XCR15 – Round 3 – Ballarat Road Races – 30 May 2015

June 1, 2015

15 K Road Championship Lake Wendouree Ballarat 30 May 2015

Ballarat has hosted the 15 k road race now for a number of years.  It is a flat course consisting of an out and back loop at the start of the race of around 2.6 k, followed by two anti-clockwise laps of the lake before a sprint into the finishing chute.

The race was the third on the Athletics Victoria winter program this year. A large Box Hill contingent travelled to Ballarat to compete this year. On arrival we found that the conditions were mild by Ballarat standards, with a moderate breeze and temperature of around 12°C.  There was a small amount of drizzle later in the 15 k race, but conditions were mainly fine, although cool. The course is a bit exposed on the opposing side of the course to where the finish is situated.

The junior 5 K Road championship preceded the main race and Box Hill had five  representatives competing: Murray Lovass, who finished 13th in the under 14 race (19:35), Lucas Pamminger who placed 22nd in the under 18 race  (18:10), Zoe Schwerkolt who finished 16th in the under 18 girls’ race (24:16), Zac Hunter who was 20th in the under 20 race (16:50) and Carlos Norman who finished 30th in the under 20 race (19:16).

Following on from our success in the men’s 8 K Premier division at Drouin, we had many senior men’s entries for this race.  We were less well-represented in the women’s race.

When the gun fired we had a large number of Box Hill men at the front end of the field.  When the field returned to the starting point, having completed the initial out-and-back loop, there were around ten athletes at the head of the field, including Box Hill’s Steve Kelly running in third place.  Others in the pack included Brady Threlfall (Geelong), John Dutton (Frankston), Josh Harris (Frankston), Nick Earl (Melbourne University) and Nick van Raaphorst (Ballarat).  In the second pack, we had three athletes: Peter Green 12th, James O’Connell, 13th and Will Potter, 17th. Michael Dowel was 18th, followed by Dion Finocchiaro.  Klarie McIntyre was just behind this last group which included our runners, John Meagher was prominent (about 41st or so), as were Nick Baggott (about 43rd), Welday Mebrahtu (about 50th) and David Jimenez (about 64th).  We were looking a real chance in the men’s Premier division race, at this early stage, with the only other club possibilities for victory being with Geelong, Frankton and Melbourne University.

The women’s race saw Sinead Diver (South Melbourne) and Gemma Maini (Frankston) heading the field, with Virginia Moloney (Collingwood)  third not far behind. Julie Norney was our best placed athlete, 9th.  Bec Rosel (invitation) was 14th, with Grace Brown in the mid-20s. June Petrie was around the mid-forties and Amanda Harper was about the mid-sixties.

At the end of the first full lap, with one full lap of the lake to run, Nick Wightman had got to the front of the field, marginally in front of Josh Harris, with Steve Kelly really close to both. Brady Threlfall (Geel.), Nick Earl (Melb. Uni.) were further back in fourth and fifth positions with Van Raaphorst in sixth.  Davy (Frank.), Ben Ashkettle (Don.) Liam Adams (Ess.), Jack Rayner (Wes) and Julian Spence (Geel.) were the next athletes to run through.  Peter Green was in 12th place, James O’Connell was 13th and Will Potter was 17th. Michael Dowel held 18th position with Dion Finocchiaro 25th and Klarie McIntyre was 28th.  Oscar Robinson was place further back in 29th position. There were a number of other Box Hill athletes in the top 60 (John Meagher, Nick Baggott and Welday Mebrahtu), so our position had firmed in respect of Division 1 and 2 team placings.

The women’s race showed a tight battle between Sinead Diver and Gemma Maini, with Viginia Moloney not far behind in 3rd place.  Julie Norney was in 9th position, Bec Rosel, 14th, Grace Brown 26th, June Petrie, 43rd and Amanda Harper 63rd.

At the business end of the race, Nick Wightman gained the upper hand and drew 12 seconds clear of Steve Kelly who performed impressively in his return from injury. Wightman is in extremely good form at present and has won the two individual titles contested this winter season. Steve had opened up a 17 break over third-placed Josh Harris.  This underscores Steve’s improving form and it won’t be long before he gets the central podium finish, based on his competitive performance to date this year. Not long after we had a stream of Box Hill athletes finishing. Peter Green finished 13th, an extremely impressive effort. He held things together very well over the whole distance. James O’Connell backed up his excellent run at Drouin with an even better effort at Ballarat to finish 15th.  Will Potter ran very strongly to claim 17th position.  Will probably prefers the cross country over the road, but this effort was certainly noteworthy and it laid part of the foundation for Box Hill’s team victory. Dion Finocchiaro finished only 20 seconds later to record 21st, with Michael Dowel, 26th completing the Premier division team. Next place and seven seconds behind Michael was Oscar Robinson who also performed really well to record 27th place.  A ten second gap was what separated Oscar from Klarie McIntyre who finished 31st. Nick Baggott ran probably the longest AV race of his career and placed 41st, also a fine achievement., John Meagher won his age division in 44th place, with Welday Mebrahtu claiming 51st position followed by David Jimenez, returning to very good form in 61st spot.  These runners made up the Division 2 team and at the time of writing it appears reasonably clear that we won Division 2 as well as the Division 1 titles. Trent Collins made the top 100 in placing 97th.

Sinead Diver maintained her lead to the finishing line in the women’s race to beat Gemma Maini from Virginia Moloney in third position.  Julie Norney was in 9th place, with Bec Rosel 13th, Grace Brown, who picked up five places in the concluding lap, crossing in 21st position, with June Petrie, 52nd and Amanda Harper, 70th, making up the women’s Premier Division team.


Men’s 15 K results

  1. Nick Wightman Geelong                         45:49
  2. Stephen Kelly BH                                46:01
  3. Josh Harris Frankston                      46:18
  4. Peter Green BH 48:22
  5. James O’Connell BH 48:26
  6. Will Potter BH                                48:36
  7. Dino Finocchiaro BH                                48:56
  8. Michael Dowel BH                                49:23
  9. Oscar Robinson BH 49:31
  10. Klarie McIntyre BH                                49:41
  11. Nick Baggott BH                                50:33
  12. John Meagher BH 50:50
  13. Welday Mebrahtu BH                                51:25
  14. David Jimenez BH                                52:03
  15. Trent Collins BH                                54:33
  16. Luke Crosier BH      57:48
  17. Peter Stefanos BH      58:25
  18. Tony Langelaan BH      59:56
  19. Chris O’Connor BH      61:00
  20. Dino Crivelli BH      61:44
  21. Graeme Olden BH      61:45
  22. Simon St Hill BH      73:10
  23. Andrew Tunne BH      84:04

Estimated Premier Division Team positions

  1. Box Hill 94
  2. Geelong 135
  3. Frankston 203
  4. Melbourne Uni 240

Women’s 15 K results

  1. Sinead Diver South Melbourne           52:04
  2. Gemma Maini Frankston                      52:26
  3. Virginia Moloney Collingwood                  53:08
  4. Julie Norney BH                                55:47
  5. Bec Rosel Inv.                               57:22
  6. Grace Brown BH                                58:28
  7. June Petrie BH                                62:07
  8. Amanda Harper BH                                64:06
  9. Pia Hunter BH      68:28
  10. Amelia Savage BH      69:50
  11. Nicole Smith BH      86:53