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Changing of the guard as Davies wins Zatopek; Robinson claims second title

21-year-old Rose Davies has moved to seventh on the Australian all-time list in taking out the Zatopek:10 at Hagenauer Reserve, Box Hill.

21-year-old Rose Davies has moved to seventh on the Australian all-time list in taking out the Zatopek:10 at Hagenauer Reserve, Box Hill.

After the early pace was set by pacemakers and then picked up by defending champion Genevieve Gregson, it was Davies and South Australia’s Isobel Batt-Doyle who were prominent in the closing stages of the race.

Davies sped to a sub-3 minute final kilometre to stop the clock at 31:39.97. Batt-Doyle took second in 31:43.26, while Canadian Andrea Seccafien was third in 31:45.95. Gregson was the third Australian home, in 32:06.32, a new personal best.

In the men’s race, Brett Robinson notched up his second Zatopek victory, with a controlled 28:00.25 run to beat training partner Jack Rayner by 13 seconds (28:13.42).

The bronze medal was a race of experience vs youth, with David McNeill (28:16.86) pulling away from Ed Goddard (28:23.94) in the closing stages of the race after the pair had run neck-and-neck throughout the race.

A high calibre women’s 1500m saw Linden Hall narrowly miss the Olympic entry standard of 4:04.20, clocking an impressive 4:04.33. Rio Olympian Jenny Blundell was second in 4:07.71, holding off Keely Small, who shattered her personal best with a run of 4:07.89.

In the men’s metric mile, Jordan Williamsz got the better of training partner Ryan Gregson as both broke 3:40 in their first outing for the season (3:39.59 and 3:39.85 respectively). In sixth, Jarryd Clifford broke the T12 world record for the third time this season, running 3:42.97.

The junior 3000m races – extended to be U21 races due to the deferral of the meet from its usual December timeslot in the Australian athletics calendar – were tactical affairs with fast finishes. Abbey Caldwell dominated the women’s race with a 2:14 final 800m to clock 9:22.35 from Sarah Schiffmann (9:35.27) and Lucinda Rourke (9:38.67).

In the men’s race it was Adam Spencer who took line honours in 8:18.30 from Drew Fryer (8:21.27) and Samuel Clifford (8:22.54).

Evergreen Jeff Riseley showed his tactical prowess in difficult wind conditions, biding his time to kick to victory in the 800m in 1:48.11 after Jack Lunn set the race’s tempo. Lunn tired down the straight to finish third in 1:49.08, being overtaken by Lachlan Raper (1:49.07).

The women’s 800m was taken out by national record holder Catriona Bisset in 2:02.75.

The 400m hurdles races were taken out by Sara Klein (57.03) and Conor Fry (51.32), who set a new personal best in a close race with Fraser Symons (51.36).

The highlight in the field was a 7.96m (+1.0) long jump from Darcy Roper.

Our ZATOPEK Photo Gallery has our 233 photos of action from the meet. Check them out and feel free to share them on social media. We are on Instagram as @insideaths