Graham Croker

Sydney University Athletics Club distance runner James Nipperess continued the club’s stand-out season when he ran a personal best to win the NSW 3000 State Championship at Olympic Park last night.

Nipperess slashed more than 10 seconds off his personal best to win the event in 7min 56.42sec ahead of his training partner, Jeremy Roff. It was the first time Nipperess has beaten the Commonwealth Games representative.

SUAC coach Dean Gleeson says Nipperess has a big season ahead of him. “He will represent Australia for the first time next weekend at the Ekiden Relays in Japan,” Gleeson said.

In the Open women’s race, 19-year-old Sydney University nursing student Siobhan Clayton finished 4th in a personal best time. Clayton finished 4th at the National Junior Cross Country titles earlier in the year.

Gleeson said Clayton’s effort is remarkable considering she only took up the sport less than 18 months ago.

“She’ll run in the Zatopek junior 3000m in December where she is a real chance to steal a win in what is widely considered as the country’s best junior 3000m race,” he said.

The NSW 3000 Track Championships are one of the highlights of the NSW distance running calendar. For most of the past decade, the event has been held separately from the regular NSW State Championships, appealing to athletes whose favourite distances range from 800m to 10,000m.

Since last season, Athletics NSW has worked with Athletics Victoria to produce a distance series in the lead up to Zatopek:10 in Melbourne. The series kicks off with the NSW 3000 Championships, followed by the Victorian 5000m Championships on November 25, and culminates with the Zatopek in December.