South Melbourne distance runner Sinead Diver made it seven straight XCR victories after a strong display on a tough and windy course at Lardner Park on Saturday for round two of XCR’15.
“That’s my first time doing the course, I was a bit concerned about the fence but it was actually ok, I wouldnt say I did a good job of it, but, I didn’t fall over so I was happy,” Diver said.
“The ditches, I managed to stay clean and didn’t fall in, so I did ok on the fences and ditches.”
Diver was joined by fellow world championships marathon hopeful Sarah Klein in a small group that had broken from the main pack at the 2km mark.
“There was quiet a pack of us up to 2km, I wasn’t really sure how close the girls were, Gemma Maini was out in front and Sarah (Klein) was with me the entire way and we made a break for it around the 2km mark, Gemma made a move with 1km to go and I stuck with her then and was able to pass her on the last bit of the hill,” Diver said.
With the finish line in sight, Diver went clear of Klein, Collingwood Harriers Virginia Moloney and Frankston Athletics’ Maini on the final descent to win the 4km event in a time of 14:40.00.
Geelong’s Nicholas Wightman claimed his first XCR win after 10 years of AV winter competition.
“It’s my 10th season and my first XCR win, so very happy, I’ve been dreaming about it for a while so it was great,” Wightman said.
“I do ever race every season, so it’s great to finally get a win.”
Wightman an Australian mountain running representative has turned his focus to cross country in 2015 and impressed on the tricky Lardner Park course to win the 8km event in 26:37.30 ahead of a high quality field that included Commonwealth Games marathon and Sydney:10 winner Liam Adam, Frankston Douglas Hamerlok who claimed second and third placegetter; Box Hill’s XCR specialist Stephen Kelly who is on the return after injury plagued 12 months.
Athletics Essendon’s Amelia Mazza-Downie showed her dominance in the women’s under 18 category with a convincing win in a time of 11:30.80 ahead of Doncaster’s Charlotte Bassett (11:43.10) and Knox athlete Jess Mayne (12:29.30).
Ballarat’s Sam Williams was another to impress at Lardner Park, claiming the under 16 men’s category in a time of 11:06.1 from Wellington Athletics’ George Lancaster (11:11.1) and Yarra Ranges James Laven (11:15.2).
Once again it was record numbers for XCR’15 – 850 athletes made the trip to Warrigal, eclipsing the 788 record in 2009.
Next on the XCR’15 calendar is the road race around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat on Saturday 30 May. For more information and to enter check out the event page here.