Irish 1500m record holder Andrew Coscoran and US based Australian Lauren Ryan have taken out the 10000m races at the Zatopek:10 meet in Melbourne.
The meet was rejuvenated with a partnership with shoe company On, with DJ’s, live music, a tunnel and a bridge over the track bringing atmosphere to Lakeside Stadium.
In the men’s race Coscoran, who has a 1500m PB of 3:30.42, out kicked Australia’s two fastest ever 10000m runners, Jack Rayner and Patrick Tiernan, to take out the race in 27:56.37.
Tiernan had led for most of the second half of the race, with Rayner holding the lead at the bell. Rayner claimed his third consecutive Australian 10000m title in taking second across the line in 27:57.87, with Tiernan (28:00.78) and Andre Waring (28:30.57) taking the minor medals in the Australian Championship.
“To be honest the first half of this year was pretty crap for me, I went to Europe and wasn’t able to race anywhere near my best which was disheartening. This was a step in the right direction for me tonight,” Rayner said.
“I probably should have gone a few laps earlier, but I was still feeling the sting because Pat was picking it up. If I was racing it again, I would try to run the legs out of him [Coscoran] a little bit more. I would have loved to have won the actual race, but I’m still happy with the Australian title.”
Lauren Ryan put her mark on the women’s race, breaking the field apart midway through the race, before slowing in a tactical effort and delivering a decisive sprint finish. Although only two seconds separated the medallists, Ryan had time to celebrate with the crowd over the final 50m.
Ryan’s winning time of 32:54.00 beat home Holly Campbell (32:54.94) and winner of the past two editions, Rose Davies (32:55.82).
“It still hasn’t sunk in! To pull it off is always exciting, it’s a testament to my coach (Lara Rogers) and the training we are doing,” said Ryan.
“With three laps to go I was thinking can I do it or can I not? The pace stepped up a bit and then with 200m to go I had that feeling of go now or it’s not going to happen. I went and didn’t look back.”
The junior 3000m races – the Ondieki for women and de Castella for men – weren’t fast affairs, with the superior finishing kicks of Claudia Hollingsworth and Peyton Craig securing their victories.
Hollingsworth, in her debut 3000m, ran 9:29.13 to beat home Ada Rand (9:30.25) and Aspen Anderson (9:33.33).
Craig, who last week ran 3:46 over 1500m, put two seconds into Benjamin Thomas over the final stages of the race, winning in 8:18.17 to 8:20.20. The race was a national title for U20 athletes and the winner of the B race, Brayden Everett, claimed bronze in 8:24.19.
Open 3000m races featured on the Zatopek program, with Maudie Skyring setting a new personal best of 8:55.39 to win the women’s race, while Matthew Ramsden prevailed by one-hundredth-of-a-second in a tactical men’s race, running 8:00.20 to Jesse Hunt’s 8:20.21, with Cameron Myers third in 8:00.70.
Bendere Oboya looked classy in winning the 600m – a rarely contested distance – in 1:26.34. It is the second fastest performance recorded by an Australian, behind the 1:25.79 than Tamsyn Manou ran in 2012.
Mason Cohen took out the men’s 600m in 1:18.86.
Old Melburnians (3:12.31) and Western Athletics (3:47.21) took out the Victorian men’s and women’s 4x400m titles respectively.
A team headlined by Olympic pole vault gold medallist Steve Hooker and Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist Brendan Cole, and also featuring The Resilience Project’s Hugh van Cuylenburg, and Simon Glendenning narrowly missed the Australian Over 40s 4x400m record set back in 1981, running 3:27.79.
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