In form Eureka athlete Brett Robinson showed plenty of class on Thursday night to win the Zatopek:10 10,000m Australian championships at Lakeside Stadium.
While Robinson’s focus might be on the 5000m distance, he was more than comfortable across the 25 lap journey to record a personal best of 28:45.36.
“It was a little bit back and forth, I didn’t lead at all, I didn’t want to and everyone was looking around at me too,” Robinson said.
“I worked pretty hard, on and off, to test everyone, to really try and grind and then sprint at the end.”
Fellow Eureka distance runner Duer Yoa went with Robinson until the bell and gave everything in the last lap to record a personal best of 28:46.46 and claim second ahead of Eritrea runner Samsom Gebreyohnnes (28:49.42).
New South Wales athlete Eloise Wellings claimed her third national 10,000m title in a time of 32:26.59 and secured her first across the distance since 2010.
“I just tried to really settle in early and relax as much as I could. Always (follow) coach’s orders in the 10k, like just try and relax in the first 10 to 15 laps as much as you can and cover any moves and hope that it will slow down eventually and it did. It was fast-slow-fast-slow, which is good because that’s what I’ve been practicing in training. Just that change of speed,” Wellings said.
“I’m happy with the race. It’s my third national 10k title on the track. It would have been really good to win but just the sprint finish gets me.”
Kenya’s Veronicah Wanjiru in her first attempt at 10,000m on the track claimed line honours in 32:22.22.
Only in Australia for two days Wanjiru made the most of her trip staying with a lead group of four including Commonwealth Games marathon medalist Jess Trengove for the first 8 laps of the race before moving clear with Wellings.
On the bell Veronicah made the decisive move with 300 metres to kick clear of Wellings to be the first Kenyan to win the women’s Zatopek:10 since Joyce Chepkirui in 2011.
Earlier in the night it was national 800m record holder Alex Rowe who continued his impressive build up to the summer of athletics with a time of 1:46.91 in windy conditions in Albert Park.
“I ran strongly in difficult conditions and came out here and did what I wanted to do,” Rowe said.
“Exactly what I wanted, it’s good to know that in those adverse conditions I can still run 1.46.”
Pre-race favourite Zak Patterson claimed the De Castella under 20 men’s 3000m race in 8:15.64. The Victorian 5000m champion held off New South Wales athlete Jack Stapleton (8:15.83) and Eureka middle distance runner Jack Davies in 8:20.57.
New South Wale’s Kate Spencer lead from start to finish in the women’s under 20 3000m event to claim victory in 9:10.82. Box Hill and world junior representative Courtney Powell finished second in a time of 9:23.42 with New South Wales rounding out the podium with Annabel McDermott finishing in 9:27.98.
Athletics Essendon’s Amelia Mazza-Downie claimed the IAAF World Youth qualifying time of 9:32.90 with an outstanding time of 9:29.16 considering the windy conditions.
Old Melburnians Athletics Club with Commonwealth Games representative Sam Baines running the second leg went back-to-back in the men’s 4x400m Victorian Relay Championship final in a time of 3:11.82
Doncaster Athletics Club was to strong in the women’s 4x400m with an impressive 3:46.80 win ahead of Knox Athletics Club (3:49.61) and last years winner Sandringham placing third in 3:50.99.
Melbourne University sprinter Simon Greig claimed the David Baxter 100 yard open title in 9.87 ahead of up and coming talent Luke Stevens of Western Athletics (9.98) and East Melbourne Harriers Will Johns third in 10.22.
In the women’s 100 yard battle it was New Zealand’s Kelsey Berryman who won in a time of 10.97 while Ringwood’s Kendra Hubbard was the first Victorian across the line in 11.32. Off the back of a big weekend of racing at the Australian All Schools Championships in Adelaide Nana-Adom Owusu-Afriyie claimed third in 11.36.
Starting off the Zatopek:10 program was the 3000m Steeplechase which was won comfortably by South Australian Jacob Cocks in 9:10.71 ahead of Melbourne University’s French athlete Romain Donneux in 9:16.15 and Australian All Schools double gold medalist and Knox athlete Nathan Percy in 9:19:31.
In the under 15 boys 1500m event Wendouree athlete Sam Williams claimed victory in 4:24.11 while Nunawading athlete Zoe Brito-Babapulle won the girls race in 4:40.36.
In the field events Corinna Minko claimed victory in the women’s open long jump with a distance of 6.36m and Phillipa Hajdasz and Cameron Sherry took out the Steve Hooker Team Challenge with a best of 8.20.
For full results click here