XCR15 – Round 6 – Sandown Road Relays – 11 July 2015

July 13, 2015


Box Hill won a swag of medals at the Sandown road relays on Saturday. While the Geelong team led by Craig Mottram was too strong in the men’s Premier Division, our team performed well to take the silver medal. Our women’s premier division team, led by Courtney Powell, medalled for the first time this season taking the bronze. Box Hill won gold in the men’s over 50 competition and silver in the men’s under 20, men’s under 18 and women’s under 16 races. We also picked up a bronze medal in the women’s under 18 event. Our women’s division 5 team also did well to finish 3rd in their division.

A big thank you to Rachel Johnson, Katherine Foley and Francis Pamminger who volunteered to act as officials and to Ian Sloane, Michael Vaughan, Kelly Ulf, Simone Lovass and Michelle Atkinson who helped as timekeepers.

See below for Ian Sloane’s report:

Weather conditions were atrocious for the Sandown relay meeting this year. It was windy, cold, with a forecast temperature of 12 C, and rain fell a number of times throughout the afternoon.  This was the 38th time that your correspondent has attended the Road Relay Championships, which have always been held at Sandown, apart from one year (1984 from memory) when the Sandown circuit was being re-laid and the races were held at La Trobe University. That year, Box Hill great and Olympian, Bill Scott, competed after a period of semi-retirement. There was much argument, when the race returned to Sandown the following year about whether the course was longer, shorter or about the same, and observers held strong opinions until, over a period of time, times resembling those run on the old layout were much the same as those run on the new course.  Conditions this year were equal to the worst that can be thrown up, leading to very soggy recording sheets and holes in the paper when writing down performances and elapsed times, a nightmare for Team Managers and Recorders. Umbrellas were essential for a good part of the race.

Little Athletics were also conducting their road relay championships at the same time as the first group were dispatched.  All the senior races, overage races and the under 20 men’s race commenced at the same time. Thirty minutes later, the remaining underage races, in which Box Hill had strong representation, commenced.

The Box Hill men’s Premier Division team looked strong on paper, but we have all learned not to count our chickens before they have hatched.  This year AV decided for the first time to run the course backwards in a clockwise direction. It was not clear what the rationale was for this, but many athletes were unhappy with the change.

Our lead-off Division 1 athlete, Will Potter, set out with the leaders after the starter fired the gun and ran through the first lap of two in the smart time of 9:26.  Craig Mottram (Geelong) had broken clear of the field and went through first in the time of 9:18.  He was followed by Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly) in 9:22 and Jordan Nelson (Knox) was third through in 9:23.  Will was running with two other athletes from Melbourne University (Nick Earl) and APS and they all crossed the line at the same time.  Mottram extended his lead over the field completing his leg in 18:26, from Toby Rayner, 18:43, with Nick Earl (Melbourne University) narrowly edging out Will Potter for third with times of 18:52 and 18:53 respectively.  Knox were 10 seconds behind in fifth and APS sixth in 19:17.  This performance was a major breakthrough for Will.  Any time under 19:00 is very respectable and it appears that this is the first time that Will has dipped under that barrier.

Klarie McIntyre took off next and ran his first lap in 9:59, holding fourth place, with Geelong ahead by 36 seconds, Knox second 14 seconds further back with Melbourne University third, 10 seconds behind and holding a 12 second advantage over Box Hill.  Klarie conceded one position to APS in the second lap.  At the front, Knox took over from Geelong, with Craig Appleby running a fast leg of 18:36. Zac Newman from University maintained third position nearly half a minute further back with a 28 second lead over the APS athlete, Mark de Luca, and our team, fifth, a further 10 seconds behind.  The other teams were falling out of contention after two legs.

Steve Dinneen was our third team member, and is a proven performer at Sandown.  He set about his business in a very determined manner and left the Melbourne University runner and the APS athlete in his wake in recording 9:23 for the first of his two laps. Geelong got past Knox to lead them by 16 seconds.  Steve was 40 seconds behind Knox in third place, five seconds clear of Melbourne University, and APS were 39 seconds in arrears of University in fifth. This dashing effort put Box l in with a very strong chance of a medal. Steve’s time was very fast (18:48).

Peter Green acquitted himself really well in the fourth leg for Box Hill having a real ding-dong battle with his Knox opponent, Mark Richards.  He turned a 12 second deficit into a one second advantage at the end of the first lap, in second position, 49 seconds adrift of Geelong who were still first. Melbourne University and Glenhuntly had dropped further back and it appeared that the first three clubs were running for the medals. Even though Peter ran his second lap faster than his first lap, his Knox opponent had kept something in reserve, and reclaimed a 12 second lead.  Peter, nevertheless, ran nine seconds faster than his Knox opponent and he also ran his best ever time at Sandown, 19:10, an excellent effort. Box Hill was third at the end of the fourth leg.

James O’Connell was our fifth runner and tackled his work with fortitude, running 9:32 for his first circuit, making up ground on second placed Knox runner, Adam Pyke, to cross the line four seconds adrift.  However, his Knox opponent also had something in reserve and James was not able to close the gap any further, but, importantly, held a clear third place of two minutes 22 over fourth place.  When James handed over to Steve Kelly to run the last leg, we were one minute 14 down on Geelong and 33 seconds down on Knox.  His time of 19:34 was respectable, and ensured that Box Hill was to be a medallist.

