XCR Round 10 – Tan Relays

September 15, 2018

By Ian Sloane

Box Hill fielded four open men’s teams, two overage men’s teams and an under 16 team at the Tan Relays, which follow a popular running track around the Botanic Gardens, Government House and other parklands.  It is a time-tested course of 3.827 kilometres and the fastest time (10:08) was recorded by Craig Mottram in 2006.  Harry Summers (Box Hill) recorded the eighth fastest time ever but will have his name excised due to a lightning fast leg from Stuart McSweyn (SSH) who ran a very quick last lap anchoring his team home to victory. There were two Box Hill senior women’s teams and a women’s overage team.  Each runner runs one lap.  

Conditions were cold, windy and wet at the start of the races, but they improved slightly during the course of the morning.  The rain eventually petered out and the wind subsided a little.  Car parking is an issue for this event, and many runners had to walk several kilometres to get to the start.

The men’s race started at 9am.  It is a helter skelter start due to the short distance involved in each leg.  When the runners were despatched there was a charge, on the flat part of the course, towards Anderson St.  

Will Potter was our first runner.  Will ran extremely well in the national cross country championship and also finished the half marathon high up, no mean achievement.  He has had a very solid and impressive season and has a great future in our sport. He ran a fast first lap, the second fastest of the day for our team.  All the other teams generally put their fastest runners up first, and Will did a fine job.  He kept Box Hill in touch with the other teams.  At the changeover, Will was in sixth position, 47 seconds down on Cody Shanahan (WES) who broke 11 minutes for his lap.  A depleted Knox led out their two best runners in the first two legs and they were placed second at this early stage.  Glen Huntly, SSH and Geelong were just in advance of Will as he passed over to Nick Baggott.

Nick ran a very strong leg and made up time on every other team, including Ben Buckingham from SSH.  He got past Western Aths and Glen Huntly to put Box Hill in fourth position.  Melbourne University had a weaker team than we are used to seeing and they were holding seventh position.  SSH moved into the lead 13 seconds ahead of us, followed by Knox (10 seconds ahead of Box Hill) and Geelong (three seconds ahead of our team). Western Aths were 10 seconds behind us and Glen Huntly were a further seven seconds adrift.  

Michael Dowel was our third competitor.  Michael hasn’t competed in every race this year but he put up a game performance in his leg.  He caught the Knox athlete early in his lap and no-one from another team got by him. Therefore, we arrived at the changeover point in third position.  More importantly, he completed his circuit just 24 seconds behind the leaders, SSH, and just three seconds behind second-placed Geelong.  This was a very competitive effort and meant that we were in with a shot at the title.

Steve Dinneen caught and passed his Geelong opponent, whom he took 20 seconds out of.  Geelong were now engaged with Western Aths in a battle for third place.  Steve brought the team in second place, 37 seconds behind SSH, who were represented in this leg by Jack Davies.

Harry Summers ran the fifth leg.  He ran an extremely fast time, 10:45, which was the second fastest time on the day.  Only four runners dipped under 11 minutes.  Harry caught and passed his SSH opponent, and stretched the distance over the third and fourth placed clubs.  When he reached the changeover point, he had a lead of six seconds over SSH, with Western Aths 98 seconds further back and Geelong very close to Western Aths. 

Matt O’Donnell raced away to run the final lap.  Unfortunately for him, his opponent in the final lap was Stuart McSweyn, who recently ran the second fastest time for an Australian on record for the 5000 metres on the track – 13:05. McSweyn is in tremendous form, running the fastest time of the day, 10:29, which will earn him a place on the honour board.  Matt ran a strong final leg, consolidating the team’s silver medal position.

Our Division 2 team finished 9th, with a fine start from James O’Connell who ran 11:56 and a strong last leg from Alex Ritchie who ran 12:09.

Our Division 3 team finished 14th and our Division 5 team were 9th.

We had two 50 + teams with Team 1 winning the gold medal and team 2 winning the silver medal.  John Meagher, 12: 39, and Garth Calder, 13:55 were the two fastest runners. 

Doug Buckeridge got the under 16 team off to a great start and he ran the fastest under 16 time of the day, 12:18, which was an excellent effort.  Strong legs by Jordan Abbott (13:16) and Tom Diamond (13:11) assisted Box Hill to win the silver medal, which was a very pleasing result.

The Box Hill women’s Premier division team was unfortunately disqualified because of a changeover infringement (which actually lost time for our team).  Zoe Buckman ran an excellent leg, recording the very fast time of 12:39, eclipsed only by Lisa Weightman (Melbourne University) who ran 12:28.  Great work, Zoe. 

Box Hill’s female Division 1 team appears likely to be relegated to Division 2 in 2019.  

Our Division 4 women’s team placed fourth (leg times are below) and our Over 40 women’s team of Rachel Johnson, Caitlin Harrison and Kerry Putt collected a bronze medal

The end result for the season sees Box Hill winning the men’s premier division winter championship for the third year in a row, which is a very pleasing outcome.  Congratulations to all athletes who represented Box Hill in the Division one team during the winter season.  Thanks also to members and parents who undertook officials’ duties.  Without your help, we would not have won the title, because we would have been penalised points. 

Men’s Team Results

Division 1

  1. SSH 67:45
  2. Box Hill 68:52
  3. Western Aths 70:06
  4. Geelong 70:11

(Please note that these leg times are provisional)

Will Potter 11:24

Nick Baggott 11:27

Michael Dowel 11:44

Steve Dinneen 11:47

Harry Summers 10:45

Matt O’Donnell 11:42

Division 2

Box Hill 9th

James O’Connell 11:56

Josh de Stefanis 12:40

Michael Vaughan 13:25

Russell Clowes 13:36

Jackson Deane 13:35

Alex Ritchie 12:09

Division 3

Box Hill 14th 

Kennedy Chen 14:27

Izak Bibile 13:58

Jasper Kay-Kneebone 15:03

Jack Hill 15:24

Anthony Whitby 15:02

Division 5

Box Hill 9th 

Andrew Tunne 18:54

David Dougan 15:24

Simon St Hill 17:40

Carlos Norman 17:02

50 +

Box Hill 1 1st 40:51

Box Hill 2 2nd 42:36

Glen Huntly 3rd 44:29

Team 1

John Meagher 12:39

Garth Calder 13:55

Chris O’Connor 14:15

Team 2

Peter Stefanos 14:12

Tony Langelaan 14:15

Michael Eury 14:04

Under 16

Knox 1 1st 38:14

Box Hill 2nd 38:45

Ballarat 3rd 38:56

Douglas Buckeridge 12:18

Jordan Abbott 13:16

Tom Diamond 13:11

Women’s teams

Premier Division

Box Hill disqualified for a changeover infringement

Marli Campton 14:40

Julie Norney 14:24

Zoe Buckman 12:39

Steph Kondogonis 16:14 (this time may be inaccurate)

Kat Foley 15:03

Division 4

Box Hill 4th

Kristine Hopkins 17:50

Stella Crawford Rust 16:36

Carolyn Fox 18:01

Belinda Dutton 20:39

Women Over 40 

Box Hill 3rd

1. Rachel Johnson 15:57

2. Caitlin Harrison 17:50

3. Kerry Putt 18:06