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NSW Cross Country Championships

NSW Cross Country Championships

Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Friday, 14 June 2019/Categories: News

15 June 2019


NSW Cross Country Championships


Next Saturday (June 22) the premier annual winter running event in NSW the XC Challenge, incorporating the NSW Cross Country Championships, will be held in Nowra. The 122nd edition of the event has a rich and long tradition.


The iconic venue, Willandra, the property of long-time volunteers of our sport Jan & Rod Gibb, will be hosting their 21st NSW Cross Country Championship, first held there in 1993. They have also hosted five NSW Short Course State XC events and three cross country relays championships. They have also held the Australian Cross Country Championships on an amazing four occasions – 1992, 1994, 2002 and 2009.


Defending champions, Jordan Gusman (BAN) and Chloe Tighe (KEJ), are both overseas currently, so won’t be on the start line in Nowra to defend, opening the opportunity for a new pair of champions in 2019.


Saturday’s competition details are:


Competition Details

DATE: Saturday 22 June 2019

VENUE: Browns Mountain Road, Tapitallee - Nowra

PARKING: Parking is available at the venue. Please follow displayed signs.

AGE GROUPS: The NSW Cross Country Championships is conducted in the Masters, Open, U23, U20, U18, U16, U14 and U12 age groups.

DISTANCES: 2km, 3km, 4km, 6km, 8km & 10km.

COURSE MAPS: Click here for a copy of the course map.

TIMETABLE: First event 11.20am, last event starts 2.30pm full schedule.

TO ENTER: CLOSE 9am Wednesday 19 June 2019 details here. On the day entry is available at the clubhouse up to 1 hour before each race.

RULES: click here for the winter handbook.

MORE INFO: details here.





Women’s race history and statistics


The first NSW women’s cross country championships was held on September 17, 1955. The annual report said:

“Following an increased interest in cross country running, both from the competitive angle and as a conditioning medium for track runners, it was decided to add a 1.5 mile cross country event to the championship programme. An offer was accepted from the Fairfield club to conduct the event at Fairfield Park on 17th September. Entries were particularly gratifying and indicated that the venture was a popular one. Results: 1st M Stenner (Fairfield) 9:13.6, 2nd L. Madgwick (Fairfield), 3rd J Sterry (Wollongong). “


Stenner, from Fairfield, won the first three titles. In 1959, Fairfield used the event to open their new athletics track, Makepeace Oval, the venue for the next eight years. In 1961 Beth Stanford, running for the Fairfield club, started an amazing run of six consecutive titles ending in 1966. In 1967 the venue moved to Centennial Park and Stanford placed second, the next year, 1968, she was third. However in 1969 she returned to the top of the dais and won the next six consecutive titles. In 1979, 1980 and 1981, both the NSW Women’s Amateur Athletics Association and the Amateur Athletic Association of NSW (men’s association) conducted a women’s championship. In 1982 both organisations had amalgamated and only one title was on offer. Over the next thirty years a couple of athletes won three consecutive titles. In 1980 to 1982 Jenny Ganzevoort won three titles, from 1988 Annette Dwyer won three consecutive titles. Between 2006 and 2010, Eliza Stewart won three titles and between 1994 and 2004, Liz Miller won six titles.

Eastern Suburbs, under a few names Seiko Easts, Athletics East, Easts Bays won 10 titles over 15 years from 1988 to 2002. The athletes were: Annette Dwyer, Kerryn McCann, and Liz Miller.


Most titles

12 – Beth Stanford (Fairfield and Cumberland)

6 – Liz Miller (Athletics Easts and Randwick Botany)

3 – Eliza Stewart (UTS Norths and Bankstown)

3 – M Stenner (Fairfield)

3 – Jenny Ganzevoort (WSF and Bankstown)

3 – Annette Dwyer (Athletics Easts)

3 – Tess Bell (South Canberra)


Most Consecutive titles

6 - Beth Stanford (twice)

3 –M Stenner, Jenny Ganzevoort, Annette Dwyer, Tess Bell


Clubs of winning individual women athletes

Most winning athletes have represented Athletics Easts who have won 11 titles. Between 1983 and 2002 they dominated the championship running under various club names including Easts Bays, Seiko Easts, Eastern Suburbs and Athletics Easts.


11 – Athletics Easts

8 – Fairfield

7 – Cumberland, Bankstown

4 - Sutherland

3 – UTS Norths, South Canberra, Kembla Joggers, Sydney University

2 –Western Suburbs, Manly Warringah, Wollongong Southern Flame, Sydney Striders, Macquarie Hunter, Randwick Botany

1 – Ryde, Bega, Yass


Men’s race history and statistics

Report on the first men’s race

The Cross Country Championship was conducted in the neighbourhood of Botany on Saturday afternoon September 13, 1890. Four clubs competed - the Sydney Harriers, Darlinghurst Harriers, Parramatta Harriers and Roslyn Garden Club. The course was from the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel to the tram sheds, around Walsh’s wool-scouring works, through the scrub on La Perouse Rd. It was decided the first man home should be awarded the individual championship, and that the first six representatives of any one club reaching home should secure the club championship.

The first man home was E Corner, of Sydney and after that came White, Morgan, Wachamann and his club mates. Sydney Harriers secured both events, with Corner winning the individual and the club’s athletes finishing first, second, third, fourth, ninth and tenth.


Most titles

6 –M Jeff MacKenzie (Western Suburbs)

5 – Jack Sheaves (Western Suburbs)

4 –S York (South Sydney)

4 – John Farrington (Norths and Ryde-Hornsby)

4 – Paul Arthur (Randwick Botany & Easts)

3 – Russell Dessaix-Chin (Sydney Uni)

3 – John Andrews (St George and Ryde-Hornsby)

3 – T J Wood (East Sydney)

3 – Harold Hayden (Botany)

3 – Ray Mettam (Western Suburbs)

3 – Robert Vagg (Eastern Suburbs)

3 – Dave Power (Eastern Suburbs)

3 - George Campbell (Randwick Botany)

3 – Jeff Hunt (Randwick Botany)


Most Consecutive titles

5 –M Jeff MacKenzie (Western Suburbs)

3 –S York (South Sydney)

3 – T J Wood (East Sydney)

3 – Jack Sheaves (Western Suburbs)

3 – Robert Vagg (Eastern Suburbs)



David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW

Image: Men’s U20 XC race 2016 (courtesy of David Tarbotton)





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