OSullivan dominates Australian Selection trials
26 January 2001 Ballarat, Australia - The Australian Selection Trials for the World Cross Country Championships were held in fine and warm conditions but with a strong headwind at the start of each of the 2km laps at the University course in Ballarat this evening.
The event was the first in a series of national athletics events which Athletics Australia is conducting in regional centres throughout Australia over the next month. The decision was well rewarded with a fine entry of over 100 athletes and a large and very supportive crowd.
The womens race was dominated as expected by former World cross country champion, Sonia OSullivan of Ireland who was competing by invitation. However the two Australians who filled the minor placings, Olympians Kerryn McCann and Benita Willis, put in excellent performances, indicating they could surprise with good performances at the World Championships in March.
World junior steeplechase record holder, Melissa Rollison was the first junior, finishing sixth overall, just two places and 25 seconds ahead of fellow junior and Queensland team mate, Ruth McDonnell. Two other junior contenders, Georgie Clarke and Eloise Poppett, both failed to finish, after running prominently for much of the race.
The mens race was claimed by the young pretender to the crown of Australias leading male distance runner, Craig Mottram who after running strongly in the lead pack, broke away near the end of the fourth 2km lap to win comfortably from training partner, Michael Power by six seconds.
Steve Moneghetti, having just one more campaign for Australian selection, was a most creditable third a further nine seconds back, just ahead of cross country specialist and much improved Brett Cartwright.
World Junior Championships steeplechase reps, Luke Taylor and Richie Jeremiah were the first junior men home, finishing 26th and 32nd respectively but in good times for their age group.
The team for the Championships, which will be held in Dublin, Ireland on 24th and 25th March will be named next week.
Women (Senior and Under 20 combined) - 6km
1. Sonia OSullivan (Guest - IRL) 20mins30secs
2. Kerryn McCann (N) 24.42
3. Benita Willis (Q) 20.49
4. Liz Miller (N) 21.29
5. Suzy Walsham (N) 21.35
6. Melissa Rollison (Q-U20) 21.43
7. Haley McGregor (V) 21.47
8. Ruth McDonnell (Q-U20) 22.08
9. Anna Thompson (N) 22.17
10. Susie Michelsson (V) 22.29
11. Serena Gibbs (V) 22.44
12. Tania-Saree Warrick (V) 22.51
13. Emily Morris (N) 22.53
14. Ruth Barton (V) 23.01
15. Joanna Wall (V-U20) 23.01
16. Jocelyn Keage (V-U20) 23.06
17. Victoria Mitchell (V-U20) 23.11
18. Kate Harris (V) 23.19
19. Alethe West (N-U20) 23.31
20. Bronwyn Ellis (N) 23.32
Men (Senior and Under 20 combined) - 8km
1. Craig Mottram (V) 24.21
2. Michael Power (V) 24.27
3. Steve Moneghetti (V) 24.36
4. Brett Cartwright (S) 24.38
5. Sisay Bezabeh (A) 24.52
6. Lee Troop (V) 24.55
7. Kim Gillard (N) 25.12
8. Ryan Taylor (A) 24.15
9. Craig Semple (V) 25.19
10. Nick Harrison (V) 25.27
11. Daniel Green (N) 25.29
12. Wayne Larden (N) 25.30
13. Phil Sly (V) 25.31
14. Julian Dwyer (V) 25.32
15. Rod de Highden (V) 25.34
16. Dave Evans (N) 25.37
17. Nick Cope (N) 25.40
18. Daniel Quin (V) 25.51
19. Scott Westcott (N) 25.52
20. Adam Leane (A) 25.56
This information has been provided by: Athletics Australia, http://www.athletics.org.au