Sydney University Athletics Club (SUAC) representative James Nipperess has led his team to a third place finish at the Athletics Victoria’s (AV) Tan Relays, running a personal best time of 11.03 over 3.8km.
Nipperess, skipper of the SUAC men’s division 1 team and SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder, produced a scorching run along the winding path course in the historic Melbourne Botanical Gardens and Kings Domain.
Nipperess was proud of his team’s performance in arguably the biggest event on the cross country calendar in 2012.
“It was a big effort from our team to take on the Vic’s on their home turf,” said Nipperess.
“We have a lot of improvement in us and are really looking forward to coming down next year for another shot at the title.
Congratulations to Box Hill who were simply too good today, but we’ll be back.”
His SUAC team mates also produced some fantastic performances. Russell Dessaix-Chin was not too far behind Nipperess at 11.10, Brad Croker at 11.16 and the breakthrough performance of the weekend came from Jack Colreavy who ran 11.19 in SUAC’s division 3 team. In the women’s lineup Holly Pobjie ran a strong first leg, with Larissa Stanley continuing to run in to the best form of her SUAC career.
The race held special importance for SUAC because it allowed the club to compete against the Melbourne University Athletics Club (MUAC) – a rivalry that stretches back over 130 years.
Fittingly the contest finished one win a piece with the men finishing ahead of their Melbourne counterparts and the women putting up a good fight but finishing behind their southern rivals.
MUAC Club President Hamish Beaumont highlighted the fact that SUAC had a marked effect on the standard of the competition, saying “The presence of Sydney’s finest spurred the locals to great heights, with five of the top 10 all time performances run in this year’s event.”
Off the track both SUAC and MUAC spent a delightful afternoon and evening together and it was decided that the SUAC would travel again to this competition next year.
SUAC Head Coach Dean Gleeson had this to say about the event, “The Tan relays was a quality and hard fought event which we would be very happy to be a part of again if invited.”
“The hospitality of MUAC, combined with the welcome and interest shown from Athletics Victoria, meant for a very enjoyable weekend.”