Ruby White winning the Under 18 girls 4km ACT cross country title
Cold and Windy Conditions No Barrier to Cross Country Success
In true Canberra style this past Saturday presented itself as a cold and blustery day for the 2018 ACT Cross Country Championships at Stromlo Forest Park. However, weather was no deterrent for the 200 plus Little Athletics ACT, Athletics ACT and ACT Masters athletes who competed in the first ever combined championships. The three organisations came together to run this year’s event as one, with Little Athletics ACT offering a cross country championships to their members for the first time. This year’s events saw athletes from as young as 5 years old all the way through 70+ years competing in the one meet.
The Stromlo Forest Park has become a favourite location for many of ACT’s local distance athletes as both training and racing venue. The pristine course has a firm underfoot, a number of challenging hills and a perfect view of Canberra’s Black Mountain. A regular on the Stromlo course is Canberra based, NSW athlete James Nipperess. Nipperess took a commanding lead just one lap into the 4 lap (1lap=2.5km) open men’s 10km championship. Not far off his heels were locals Phil Saunders (Weston Creek) with Martin Dent back in third for most of the race. This order did not change with Nipperess taking line honours with a time of 32:15.80. In second place and taking the ACT title was Phil Saunders with a finish time of 32:28.20, and in third Martin Dent with a time of 33:21.80. North Canberra-Gungahlin youngster Tom Palfrey stepped up to race in the open event, finishing as second ACT registered athlete in a time of 34.41.90.
In the open women’s 10km event Weston Creek distance runner Emily Brichacek used some of the male runners to her advantage sitting in with a pack for the majority of the 4 laps to take the ACT title in a time of 35:26.50.
The junior events saw some hotly contested races with the likes of Ruby White (North Canberra-Gungahlin) and Keely Small (Weston Creek) facing off in the U18 girls 4km race. White took a strong lead after the first of the two 2km laps, with Small fighting out for second and third against NSW athlete Jaylah Hancock-Cameron. White crossed the line a strong winner with a time of 13:30.90. Small prevailed for second, finishing with a time of 13:48.90. Visiting NSW athlete Hancock-Cameron crossed the line in third, with Brenna Clayton (Cooma LAC) finishing as third ACT athlete.
In the junior boy’s events local athletes were presented with some strong competition from visiting NSW athletes. The U18 boys 6km saw Max Rosin (Woden Athletics) challenged by NSW athlete Harm Schaap in the early stages. Rosin prevailed in the later stages of the race to take the ACT title with a winning time of 20:46.10. In the U16 boys 4km Luke Levay (Woden Athletics) was victorious against a strong local field which included a Ginninderra LAC athlete James Lemon who finished 2nd, just 15seconds back.
A special thank you should be extended to the officials and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to make this event happen, in particular to those who spent the better half of Saturday out on the course in the harsh wind, we Thank You!
Full results here
Article by: James Kaan
Image: Ruby White (James Kaan)