By David Brehaut
SHANE Nankervis executed a race plan to perfection to become the new Athletic Victoria 15-kilometre men’s open road champion in Ballarat on Saturday.
Spurred on by hometown spectators, Nankervis powered away from South Melbourne’s Wondwosen Geleta by 4.5 seconds in the XCR’12 event on the Lake Wendouree circuit.
Stephen Dinneen, of Box Hill, was a distant third.
Nankervis led a Ballarat Regional Athletic Centre domination.
BRAC had three in the top 10, with the consistent James Attard fifth and past champion Steve Moneghetti 10th.
Paul Burge rounded out a strong team effort with an 18th and Jamie Huggett 19th.
Nankervis will now taper for the Gold Coast Marathon on Sunday, July 1.
He finished second in the same event in 2009.
Despite having represented Australia in the world marathon championship and Commonwealth Games, Nankervis said having specific race plans had not been integral to his running early in his career.
“I used to just run.”
Now that he is entering the twilight of his elite athletic career, plans are very much part of the Nankervis approach.
And they could not have fallen into place any better than Saturday, when about 1000 junior and senior runners converged on Ballarat.
Nankervis wanted to be aggressive and he was.
Within a few kilometres of the leaders were quickly sorted out, with Nankervis leading a group of six.
Ultimately, it went down to Nankervis and Geleta, who is originally from Ethiopia.
They went stride-for-stride, but at no stage did Nankervis surrender the lead.
Nankervis said he was determined to make the pace and ensure he maintained control.
Nankervis said he did begin to feel the pinch about 3km from the finish, but hometown vocal support had spurred him on.
“It was great to have people cheering for me on the sidelines.”
SOPHIE Barker, of Melbourne University, defended her state women’s open 15km title.
Karinna Fyfe (Glenhuntly) was second, with Sinead Diver (South Mlebourne) third.
Angela Williams was the first Ballarat runner to finish in 11th position.
MEN’S OPEN 15KM
Shane Nankervis (Ballarat) 46:02.1
Wondwosen Geleta (S Melbourne) 46:06.7
Stephen Dinneen (Box Hill) 46:36.4
Identity unknown (Doncaster) 46:52.9
James Attard (Ballarat) 47:13.5
Brady Threlfall (Geelong) 47:19.5
Sam Crowther (Knox) 47:25.2
Asheber Germa (S Melbourne) 47:34.7
Walid A-Kurtu (Essendon) 47:41.2
Stephen Moneghetti (Ballarat) 47:48.6
WOMEN’S OPEN 15KM
Sophie Barker (Melbourne Uni) 52:39.9
Karinna Fyfe (Glenhuntly) 53:48.2
Sinead Diver (S Melbourne 53:51.5
Kelly Jarrett (APS) 54:53.3
Karen Thorp (Knox) 54:56.4
Tracey Austin (Malvern Harriers 55:06.7
Ellie O'Kane (Geelong) 55:29.9
Susan Michelsson (Collingwood) 55:33.5
Julia Edwards (Glenhuntly) 55:44.0
Sarah McSweeney (Melbourne Uni) 57:13.0