After last week’s flat course at Centennial Park, the Waverley team made the hour-long drive out to St Ives Showground, to test their fresh legs on the gruelling hills and uneven terrain. The course this week featured almost everything you can get when it comes to cross-country racing: hills, tree roots, fallen tree hurdles, mud, ankle-rolling divots and much more. The start featured a 200m straight, breadcrumbed with hazardous divots, followed by numerous switchbacks, funnelling the competitors down into the bushes of St Ives Showground.
The Juniors’ race commenced bright and early at 9am. In the absence of Joshua Peters and Evan Rowbotham, boys were called on to step up to the plate. Each boy rose to the occasion, with Jake McEvoy leading the boys through the first lap. A notable improvement from Jarrah Thomasyu saw him improve his placement from last week by 15 positions, along with quality performances by Oliver Chan and Xavier Wright.
Our Intermediate age group continued this momentum built by the Juniors, with a particularly fast start from the Waverley boys, before quickly settling into their respective rhythms. Some strategic mid-race surges from Asher Thomasyu saw him overtake numerous competitors, particularly on the hills, where Asher excels. This fitness that Asher possesses combined with his tactical movements throughout the race, placed him 11th out of a field of 128 runners. Perhaps the highlight of this 6km race was the final kick from Blake Richardson, who unleashed his poetic stride 300m from the finish line, leaving it all on the course, and overtaking numerous competitors.
This race was soon followed by our Opens team, who took to the course in full force, preparing for a gruelling 8km. Our boys all had varying race strategies, some with purposely slower starts and others attempting to get a quick start. An unlucky start from Campbell Groves saw him in the middle of the back, coming around the first switchback. However, Campbell’s strength allowed him to seemingly glide through the tightly-packed runners, as he positioned himself amongst the first pack of runners.
Tactically, our boys used the uphills to our advantage, ensuring they put in a surge of pace at the top of the hills, in an attempt to break away from other competitors. Campbell’s aggressive racing tactic placed him in a very strong position of 7th out of 130 runners, finishing 2nd out of CAS competitors. Phenomenal work, Campbell.
Overall, it was a very strong showing from Waverley College at St Ives. Whilst many other schools were daunted by the hilly course, Waverley competitors took it in their stride, using it to their advantage. With many multi-position improvements across the board, the Waverley team is looking forward to next week, when we tackle the possibly the hardest course for the season; The King’s School.
Waves to Win!
Campbell Groves and Hugo Morgan (Cross Country Co-Captains 2023)