Current NSW 1500m and 7.5km cross country champion James Nipperess has added the NSW 3000m title to his ever growing resume this evening at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre.
20-year-old Nipperess clocked a personal best of 7:56.42 to convincingly beat Commonwealth Games 1500m finalist Jeremy Roff, who recorded a time of 8:02.56, with world junior 1500m representative Brett Robinson third in 8:06.67. The winning performance was the second fastest in the event's history, behind the 7:55.39 recorded by Ben St Lawrence in 2007.
"We had planned for Jeff [Hunt] to take the pace for the first three laps, and he got us to the first kilometre in about 2:35, so we were moving pretty well," Nipperess said.
"After that Jez [Roff] took a lap, and then I took a lap and the plan from there was for Jez to lead the rest of the way.
"But, with 600m to go he pulled to the side - he obviously wasn't feeling great - and I was in the lead but I was a bit hesitant to take it up because I'd never beaten him before."
The result was especially pleasing for Nipperess in an event which has become a staple part of the NSW distance running experience and which celebrated a record 191 entries across the ten graded races contested.
"I've been running the race for the past five years and it has been the one that I have always wanted to win."
Nipperess will next race in ten days, where as the reserve for the Australian team at the Chiba Ekiden in Japan he will contest a 5000m track race.
ACTs Sarah McRae took out the women's event in 9:28.66, with Belinda Martin claiming the NSW title in 9:38.45 ahead of 15-year-old Kate Spencer (9:49.09) and Kelly Young (9:51.02).
In the men's C race, 55-year-old Keith Bateman recorded a time of 8:56.80, which is believed to be a world best in the 55-59 year age bracket.
Photo by Chris Lew
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