Athletes Jack Davies, Sam Williams a shoe-in for national cross country championships in Albany

JACK Davies and Sam Williams both cemented their selection for the national cross country championships in Albany with age division title at Bundoora on Saturday. 

Sam Williams on his way to winning an XCR under-15 race in Bundoora.

Sam Williams on his way to winning an XCR under-15 race in Bundoora.

Davies maintained his undefeated record this season by winning round four of Athletics Victoria’s XCR’14 race.

To make it a clean sweep of all three individual races, Davies put on a dominant display of front running to pull away from his competitors on the second lap of his eight-kilometre course to convincingly win the under-20s.

He finished in 25 minutes and six seconds – 39 seconds ahead of Ballarat team-mate Stewart McSweyn. 

Williams, running in under-15s, defended his state cross country title to book a seat to Western Australia with the School Sport Victoria team. 

The 13-year-old St Patrick’s College student held his own against older competitors to finish 11th overall but first in his age group.

He covered the four-kilometre distance in 13 minutes, 39 seconds. 

Saturday’s race doubled as the Victorian All Schools Cross Country Championships for all secondary school competitors.

The championships also served as the selection trial for the Athletics Australia and School Sport Australia cross country championships.

Ballarat Grammar’s Nicholas Fidler confirmed his selection by finishing fourth in the under-14 race.

He clocked 10 minutes, 25 seconds for his three kilometres.

Others in contention to make the School Sport Victoria team are Ballarat High School’s Ryan Norman (26:59) and Ballarat Secondary College’s Jesse Fullarton (27:32) who finished seventh and 10th in their 8km event. High School’s Tahlee VanRoosmalen 16:05 to finish 10th in under-15s.

Eureka athletes, McSweyn (25:45) and Courtney Scott (fourth in 23:03) are guaranteed state selection if they nominate.

Louise Wood (24:15), 12th in under-20s 6km, and Angela Williams (30:34), 12th in the open 8km, will be hoping for Victorian selection.

Williams and Christine O’Halloran both gave their 40-plus and 55-plus champion athlete rankings a boost for the series by finishing first in their age groups.

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