5 May 2011
Cross country season opens
Grace Musgrove and Cameron Page were awarded the first state cross country titles of the 2011 winter season. Competing at the iconic Scarborough Park at Ramsgate, Cameron Page (Mingara) became the 72nd NSW Novice cross country champion. Page clocked 31:19 for the 10km course, over a minute ahead of Ben Liddy (Sydney Uni) and local Cale Bowd (St George). A former Australian junior 1500m and 5000m champion, Page continues to impress since his return from the US.
In a much closer race, Grace Musgrove (Kembla Joggers) won the 32nd women’s 4km Novice title in a time of 13:59, just four seconds ahead of Michaela Quinn (Nowra) and Frances Schmiede (UTS Norths).
Sydney Pacific won the women’s teams title, while Sutherland took the men’s title.
“The field went out at quite a quick pace and I just worked into the race and through the field, taking the lead about halfway through the second lap and ending in a strong finish,” recalled Musgrove.
“The wet weather and muddy terrain obviously made the course a little slower but I was happy with the time considering this.
“This was the first time I have run at the Novice Cross Country so I just decided to have a go and see where I'm at, at the beginning of the 2011 Cross Country which looks to be a good one.”
Musgrove has been in consistent training with her coach Ian Hatfield and the squad since she moved from the Southern Highlands to live and study in Wollongong.
“I wasn't sure how living away from home would impact on my training but I am loving it and I think this is because of the support in the area within the running community.”
The NSW Novice Cross Country Championships is the only state title to be held at the same venue for its entire life. The first men’s title was held in 1940, when Doug Dickings (Botany) won, while the women’s first title was held in 1980 with NSW’s greatest allround distance runner, Kerryn McCann (Wollongong Southern Flame) taking the inaugural title.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Grace Musgrove (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)