XCR15 – Round 9 – Burnley Half Marathon – Sunday 6 September 2015

September 6, 2015

After what has been a tremendous effort by our distance runners over the first 8 rounds of the XCR’15 season, things did not go to plan in the half marathon championships on the Burnley Boulevard on Sunday. Having coped well with injuries and absences throughout the season, this week we had our top 6 runners all unavailable. After a gruelling month of competition in August, which saw many of our distance boys running the 16k cross country championships, the City to Surf in Sydney, the Ekiden Relay at Anglesea and the national cross country championships, our men’s premier division team could finish only 6th at Burnley, cutting our lead at the top of the ladder to just 1 point, with one round of XCR’15 still to go.

We did perform well in other divisions, with the women’s 40+ team and the men’s 50+ team winning their divisions.

The outstanding performances on the day were by John Meagher who finished 19th overall and first in his age group (50-54) with a time of 71:58; Julie Norney, who ran 81:07 to finish 7th overall and first in the 45-49 age group and June Petrie who won the 50-54 years age group with a time of 90:47



19 John Meagher            1:11:58.3

41 David Jimenez           1:15:07.8

45 Welday Mebrahtu       1:15:23.2

51 Trent Collins              1:16:09.2

80 Nicholas Baggott        1:18:06.2

141 James O’Connell      1:21:48.6

143 Luke Crozier             1:21:53.0

180 Peter Stefanos         1:24:12.4

186 Tony Langelaan       1:24:28.8

203 Graeme Olden          1:26:27.7

215 Oscar Robinson        1:27:37.6

217 Dino Crivelli             1:27:39.4

323 Chris O’Connor        1:41:26.8

326 Simon St Hill            1:42:14.0

374 Andrew Tunne         2:03:01.3


7 Julie Norney                 1:21:07.7

29 June Petrie                 1:30:47.1

77 Amanda Harper          1:41:26.7

98 Kelly Ulf                     1:46:30.0

125 Nicole Smith             2:03:56.5


Ian Sloan’s Race Report

Box Hill turned in a mediocre effort in the Half Marathon Championship.  Most of the Box Hill runners put in their best effort on the day, but we simply didn’t have the firepower at the front end of the field.  We now have to win the last event on the calendar and unless we win the race, there is a high probability that Geelong will capture the winter title.

This year’s race used the same venue but on a redesigned course of four and a bit laps. The course runs parallel with the Yarra River in Burnley and is relatively fast being flat with several small rises.  Teams of five score the points, one fewer than the other races (in Division 1 and Division 2) There were over 300 starters on a greyish day and there was a slight wind, which did get stronger during the race several times.  When the starter despatched the field, two Essendon runners cleared out immediately.  Liam Adams, fresh from his National Cross Country title win at Moonee Valley race course last Saturday and Mitch Brown, who had a top four placing gained an early lead and ran out of sight of the field.  These two athletes, who traded positions 1 and 2 throughout the race, were unchallenged for the 21.1 journey.  Further back, a pack of around ten athletes coalesced. This pack was made up Zac Newman (Melb. Uni), Nick Earl (Melb. Uni), Nick Wightman (Geelong), Mark de Luca (APS), Craig Semple (Essendon), Chapman (APS) and two Collingwood runners, Justin Delaney and Jai Edmonds, Joshua Papanikolaou (GH),  Sam Crowther (Knox) and John Dutton (Frankston) were not far behind.  John Meagher was our first athlete, holding 18th position at this early stage. David Jimenez and Welday Mebrahtu were close together, in 43rd and 50th positions respectively. Trent Collins was around 55th with Nick Baggott being about thirty places down on Trent.  Then there was a long gap to our other athletes who included James O’Connell, Peter Stefanos, Luke Crosier, Tony Langelaan, Graeme Olden, Oscar Robinson, Dino Crivelli, Chris O’Connor, Simon St Hill and Andrew Tunne.

The women’s race turned out to be a battle between Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) and Karina Fyffe.  Tarli Bird (Glenhuntly was close to these two leaders and Cassie Higham was also well placed.  Julie Norney looked impressive from the start and she moved up well in the early laps.  Our other competitors were June Petrie, Amanda Harper, Kelly Ulf and Nicky Smith.

In the concluding stages of the Men’s race, Brown and Adams extended their lead from 98 seconds to over two minutes. In the end Mitch Brown took the lead to win the race from Liam Adams by 32 seconds. Nicholas Earl (M. Uni) surged and chased down Zac Newman (M. Uni), to collect the bronze medal. Our best placed athlete was John Meagher, 19th.  Other Premier Division team members for Box Hill were David Jimenez, 41st, Welday Mebrahtu, 45th, Trent Collins, 51st and Nick Baggott, 80th. This result (Box Hill was sixth) puts us under pressure and we have to win the Tan Relays to win the winter championship, or beat Geelong by two positions.  To do this we will need to field our best team possible, and hope that Geelong doesn’t have a star-studded team, which appears unlikely to happen.

The women’s race was won by Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) in a breakthrough performance. She defeated Kainna Fyfe (GH) by nine seconds with Cassie Higham (GH) a further 13 seconds astern in third place.  Julie Norney ran brilliantly to place 7th and win the 40 + age division. June Petrie also went well to place 29th. Amanda Harper, 77th, Kelly Ulf, 98th and Nicky Smith, 125th were our other finishers.