NSW Cross Country Championships Preview
This Saturday, all roads lead to Nowra as they host the 2009 NSW Cross Country Championships.
Regionally-based athletes Scott Westcott and Melinda Vernon will start favourite for the respective 12km and 8km open titles. Main opposition will come from three-time World Cross Country representative, Eloise Wellings who has returned to competition this season. In the men’s race, Jeffery Hunt, local Barry Keem and maybe a Canberra threat, led by Anthony Haber.
Westcott has been in good form with recent wins in the Christchurch Half Marathon and NSW 10km Road Championships. Hunt has also been impressive with a recent second in the Victorian Road 10km Championship, while Haber was runner up to Westcott in the NSW 10km Road Championship.
It will be the twentieth year a NSW Cross Country has been held at the Gibb property in Nowra, named ‘Willandra’. First held on the property was the 1990 NSW short course cross country event. In 1994 the NSW 12/8km races were held with David Lightfoot and Liz Miller the winners. A little known Scott Westcott, then a university student in Armidale, placed fifth (second NSW athlete) in the under-20 8km race. Westcott’s team mate in the marathon in the World Championships this year, Martin Dent, was third in the under-16 race in Nowra 15 years ago.
The first race, under-12s, commences at 12.15pm, with the open women at 2.10pm and men at 3.00pm.
Round up in brief
· NSW athletes competing overseas in the next two weeks are:
o 17 June Golden Spike - Ostrava. Ryan Gregson mile, Fabrice Lapierre Long Jump, Youcef Abdi steeple.
o 24 June Biberach GER – Lachlan Renshaw 800m.
o 3 July Bislett Games, Oslo – Ryan Gregson 1500m.
o 4 July Madrid GP – John Steffensen 400m, Fabrice Lapierre LJ.
· World Championships preparations
The finals plans for many of the NSW athletes going to the World Youth, World University Games and World Championships are talking shape.
Last week, Lachlan Renshaw joined Jeremey Roff and Sarah Jamieson at their European base - a house in Cologne - located close to the hotel which will be the home for the Australian team in July and August, prior to travel into Berlin.
· Tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Ostrava, Ryan Gregson starts his European build up to the World University Games and hopeful World Championship selection. He will race over a mile in Ostrava, a familar venue for Gregson who placed fifth there in 2007 at the World Youth Championships. On July 3, in Oslo, Gregson will race over 1500m.
· Disappointment for Lara Tamsett on Sunday in Holland where she was seeking a World Championships 10,000m qualifier. She ran 32:54.93, slower than her recent personal best of 32:27.23 run in California in April. Both times left the, still youthful 20-year-old, short of the ‘B’ standard of 32:20.00.
· NSW results summary
o 6 June Holmdel USA – James Gurr 3rd 800m 1:49.16
o 6 June Geneva SWI – Lara Nicod 2nd 1500m 4:32.02
o 9 June Folksam GP, Goteborg - Tristan Garrett 8th 800m 1:50.52
o 10 June Thessaloniki Meet – John Steffensen 6th 400m 45.94
o 11 June Algers – Youcef Abdi 9th 1500m 3:46.02
o 13 June Golden Spike Leiden NED – Russell Dessaix-Chin 13th 3000m 8:11.01
o 13 June Namur BEL – Lara Nicod 2nd 800m 2:06.29
o 14 June Gold Coast – Joel Milburn 1st 400m 46.68
o 14 June Berlin GL – Fabrice Lapierre 4th Long Jump 8.04
o 14 June Berlin GL – Jeremy Roff 1500m 8th 3:34.39
o 14 June Dutch Nationals Utrecht NED – Lara Tamsett 11th 10000m 32:54.93
o 14 June BMC Watford – Nick Bromley 3rd 800m 1:50.57
· Sydney teenager, Ray Smith, has been racing in Europe. He first competed in the Swiss Nationals where he placed second in the U18 110m hurdles (14.47). Last weekend he competed in a junior international in Schweinfurt Germany where he third in the 110m Hurdles (14.44) and clocked times of 11.17 (100-m) and 22.67 (200m).
· This month 31 years ago Athletics NSW Board Member, Gordon Windeyer leapt his personal best of 2.21m in the high jump, Windeyer was competing in a departure meet before going to Canada for the 1978 Commonwealth games. The leap of 2.21m equalled the Australian record.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
(image of Scott Westcott courtesy of David Tarbotton)