Natalie Archer ran a stunning first leg to set up the Sydney University women’s relay team to a win in the NSW Cross-Country relays held at Miranda on Saturday.
Archer ran the fastest split of the day – 13min 20sec – nearly 40 second quicker than the next fastest female athlete.
Archer was well supported by Milly Clark, who ran well despite still not having fully recovered from a snake bite she suffered while racing in the US a month ago.
Miranda Middleton ran third for SUAC, maintaining the big early lead Archer and Clark had set up, with Emily Ryan running the anchor leg. Ryan produced the best run of her cross-country career to extend the lead and take the win for SUAC.
The Sydney University men’s team finished second to Randwick Botany Harriers. James Nipperess ran first for SUAC and, like Archer, set up a good lead for the Students when he also recorded the fastest leg of the day – 11min 30sec.
Nipperess handed over to Neil Berry, who extended the lead for SUAC, setting up a big finish. The third runner for SUAC was Russell Dessaix-Chin, who was up against Commonwealth Games representative Jeff Hunt.
Chin, the most experienced of the SUAC distance men, ran a great leg, dropping 10sec to Hunt, before passing the baton to Jack Colreavy, who was up against the City to Surf winner Ben Moreau. Colreavy, who back only for one week after an extensive injury lay off, ran a dogged race and held off the Randwick Botany athlete into the final kilometre of the race to finish a close second.
The win for the women’s team sees them extend their lead in the winter premiership, where they are defending champions. The second place for the men also sees them extend their lead in the men’s winter premiership. The next race on the cross-country calendar will be the NSW Cross-Country Championships, to be held in Nowra at the end of June.
Meanwhile, SUAC enjoyed more success in the annual Balmoral Burn on Sunday when Anneliese Rubie won the women’s elite race, beating home the national 800m champion Brittany McGowan. The win for Rubie was her second up the Awaba St hill and saw her pick up the winner’s cheque of $3000.
In the men’s race, SUAC’s Alex Pettigrew finished second to Mason Cohen in a very fast time of 81sec. It was Pettigrew’s best result in the event.
The big news for SUAC athletes this week will come tomorrow when the Commonwealth Games team is announced tomorrow. SUAC already has six athletes in the team with potential for a few more to be added in the final round of selection.
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