Ballarat teens clinch places for World Cross Country Championships in Poland

THREE Ballarat teenagers will make their World Cross Country Championships debut in Poland in March.

Jack Davies, Courtney Scott and Stewart McSweyn will take on the world’s best in the under-20 titles at Bydgoszcz, on Sunday, March 24.

At 17 years, each is at the bottom end of the age scale in the division.

They join two-time Olympian Collis Birmingham, giving Ballarat four representatives in the titles and continuing the city’s strong tradition at world cross country championships.

Birmingham automatically clinched a berth for Poland by winning the men’s open trial at Canberra on Sunday.

Davies, Scott and McSweyn, who are all members of the Eureka Athletic Club and coached by Rod Griffin, had to wait until Athletics Australia named a 19-strong team yesterday to learn whether they had done enough in ther trials.

Scott, who lives in Bacchus Marsh, and McSweyn attend Ballarat Clarendon College.

Davies is a Ballarat High School student.

Davies and Scott each represented Australian at the world schools cross country championships in Malta early last year.

Griffin said all three youngsters had “run out of their skins” in Canberra.

‘It’s a sensational outcome,” Griffin said.

Davies finished third in the junior boys’ 8km trial and McSweyn fifth.

Scott was fourth in the junior girl’s 6km trial.

This is the biggest Australian team in a world cross country since 2008.

Birmingham, who began his career under the guidance of Griffin and is now coached by Nic Bideau, competed in world junior cross country titles.

These will be his sixth world cross country championships.

Australian team:

Open men: Liam Adams (Victoria), Collis Birmingham (Victoria), Mitchel Brown (Victoria), Steve Kelly (Victoria), Brett Robinson (Victoria)

Open women: Sophie Barker (Victoria), Tasmin McMahon (SA), Tara Palm (SA), Celia Sullohern (NSW)

Junior boys (under-20): Jacob Birtwhistle (Tasmania), Jack Curran (Queensland), Jack Davies (Victoria), Sean Guiney (Victoria), Morgan McDonald (NSW), Stewart McSweyn (Victoria)

Junior girls (under-20): Amy Cashin (Victoria), Samantha Prime (Victoria), Michaela Quinn (NSW), Courtney Scott (Victoria)