9 July 2018
Waratah Series Short Course Cross Country: Gusman again
On Sunday, the third annual combined Waratah Series Short Course and Little Athletics NSW Cross Country Championships at Dapto included the 104th NSW short course cross country for men, first held in 1906.
It was again Jordan Gusman who reigned supreme in the open men’s 7.5km, but he received close competition from training partner Rorey Hunter.
After the first two kilometres there was still a large lead pack of eight athletes Jordan Gusman (BAN), Rorey Hunter (BAN), Ben St Lawrence (Run Crew), Ed Goddard (UTN), Brad Milosevic (GIR), Matthew Cox (BAN), Kieren Tall (SSR) and Keith Macpherson (STD).
By the time they had reached the bell at the 4km mark, the group had narrowed to five, featuring Gusman leading from Milosevic, St Lawrence, Hunter and Goddard.
“I felt okay, although still a little flat from the week and the Gold Coast last weekend,” said Gusman. “Early in the race I sat back a little bit as I didn’t feel that great. Then I started to make my way through and used the tailwinds as much as possible.” He using to same tailwind that Paige Campbell would use in the women’s race around the 5km mark. As a result he was now comfortably in the lead, with his team mate Rorey Hunter in pursuit.
Into the last kilometre, Gusman now had a little larger lead, while St Lawrence was pressing second placed Hunter. But, Gusman was running a bit scare as he pushed for the finishing line.
“Coming home I could hear people cheering for Rorey. He has been coming back from bit of an injury and over the last few weeks and has been getting closer and closer to me in training and I thought today would be the day he was going to get me.”
At the finish Gusman had clocked 22:31, ahead of Hunter 22:38, with St Lawrence a close third in 22:41. The high standard of the race resulted in defending champion Ed Goddard relegated to fourth (23:04) and world championships marathoner Brad Milosevic fifth (23:15).
Hunter had been making good progress over the Waratah Series, fourth fastest at both the cross country relays and Nowra State cross country two weeks ago.
“A few months ago I had a stress fracture (March/April) so I had to train in the pool. The last few months I’ve been building up and every week I feel like I am getting fitter and fitter. It is easy when you have this guy (Gusman) to train with and chase each week.”
Studying physiotherapy in Canberra, Hunter was third in the 1500m last summer in the Commonwealth Games trials. After running in his teens in Queensland, he spent five-years at college in America before moving to Canberra to study and train with the Dick Telford squad.
“I’ve never been this strong in my life before. Canberra is a great place to train altitude and you can’t avoid the hills.”
View the full results.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Jordan Gusman (courtesy of David Tarbotton)