Sydney Uni sweep NSW Cross Country Champs

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The Sydney University Athletics Club (SUAC) completed a historic rare double on Saturday afternoon, winning both the men’s and women’s events at the NSW Cross Country Championships in Nowra.

The win has seen the men’s team go well clear at the top of table in the winter premiership, with the women closing in on leaders Athletics East – now sitting only three points behind in second position.

For the men, the SUAC ‘A-team’ consisted of Jack Colreavy (fourth overall), Russell Dessaix-Chin (fifth), Hugh Williams (seventh) and Ed Fernon (11th). Colreavy and Chin worked together for much of the race, with Colreavy running undoubtedly the best race of his cross-country career. Williams (Masters of Physiotherapy) – a SUSF elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder – chased the leaders early and paid for it later in the race, but still managed to put in a solid finish. Fellow scholarship holder Ed Fernon (Masters of Commerce) ran an incredible 11th, considering he was on debut at the distance and had never seen the course before.

To highlight the phenomenal depth of the club the SUAC ‘B Team’ of Peter Costello, Nick Bellemore, Dave Hutchinson and Miles Waring (Bachelor of Health Sciences) finishing third and ended up taking home the bronze medal.

In the women’s event SUAC’s standout cross-country athlete this season Milly Clark (Bachelor Applied Science with Masters of Nutrition) finished second overall. Clark produced her best performance on the tough Nowra course and was well supported by fellow SUSF EAP scholars Eliza Barton (Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary BioScience) – who ran her strongest race at a cross country event to finish sixth – and Melinda Witchard (Masters of Physiotherapy) – who got back into some good form to finish eighth. The fourth athlete for SUAC was Anne Harrison who ran a solid 20th, enabling SUAC to get up in the team event by 14 points over Kembla Joggers.

In the men’s 35+ age group SUAC also took home a gold medal for the first time at the NSW Cross Country Championships thanks to Brett Halls (fourth), Andrew Heil (10th), Phil Brennan (21st) and Duncan Tweed (22nd).

Incredibly for SUAC the club was able to produce the win on the weekend without the club’s most high profile distance athletes James Nipperess (Bachelor of Health Science {Physiotherapy} and Lara Tamsett (Bachelor of Media and Communications). Both are currently in Europe preparing for the World Championships.

The next event on the calendar for SUAC is the NSW Road Relays which will be held on the Central Coast on the July 13.