Hunt blitzes field
RANDWICK Botany runner Jeff Hunt has blitzed the open men’s field to win the State Cross-Country Champion-ship at Willandra at the weekend.
It was the 20th occasion that the Nowra Athletics Club had hosted the annual Country Classic, which incorporated the State and Country Championships.
It was perfect cross-country weather cool, calm and the odd shower greeted runners and it was certainly to Hunt’s liking as he spread-eagled the field to score a commanding victory.
The leading group of runners were close for the first lap and then Hunt surged away to scored a decisive win, covering the 12km course in 38 minutes 32 seconds.
He was well clear of Scott Westcott (Macquarie Newcastle) and Luke Taylor (Asics Wests).
Sydney Striders’ runner Melinda Vernon claimed the open women’s 8km event in 29.50, to take the State title ahead of Hollie Emery, of the Blue Mountains and Lauren Shelley, of Kembla Joggers.
First locals home in the open events were Tori Jones who finished eighth (34.12) in the women and Damien Smith in the men in 49.02.
The Nowra Athletics Club had a successful time with Jill Smith defending her 60 plus State title, Bill Broughton also defended his 55 plus championship, while Bill Stahlhut claimed bronze in the 45 plus men’s event.
Local teams also did well, with gold medals going to the women’s 35 plus, silvers to the 45 plus women, 55 plus women, 12 and 16 years girls and bronze to the 14 girls.
In the men’s teams event gold was claimed by the 55 plus team, silver to the 12 boys and bronze to the 35 plus men.