Four SA Medals at 2022 Australian Cross Country Championships

Published Sat 27 Aug 2022

SA athletics have claimed four individual Medals at the 2022 Australian Cross Country Championships, which were held in Oakbank on Saturday, August 27.

Two of the Medals came in the Open races, with Riley Cocks claiming a Silver Medal in the Men's 10km and Caitlin Adams securing the Bronze in the Women's 10km. 

Cocks, who runs for the Flinders Athletic Club, ran 32:33 to finish second behind Victoria's Seth O'Donnell who ran 32:19, while Adams (Hills District Athletics Club) ran 37:33 to finish third.

It was a clean sweep for Victoria in the Open races with Georgia Hansen winning the Open Women's race in 37:01, ahead of NSW's Leanne Pompeani (37:23) and Adams.

Riley Cocks in the finishing straight.

Final Results Team Results 

Event timetable Athletics SA Team

The other individual Medal winners for local athletes were Louis Pietsch in the Men's U14 3km, and Jonathan Harris in the Men's U18 6km. 

Port Adelaide Athletics Club runner, Pietsch, ran 10:09 to secure a Bronze Medal, while Harris of the Saints Athletics Club ran 20:24 to pick up SA's third Bronze of the Championships. 

More than 1200 athletes from Australia and New Zealand competed at the Championships in SA's Adelaide Hills. 

Heavy rain in the lead up to the event resulted in a very muddy course at the Oakbank Racecourse, but the wet weather stayed away for the competition itself.

Caitlin Adams, 271, embracing with SA teammate Annie Kitto following the Open Women's race.

Several athletes lost shoes in the mud, others decided to run barefoot, and all ended up with mud-caked legs.

O'Donnell was a shock Open Men's Champion, while Cocks was thrilled with his second-place finish. 

"That was a super tough course," Cocks said. 

"It was a battle of attrition out there, we were all racing the course and in that last 400m we got to race each other when we knew that we had defeated the course.

"I gave myself a chance against some great runners, there were several Olympic and Commonwealth Games representatives that I managed to beat today, so I am really happy.

"Seth (O'Donnell) is probably behind us all on the Track so it really shows that Cross Country is a different race."

SA's Open Men's team left Oakbank with a Silver Medal in the Teams event, finishing behind Victoria, while SA's Open Women's team finished third overall. 

The next South Australian over the line in the Men's race was Isaac Heyne (32:55), who finished fifth, while Matthew Clarke finished ninth (33:29).

Adams finished third in the Women's race, claiming her second Medal at the Cross Country Championships (Silver at the 2018 event). 

"That was really tough, just as I remember it in 2012 (in Oakbank), so I am stoked with a Bronze," she said. 

"I definitely had some really tough laps in the middle of that race today, but I managed to pull it together in that last lap. 

"I was trying to gain on Leanne (Pompeani) in second place, but she was just too far ahead."

Adams said tactics played a role in her Bronze Medal.

"I tried to run a different line from everyone else's tracks in the mud because I was gliding, basically ice skating over the muddy parts, I nearly lost my shoe," she said.

"It was difficult, but that's Cross Country running.

"I do class myself as a Cross Country runner - I enjoy the toughness and grit of it so I am thrilled to end up on the podium.

"I think Riley (Cocks) won a Medal the last time I won a Medal in 2018 so it is nice to have us both on the podium together again."

Saints' Brooke Hines was the second SA runner across the line in the Open Women's race, running 40:27 to finish 12th. 

SA's Louis Pietsch chasing Finn Kane and Thomas Chalmers in the Men's U14.

Jonathan Harris.