Steve Kelly rose to the challenge in commanding fashion and had closed the 33 second gap behind Sam Crowther (Knox) down to four seconds at the conclusion of his first lap.  Meanwhile Geelong had consolidated their lead and was 77 seconds ahead of Box Hill.  Steve quickly accelerated past Sam Crowther, running 18:37, our fastest time for the day (18:37) , to cross the line second, 31 seconds ahead of Crowther, with Geelong winning the race, anchored by in-form athlete Nick Wightman (who ran 18:29) reaching the finish 81 seconds in advance of Box Hill. So it was a silver medal today for Box Hill, after four wins in a row.

Box Hill’s Division 2 team was comprised of Nick Baggott, who ran extremely well, to crack the 20 minute barrier for the first time (19:51), Michael Dowel, who ran the fastest Division 2 time (19:19), David Jimenez (21:07), Raymond Chan (22:12), Welday Mebrahtu (21:40) and Michael Vaughan (21:20).  Two Essendon athletes excelled in Division 2, with Mitch Brown recording 18:10, only to be exceeded by Liam Adams, who ran the incredible time of 17:41 in very poor conditions. Not unexpectedly, Essendon won Division 2 by a long way.

We believe that Box Hill finished in 6th position in Division 2, with Essendon winning from Doncaster, second, and Western Athletics placing third.

Premier Division Box Hill male performances

Athlete First lap Second lap Total Elapsed time Position
Will Potter 9:26 9:27 18:53 18:53 4
Klarie McIntyre 9:59 10:09 20:08 39:01 5
Steve Dinneen 9:23 9:25 18:48 57:49 3
Peter Green 9:36 9:34 19:10 75:59 3
James O’Connell 9:32 10:02 19:32 96:33 3
Steve Kelly 9:15 9:22 18:37 115:10 2


Team places

  1. Geelong 113:49
  2. Box Hill 115:10
  3. Knox 115:41
  4. Uni. 118:41


Division 2 male performances

Athlete First lap Second lap Total
Nick Baggott 9:53 9:58 19:51
Michael Dowel 9:40 9:39 19:19
David Jimenez 10:46 10:21 21:07
Raymond Chan 11:00 11:17 22:12
Welday Mebrahtu 10:51 10:49 21:40
Michael Vaughan 10:35 10:45 21:20

Team places

  1. Essendon
  2. Doncaster
  3. Western Athletics
  4. Box Hill

Fastest times (Provisional)

Liam Adams (Ess.)                  17:41

Mitch Brown (Ess.)                 18:10

Craig Mottram (Geel.)             18:26

Nick Wightman (Geel.)           18:29

Craig Appleby (Knox)            18:36

Steve Kelly (BH)                    18:37

Toby Rayner (GH)                  18:43

Steve Dinneen (BH)               18:48

Nick Earl (Melb. Uni.)            18:52

Will Potter (BH)         18:53


Men Division 3  (11th)

  1. Trent Collins         21:28
  2. Carlos Norman     22:18
  3. Jack Hill               26:15
  4. Graeme Olden      24:28
  5. Russell Clowes      24:34

Men 40+   (9th)

  1. Tony Langelaan     23:18
  2. Simon St. Hill        28:40
  3. Chris O’Connor     24:27

Men 50+   (1st)

  1. John Meagher       20:37
  2. Andrew Egginton   22:37
  3. Peter Stefanos     23:35

Men Under 20 (2nd)

  1. Ben Cox               20:09
  2. Vaughan Smith     20:17
  3. Zac Hunter           20:25

Men Under 18 (team 1 – 2nd)

  1. Alex Ritchie          9:49
  2. Scott McKenzie     9:30
  3. Tom Selwood       10:13

Men Under 18 (team 2 – 8th)

  1. Lucas Pamminger  10:40
  2. James Bernstein   11:12
  3. Aidan McCormack  10:03

Women Premier Division (3rd)

  1. Courtney Powell    20:41
  2. Sarah Cant          24:17
  3. Grace Kalac         24:44
  4. Georgia Hansen    23:01
  5. Julie Norney         22:29

Women Division 2 (10th)

  1. Liza Henshall        26:43
  2. Megan Sloane       29:01
  3. Amelia Savige       28:01
  4. Caitlin Harrison     29:28

Women Division 5  (3rd)

  1. Kelly Ulf              30:07
  2. Nicole Smith         31:55
  3. Pia Hunter            28:14

Women 40+  (4th)

  1. June Petrie           25:55
  2. Meagan Harvey     24:41
  3. Amanda Harper    25:32

Women Under 20 (6th)

  1. Chloe Metzeling     12:26
  2. Lucy Steele          12:01
  3. Imogen Purcell      13:45

Women Under 18 (3rd)

  1. Paris Powell          11:02
  2. Holly Pedersen      11:55
  3. Louise Ton           11:47

Women Under 16 (2nd)

  1. Tamsyn Lovass     11:20
  2. Amy Atkinson       11:34
  3. Molly McCarthy     11:44