Inside Athletics

Adams defends cross country mantle

Liam Adams has recorded his second win in the space of the week in formalising his position as Australia's top cross country runner by winning the national cross country title at Stromlo Park, Canberra.

Adams, who has dominated domestic distance action this winter and who was Australia's top finisher at the world cross country championships in 2010, ran clear of the field to record a 20 second victory over the 12km course only six days after conquering Sydney’s iconic 14km City to Surf. The Victorian covered the distance in a swift 36:05, with local athlete Martin Dent (36:22) second and marathon runner Scott Westcott only a second further behind in third place.

“I decided with 5km to go, I had to make a move that was decisive. I let rip for 200m and it really hurt me, but seems to have done the trick,” Adams explained.

“It’s been a massive week for me and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to back up today. However I felt great all week and even managed a really tough session just 2 days after City 2 Surf,” Adams said.

In the women’s race it was an ACT one-two with Emily Brichacek pulling away from Australian mile record holder Lisa Corrigan over the final three kilometres to score an 18 second victory in 27:18. Both Brichacek and Corrigan have battled injury over the past few seasons and the performances are a promising demonstration of their fitness, especially for Corrigan, who will challenge for a spot in the London Olympics over 1500m alongside the likes of Kaila McKnight and Zoe Buckman.

Victoria’s Anna Thompson was third in 27:46.

In the junior races world cross country representative Celia Sullohern dominanted her event, winning her maiden national title with a 20:02 run over the 6km course. The New South Welshman was followed home by Victorians Tessa Craig (20:37) and Rosie Donegan (21:09). In the junior men’s race New Zealand’s Declan Wilson was the first home in 23:57, with Glen Yarham of Queensland taking the national title with a 24:04 run. Jordan Williamsz, recently returned from Europe where he recorded personal bests over 800m and 1500m, demonstrated good fitness by finishing third across the line in 24:54, with Joshua Johnson the bronze medallist in the Australian championship with a 25:05 run.

Victorian claimed the open men’s team title, with the ACT clinching the women’s title.