The opening round of the 2019 Athletics Victoria winter season took place at Jells Park on 4 May with cross country relays. Held on an undulating 3km loop course with open age teams running 6x6km, the esprit de corps of Victorian athletics clubs was clearly on display.
Australia’s top distance runner, Stewart McSweyn, looked seriously smooth in anchoring the winning St Stephen’s Harriers. Untroubled during what appeared to be a tempo run, McSweyn recorded the equal second fastest leg of the day, just one second behind Joel Tobin-White‘s 17:24, to guide his team to victory by over three minutes.
Doncaster Athletics Club and Box Hill Athletics Club took out the minor medals.
Natalie Rule was the fastest female of the day, recording a split of 20 minutes, 13 seconds running for St Stephen’s Harriers in the Women’s Division 4 race.
Division 1 was taken out by Melbourne University Athletics Club, whose team included 800m national champion Catriona Bisset, with Collingwood Harriers and Athletics Essendon filling the podium.
With the aid of a guide runner, Paralympian Jaryd Clifford covered the course in 18:51 for his Diamond Valley Athletics Club team in Division 2.
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