Silver Saturday at Sandown for Premier Men

Rd 6 XCR16: Sandown Road Relays


A thrilling two hours of racing on Saturday at Sandown Racecourse saw MUAC’s Premier Men and Box Hill separated by just 27 seconds after 37.2km of racing. Nick Earl burst from the leading pack after a comfortable first lap to put MUAC into the lead. Martin Mashford, fresh off a 10km PB and strong podium effort on the Gold Coast last weekend blasted MUAC’s fastest split of the day (18:38) to extend the lead with Charlie Park matching Mashford’s time to the second and push the advantage out beyond a minute at halfway. Box Hill started their relentless fightback in leg four cutting the advantage despite a strong run from Sam Blake, and David Paroissien hit out on the fifth leg with a slender margin to the Box Hill men.  The last change saw anchor leg runners Zac Newman for MUAC and Stephen Dinneen for Box Hill tag effectively together with the result in the hands of the two team captains. Dinneen eked out a small advantage over the first lap that Newman could not overcome. The second place is MUAC’s highest finish in Premier Men for the season and pushes the team to within three points of second on the Premiership ladder.

MUAC’s Premier Women also made a move up the ladder to now sit in equal fourth place after six rounds of the season.  Ellen Schaef, Pippa Trevalla, Aislinn Prendergast, Ally O’Brien and Maria O’Sullivan took sixth place on the day with Prendergast recording the fastest time of 22:31 for the MUAC Women. Georgie Ryan stepped up to the plate to fill the final spot in MUAC’s Division 2 team, earning the gratitude of the whole club as the team fights hard to avoid relegation.

MUAC Team Selectors were under the pump as sunglass model Tom Jepson ran a blinding first leg to put the Division 5 team ahead of both Division 2 and 3 after leg 1. The effort pushed the Division 5 team to second place on the day, with Divisions 2 and 3 recovering after the early shock to redeem their honour, both finishing in 7th place.

There was a startling rejection of the youth policy as MUAC fielded a team older than the club itself, with Tim Thomas, Tony Brain and Phil Van Dueren combining for the first time to take 6th place in Mens 50+. Thomas, captain by virtue of his (relative) youth lead the team admirably and will be pushing for glory at future relays. At time of publication Thomas had not responded to suggestions that Dr John Howes would be drafted into the team if athletes were not performing at the expected level.

MUAC will be back in action this Sunday at Albert Park for Round 7 of XCR’16, the Albert Park 10km Road Race.


XCR16 Sandown Road Relays