Sydney University Athletic Club’s men’s team dominated the NSW Cross Country Championships at Nowra on Saturday with a 30-point win over Sutherland Athletics and Bankstown Sports.
Racing over the toughest 12km course in Australia, the SUAC’s team of James Nipperess, Russell Dessaix-Chin, Dave Mulvee, Jack Colreavy and Drew Hoare finished with 33 points to edge out Sutherland and Bankstown, who each finished with 63 points. (In the team’s event, points are allotted according to the finishing position of the first four for each club – first receives one point, second receives two points, third receives three points, eighth receives eight points – so the team finishing with the fewest points is declared the winner.)
As Nipperess and Chin had both won the event previously, and with club’s fastest marathoner in recent times Dave Mulvee flying in from Hong Kong especially for the event, the SUAC men’s chances were very strong.
And, as SUAC coach Dean Gleeson said, they didn’t disappoint, with Nipperess finishing 2nd to his training partner, Randwick-Botany’s Courtney Carter, and Chin finishing third after flying in from Europe two days prior.
Mulvee picked up an injury early in the race but ploughed on in some discomfort with the team title in mind and finished a respectable 14th, while Colreavy – a recent addition to the club – finished 17th in his first outing at this distance for the club.
“It was a dominant performance by the SUAC men and looks to have them set for another big result in the next race on the NSW calendar ,the NSW Road Relays, held in Wollongong in a fortnight’s time,” Gleeson said.
In junior events at Nowra, SUAC’s Australian Junior Men’s Cross Country representative Hugh Williams defended his NSW Under 20 title, winning the 8km event in 27min 30sec – nearly 50 seconds clear of the second placegetter.
The women’s Under 20 event saw SUAC scholarship holder Ruby Hackett finish 3rd in a hotly contested 6km race.
Meanwhile, Jordan Mulhearn won the NSW Under 20 Short Walks Championships at Penrith Lakes on Saturday, with a walk of 51m 26s over the 10km course.
This weekend a large contingent of SUAC athletes will head to the Gold Coast, where with Lara Tamsett will be favourite to the win the Gold Coast Half Marathon.