Glasgow 2014 marathon starter Liam Adams (Vic) has won his second Australian cross country title in emphatic style at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne (Vic) today.
One of more than 1000 athletes to compete at the Athletics Australia and School Sport Australia hosted event, Adams' performance adds another national crown to his impressive cross-country resume.
“I didn’t really want to go that quick at the start, I just wanted to sit in the pack for the first lap and then try and build it home towards the end,” Adams said.
The multiple IAAF World Cross Country Championships representative moved away from a lead pack of six early and maintained a gap of 150 metres alongside ACT state champion Joshua Johnson.
“I got out there and probably ran a little too quick and just tried to hold on to that pace… I wanted a really big hit out today,” Adams added.
Adams was using the championships as preparation for the Chicago Marathon in October, where he hopes to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“That’s the main aim right at the moment so I’ve been doing a big training block, 200-kilometre weeks, millage went down a little bit this week, about 180-kays,” Adams said.
“Originally I wasn’t sure if I was going to be running national cross or not, I was tossing up between Chicago and Berlin, but once we worked out Chicago was the better option I thought we would chuck in the cross country and have that as a solid hit out.”
“It shows that I’m in good form and it good to have that reassurance, I’ve been doing a lot of hard work and it shows that it has all been paying off.”
Adams’ teammate at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships earlier this year, Courtney Powell (Vic), also reigned supreme to deliver back-to-back national titles, after moving ahead of Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jessica Trengove (SA) in the last kilometre of the 8km race.
“I’m really happy, it was in Melbourne which meant a few of the girls got to come and watch,” Powell said.
“It was really good to have all the naughty spectators cheering who weren’t in the spectator zone, as they were all over the course, so yeah I’m really happy.”
After a consistent season on the track and road, Powell is building up to her first Zatopek:10 this December.
“I’m going to take on my first 10km track race at Zatopek, I don’t know what it is going to be like, it will be a really good test for me, there is bound to be plenty of quality Australian and maybe even international runners in that race,” Powell added.
Powell’s closest rival Trengove maintained the pressure in the final 500 metres but was unable to close the gap on the Eugene 2014 5000m representative.
“That was a real test, it was really good having her there and, all the other competitors. I did what I had to win, I love racing, I was so excited to race,” Powell said.
“I just increased the pace a bit, I focused on, I know there weren’t too many hills but attacking the turns and I think that’s what got me away from everyone.”
In other results from the Australian Cross Country Championships:
- The ACT took home the quinella in the men’s under 23 race, with Johnson (36.06) and Matthew Baxter (36:15) taking first and second. Stewart McSweyn (Vic) finished third with a time of 36:45.
- In the women’s under 23 event, Powell topped the list with New South Wales pair Kate Spencer (28:15) and Sarah Waters (28:19) rounding out the top-three
- Barkers College (NSW) won the boy's school event, with the girl's trophy won by Margaret's College (Qld)
Additionally, for the first time, today’s Australian Cross Country Championships featured a masters’ challenge.
In the men’s category John Meagher (Vic) took line honours in 40:30 ahead of Matt Macdonald (Qld, 40:45) and Daniel Smee (Tas, 42:04). It was all Victoria in the women’s event with Kate Seibold (Vic, 30:31), Angela Williams (Vic, 31:01) and Julia Edwards (Vic, 31:16) filling the podium.
The home state took team honours in both the open men and women’s events. It was a close call in the men’s open division with the Victoria claiming honours over the ACT by just one point.
For more information, and complete results, please click here.
With thanks to Chris Kenner, of Athletics Victoria.