A brilliant re-entry to AV Cross Country Running (XCR) at Jells Park on 21st April 2018. Brilliant sunshine, and a dry course greeted the 14 SKAAC history makers for the first Round of the season.
SKAAC had 4 debutants, Milla Gleeson, Isabella McDonald, Xavier McDonald and Tom Forster. We also had 4 teams, surely the most ever for SKAAC and our first ever Female and Junior male XCR teams in the club’s history.
The top Mens Team, running in Division 4 were winners on the day with Adam Pyke (18:26) Jack Holden (18:28) Steve Knuckey (19:02) Alex Rowe (21:25) and Callum Day (20:06). This group of fine athletes were clear of the impressive VCCL team by nearly 3 minutes. Special mention to Jack Holden, who for the first time wore the SKAAC singlet in an XCR race after many many seasons competing in AV Cross Country.
I will also take the opportunity to single out Callum Day, an Under 20 athlete, the club’s Most Improved athlete from 2017/2018, who was fantastic making his first appearance in an Open SKAAC team.
The Under 18 Women’s team made history by being the first ever female XCR team, and didn’t they do us proud!! Milla Gleeson (12:30), Lulu Goodman (14:15) and Isabella McDonald (15:13) took to the course like seasoned professionals. Tellingly, each of these fine athletes is eligible for this same age group next year.
Milla Gleeson (centre) about to face the starter as the first runner in the Women’s Under 18 race.
The Under 14 Mens team showed so much enthusiasm that the SKAAC tent that was in action near the start-finish line, was a buzz of excitement both before and after the race. To have a team, all bottom age, finish in 5th place at their first ever attempt is an amazing result. The team of Xavier McDonald (11:24), Joel Imbriano (12:10) and Tom Forster (10:57, the 6th fastest run for any Under 14 male on the day) ran brilliantly and had a fantastic time tackling the course and having their first XCR race for St. Kevin’s that the future looks very bright indeed for this talented group.
The Mens 40+ also faced the XCR starter for the first time in SKAAC’s history, the Team of Dino Imbriano (25:31), Lincoln Mah (24:05) and Andrew Thomas (31:20) finished in 12th place. A super tough effort by Andrew Thomas to finish his run, after suffering a calf injury during the race.
All in all – an undisputed success for SKAAC. We look forward to Round 2 at St. Anne’s Winery on 5th May 2018, where the Open Men will tackle an 8km course.