Relay results for Essendon – 3 wins
Men’s Div 2 – 1st
(Fastest and 3rd fastest in all grades: Liam Adams 17.59, Mitch Brown 18.29)
Men’s Div 4 – 1st
Men’s Div 6 – 3rd
Women’s Div 2 – 4th
Women U18 – 1st & 5th
(Katie Webb 10.50, Maddison Caulfield 10.56 & Allison Rogers 10.58 all among fastest)
Rio-bound marathon runner Liam Adams showed he is still a formidable force over the shorter distances, recording the fastest individual time at Saturday’s Sandown Relays in anchoring Athletics Essendon’s Division 2 men to a commanding victory.
Despite running on tired legs courtesy of a heavy block of pre-Olympic training, the 29-year-old finished the day as the only runner to break the 18min barrier, clocking 17min 59sec for his 6.2km leg around the famed Springvale motor circuit.
It was a dominant performance by the six-man Essendon outfit of Toby O’Brien (19:08), Tom Vernon (20:00), brothers Asmelash (20:27) and Muse Tesema (20:58), Mitchel Brown (18:29) and Adams, which surrendered the lead only briefly during the early stages of the race before going on to win in 1hr 57min 2sec.
The time placed Essendon a full seven and a half minutes clear of nearest Division 2 rivals Western Athletics and would have been fast enough for third place in Premier Division.
The club now sits 12 points clear at the top of the Division 2 table ahead of Sunday’s 10km road race at Albert Park and now looks all but assured of taking the premiership and reclaiming a place in Premier Division in 2017.
Also in premiership contention are Essendon’s Division 4 men, who sit seven points off the top of the table after notching up their second win for the season at Sandown.
Charlie Blanch (20:45), Jeremy Thorne (21:01), Noel White (23:25), Jeremy Drake (21:04) and James Wrout (23:08) combined for the 5 x 6.2km event to win in 1hr 49min 24sec, more than five minutes clear of ladder leaders Williamstown.
The club’s other big performance came courtesy of the trio of Emma Files (11:21), Allison Rogers (10:58) and Maddison Caulfield (10:56), who joined forces to take victory in the Under 18 women’s 3 x 3.1km event.