runner.  A number of runners dropped the timing chip at the changeover point before passing it over to the next runner, enabling the following runner to commence, so, according to a number of athletes and bystanders, it showed up a deficiency in the methodology.  These commentators argued that each team should have been provided with two timing chips, on the assumption the technology could cope with the replication of timing chips, so that the first runner could pass the timing chip to the third runner after completing their leg, the second runner could pass the chip to the fourth runner after they had completed their leg and so forth, eliminating the possibility of a dropped tag. 

There was a staged start, described as waves by the course commentator, and this was repeated a number of times.  There were four finishing lines, each with dual wires across the tarmac, which recorded the pulse provided by the finishing chip. 

When Division 1 and 2 runners were dispatched by starter, Pam Noden, Box Hill’s first runner, Harry Summers, set out extremely fast.  His first lap of 8:33 was close to the fastest ever individual lap recorded at Sandown.  He left every other runner in his wake and he completed his leg in 17:52, according to the provisional results. Behind him, Ben Buckingham (SSH) ran 18:08 with Western Athletics’ Liam Cashin in third place (18:42) just ahead of Glen Huntly. Doncaster was fifth.  Harry recorded the fastest time of the day. 

Nick Baggott ran second for Box Hill and the provisional results credited him with 19:08.  St Stephens athlete Jack Davies ran a very fast lap of 18:04 and he ran past Nick to lead the relay race in 18:04, the second fastest time of the day. Box Hill held second position, 48 seconds down on SSH and 38 seconds in advance of Western, with Glen Huntly a further six seconds behind in fourth position. 

Alex Ritchie was next and he ran his Sandown PB of 19:12. Box Hill held second position 49 seconds down on SSH.  Rhydian Cowley (GH) ran a very fast leg to move his team into third place, with Western Athletics nearly a minute and a half behind in fourth place. 

Michael Dowel ran fourth for Box Hill’s Division 1 team.  He ran a very solid leg and kept Box Hill within touch of first placed SSH, although he conceded a few seconds to Sean Guiney his SSH opponent. Glen Huntly had been in third place, but Cody Shanahan (WES) ran a very smart leg and pushed Western Athletics into third position, not far behind Box Hill. 

Klarie McIntyre returned to competition and was our fifth leg athlete. He ran a very serviceable lag, staying ahead of Western Athletics and Glen Huntly.  Even better for our team was the fact that SSH’s athlete had a bad day, possibly running the first lap too hard.  Whatever the reason, Klarie handed over to Will Potter our final leg runner in clearly in first place but by a narrow margin. Western Athletics was about eight seconds behind our team with SSH another five or six seconds further back.  It was extremely tight.  Glen Huntly had fallen further behind and was now not a threat for a medal, assuming that no-one in front of them blew up. 

Will had an important job to do and he did it with distinction.  Jamie Wagstaff was pursuing both Western Athletics and Box Hill athletes.  After the completion of the first lap of the final leg, Will Potter still led the field with Jamie Wagstaff in hot pursuit.  Wagstaff caught the Western Athletics runner but could not make up the fifty metres of distance that Will was holding on to.  Will ran an extremely determined leg, and enabled Box Hill to be victorious.  It is much more difficult to defend a lead that it is to chase a leader, especially if the pursuing runner thinks they are gaining ground. 

The Box Hill Division 2 team toiled gamely for fifth place. They were up against Knox which would have finished fifth in Division 1 with four superfast legs.  Josh de Stefanis was the fastest runner running 20:27, and there was no more than just over a minute separating the times run by Ross Thomas , Dylan Perera, Michael Vaughan , Jackson Deane and Zac Hunter, all bar one in the 21 minute range. 

Our Division 3 men’s team placed 15th.

The men’s under 16 team combined well to finish fourth, with legs of 10:07 for Jordan Abbott, 11:10 for Jack Ewison and 10:23 for Izak Bibile. These were all good efforts. 

The under 18 men’s team performed extremely well with each athlete acquitting themselves very capably.  Lachlan Doehmann ran a very solid first leg, recording 10:16.  This placed Box Hill in sixth position, close behind Diamond Valley, Mornington and Yarra Ranges.  Dharam Deol, our second runner, ran even quicker, recording the very smart time of 9:40 for his leg and he brought his team into third position, passing the Diamond Valley, Mornington and Yarra Ranges runners.  The best was yet to come, with Douglas Buckeridge anchoring the team. He ran the third fastest under 18 time for the day, passing the Western Athletics runner, and nearly catching Ballarat, which went on to win.  This very competitive performance brought the team into second position, just 13 seconds behind the winners.  Well done to all the team members on this effort. 

The men’s 50 plus team was without John Meagher.  Michael Eury ran a very fast lap (22:27), leading the field in at the end of his leg.  Tony Langelaan is in very good form, and he recorded 22:42, with Box Hill still in the lead.  Chris O’Connor came up against a much younger APS runner who overtook him in the back straight and relegated Box Hill to silver.

Our Division 2 women’s team ran brilliantly to win their race, and had we have been in Division 1, with the next fastest time run by Kat Foley, the team would have won the Division 1 race. 

