It was a night for milers at the Victorian 5000m Championships at Box Hill, with Sarah Billings and Lachlan Herd claiming line honours.
Billings, who has a 4:09 1500m personal best from last summer, was making her debut over 5000m on the track. The 24-year-old ran patiently in a lead back that gradually decreased in size and only took the lead down the final straight, passing 2019 world championship representative Melissa Duncan, who had made a strong run for home with 300m remaining.
Billings clocked 16:33.82 to Duncan’s 16:34.70, while Rachel McGuinness claimed bronze in 16:40.48, having led the field for much of the final stages of the race.
The men’s race was a tactical affair in the early stages with a large field in contention. At the pointy end of the race it was 3:44 1500m runner, Lachlan Herd, who came to the fore, proving too strong for visiting Queenslander Liam Boudin to win in 14:11.21. Boudin clocked 14:11.85 while Dale Carroll (14:12.27) and Craig Appleby (14:12.89) claimed the minor medals in the Victorian titles.
The junior men’s race was taken out by Charlie Rogers, who wound up the race from a pace that was initially just under 16 minutes for the distance, to win by 13 seconds in 15:04.47. Jhye Hadfield (15:17.68) and Aidan Velten (15:19.81) filled the podium.
The junior women’s race saw 14-year-old Piper Gay record a strong front-running victory in a time of 17:17.26, with Fieke Van Der Kamp (17:33.41) and Imogen Baker (18:07.41) taking silver and bronze in a race held in conjunction with the women’s B race.
149 photos from the Victorian 5000m Championships are available in our photo gallery.
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