If the womens race was about one person, then not to be outdone the large mens field of 19 decided to shine its spotlight on its own anointed one. And that man’s name is Duer Yoa.
The Ballarat runner wanted to show he meant business from the gun leading the field through the first 400m in 68 seconds. Even throwing in a short but powerful surge at 600m he kept this lead until just after the 1st km which he led in at 2:50 when Australian Cross Country Champion Mitch Brown made his move assuming the lead as they then proceeded to hit 2km in 5:43 with Brown 1st, Yoa 2nd and Tasmanian Jacob Birtwhistle 3rd.
With 6 laps to go Duer threw in another surge which was longer and more powerful that the first which gave him a 3 second lead over the chasing pack at 3k 8:35 to 8:38.
The magic really happened in the next 400m as Duer conjured a 3 second lead into 6 seconds over that 8th 400m lap which was enough to net him a commanding advantage and would require something extraordinary from an opponent to rundown that lead which continued to grow by the way.
Brown continued to give chase valiantly but had to pay the energy bill as a result which allowed former Iona runner and recent Harlem NY 5k winner Matt Bayley to move past him into second place.
Bayley continued to push and began to eat into Duer’s lead but it was too late as Duer crossed the line first in a winning time of 14:15 with Bayley 2nd in 14:19 and Brendon Hargreaves of WA 3rd in 14:22. Anthony Aloisio was 4th and 3rd Victorian in a time of 14:23.
But tonight was all about Duer Yoa.
|K Marker||KM Split by Leader||Total Time|
|1||2:50 D. Yoa||2:50|
|2||2:53 M. Brown||5:43|
|3||2:52 D. Yoa||8:35|
|4||2:50 D. Yoa||11:25|
|5||2:50 D. Yoa||14:15|
Some post race takeaways (PRT’s)
PRT 1: Duer is in great shape and has great confidence about him now. The willingness to push the pace and front run on a windy night with swirly 15 knot winds doesn’t usually come about without generous helpings of the two afore mentioned attributes.
PRT 2: Duer ran an extremely even race if you judge by the above splits. He left in 2:50 and came home in 2:50 which mean he did not fade at all but other runners like Bayley had very strong finishes to eat into his lead near the end.
PRT 3: A special mention should go out to Ryan Powell of Tasmania. The 15, that’s right 15 year old showed immense maturity held off numerous attacks by Paul Munro, Liam Delany and Jacob Gifty right through the mens 5000m C race to take it out in 15:29.
Speaking to him later he informed me that this is a Tasmanian record for the u-16’s. Doing my research later I discovered he is in fact 6 seconds faster than the previous best. Athletics Tasmania better be updating their records today.