Rivalry renewed at Tan Relays

Tan Relays

On a crisp spring morning, 140 years after hostilities began, the oldest rivalry in Australian athletics was renewed around the Tan track for the final round of XCR’12. A powerful Sydney University contingent raced Melbourne University and Victoria’s best in Athletics Victoria’s Tan Relays with some fine racing. The trip south, hosted by MUAC, had it’s genesis in some light hearted banter at the 2012 Australian Athletics Championships in April. The presence of Sydney’s finest spurred the locals to great heights, with 5 of the top 10 all time performances run in this year’s event. SUAC claimed victory over MUAC in Division 1 Men whilst MUAC evened the score in Division 1 Women.
MUAC’s eight teams took to the track in high spirits at the end of a strong season. The Division 1 Women’s team of Sarah James, Sarah McSweeny, Julie McNamara and Kate Scarlett took 5th place in 57:17 in the elite race, ahead of SUAC, and will finish just off the podium for the XCR’12 season. MUAC’s depth was on show with the Division 2 team of Melissa Natasha, Al Bryant-Smith, Claire Boulange and Sarah Castelino (10th) and Division 4 team of Fiona Enter, Clare Walsh and Rachel Painter (12th) also running well.
The Division 1 men took a respectable 8th place in a stacked elite race and finish in the 8th for season. With four more MUAC men’s teams racing it was a busy day for team managers, and there were some strong performances across the board: Division 2, 7th, Division 4, 4th, Division 6, 3rd and Division 7, 10th.
Dean Gleeson, SUAC team manager, noted that ‘it was one of the most enjoyable days of cross country racing the team had been to in a long time.’ A brief repast and all gathered at Melbourne University’s Rawlinson Track for the traditional end of season activities in front of a boisterous crowd.

Athletes spent a pleasant afternoon on campus under the plane tree at Tsubu Bar, reviewing the day’s racing, the season and world affairs. It was resolved during the afternoon that SUAC would return to the Tan Relays next year. SUAC took a close but clear boat race victory and was declared a 2-1 victor over MUAC for the day. The festivities continued into the night at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick, Penny Black, Town Hall Kebabs, the Provincial Hotel and Souvlaki King.