Jess Muirden ran her leg in 23:52 which was in fourth position behind Malvern (Tracey Austin), Diamond Valley (Jess Mayne) and Geelong (Sarah Walker).  She handed the timing chip to Marli Campton, who strode off confidently.  Marli recorded the fast time of 22:54 for the second leg.  She ran past the Diamond Valley runner to put Box Hill into second position.  She had the second fastest time of the Division 2 runners in this leg. Liz Doueal was having her first outing for Box Hill and she performed very impressively indeed, recording the very smart time of 22:30. This was by far the quickest run in this leg by a Division 2 runner.  She also brought Box Hill past Geelong into first place.  Liz handed over to Courtney Powell, who is having an excellent winter season.  Courtney ran the fastest leg of any Division 2 female, 21:28, and was only eclipsed by Whitney Sharpe (SSH) who ran 20:42 in Division 4.  Courtney moved Box Hill to 3:40 ahead of second-placed Geelong.

Our Division 4 team won their race by nearly nine minutes from SSH.  Holly Hart ran the first leg in 24:24, in second place.  Kat Foley took the timing chip and ran down her SSH opponent in the very good time of 23:37. When the chip was handed over to Amy Carig, Box Hill was over a minute clear.  Amy extended the lead, running 25:46 for the third and final leg.

We had two 40+ female teams.  Team 1 won the bronze medal behind APS and Mentone (Rachel Johnson, 26:07, Amanda Harper, 27:27 and Kaman Ip, 27:47). Team 2 (Caitlin Harrison, 30:33, Talitha Crawford, 32:20 and Kerry Putt, 29:49) finished fourth. 

The Box Hill 50+ women absolutely smashed their race, winning by the huge margin of seven minutes and seven seconds.  Julie Norney is in extremely good form at present and she ran the remarkable time of 23:38, which would have been good enough to get her a run in any of the women’s Premier Division teams, a phenomenal effort. She was backed up effectively by June Petrie, 26:45, and Pia Hunter, 25:49 winning the gold medal, which was the icing on the cake on what was a very successful day for our club. 

N.B. I have used the provisional times published by AV on the web site.  The men’s Division 1 and 2 times I recorded were marginally different and I was taking the times when the runner crossed the timing mechanism, not when the athlete received the chip. 

Men’s results

Premier Division 

  1. Box Hill 1:54:22
  2. SSH 1:54:33
  3. Western 1:54:53
  4. Glen Huntly 1:57:42
  5. Doncaster 2:03:28

Individual times

Harry Summers 17:52

Nick Baggott 19:08

Alex Ritchie 19:12

Michael Dowel 19:26

Klarie McIntyre 19:58

Will Potter 18:43

Division 2

  1. Knox 1:58:39
  2. APS 2:01:47
  3. Frankston 2:04:53
  4. Glen Huntly 2:06:48
  5. Box Hill 2:07:24

Individual times

Josh de Stefanis 20:26

Ross Thomas 21:21

Dylan Perera 21:41

Michael Vaughan 21:05

Jackson Deane 22:06

Zac Hunter 21:15

Division 3

15 Box Hill 2:05:00

Individual times

Russell Clowes 21:12

Jack Hill 23:21

Shane Holt 22:47

Kennedy Chen 23:31

Andrew Tunne 34:07

Under 16 Men

  1. Glen Huntly 30:22
  2. Knox 30:29
  3. Ballarat 31:05
  4. Box Hill 31:42

Individual times

Jordan Abbott 10:07

Jack Ewison 11:10

Izak Bibile 10:23

Under 18 Men

  1. Ballarat 29:08
  2. Box Hill 29:21
  3. Western Athletics 29:50

Individual times

Lachlan Doehmann 10:16

Dharam Deol 9:40

Douglas Buckeridge 9:24


  1. APS 1:08:30
  2. Box Hill 1:09:30
  3. Waverley 1:12:50

Individual times

Michael Eury 22:27

Tony Langelaan 22:42

Chris O’Connor 24:21

Women’s results

Division 2

  1. Box Hill 1:30:46
  2. Geelong 1:34:26
  3. Malvern 1:46:26

Individual times

Jess Muirden 23:52

Marli Campton 22:54

Liz Doueal 22:30

Courtney Powell 21:28

Division 4

  1. Box Hill 1:13:49
  2. SSH 1:22:47
  3. Doncaster 1:23:33

Individual times

Holly Hart 24:24

Kat Foley 23:37

Amy Carrig 25:56

40+ Women

  1. APS 1:14:56
  2. Mentone 1:8:32
  3. Box Hill 1 1:21:21
  4. Box Hill 2 1:32:43

Individual times

Team 1

Rachel Johnson 26:01

Amanda Harper 27:27

Kaman Ip 27:47

Team 2

Caitlin Harrison 30:33

Talitha Crawford 32:20

Kerry Putt 29:49

50+ Women

  1. Box Hill 1:16:13
  2. Malvern 1:23:30
  3. Waverley 1:28:10

Individual times

Julie Norney 23:38

June Petrie 26:45

Pia Hunter 25:49