Cross country win caps off stellar season

Cross country win caps off stellar season

Monday 25 June

L-R: Cross Country captains Shui-Min Loh, Sarah Knox and Siena McQuilan celebrate the win

Our Cross Country runners have celebrated a fabulous season with a win at the recent IGSSA Inter School Cross Country event.

The win, which marked the first event title in 30 years and third Cross Country win in St Hilda's history, followed our School's champion performance at the IGSSA Swimming Carnival in March.

“It was a very pleasing result and a fantastic reward for the girls who have shown such a high level of dedication and enthusiasm in not just cross country, but all sport at St Hilda’s over a number of years,” Cross Country Coordinator, Ms Jo Swain said.

St Hilda's finished with overall first placings in the Year 7 and Year 10 divisions, second placings in the Year 8 and Year 11/12 divisions, and fourth in the Year 9 division.

“It was very close, just 16 points separated St Hilda’s from St Mary’s,” Ms Swain said.
“Sixteen points equates to only 16 positions across the entire five races.”

Cross Country Coordinator and Coach, Mr Mike O’Sullivan, said the effort put in to training by the girls was admirable.

“They had an intensive six-week training block after the Inter House event (earlier in the term),” he said.

“Trainings are varied and include a combination of intervals to develop speed, hills to build strength, and tempo runs which are a faster run over an increased distance. We encourage girls to attend three sessions per week, as it is vital to have rest days in their programs.”

Mr O’Sullivan continued that the depth of the St Hilda’s team was another factor in the school’s success.

“The result was a combination of having large numbers of girls at training spanning across the last 5-6 years,” he said.

“(Head coach) Brad Ladyman and the other dedicated coaches have helped build a culture where a lot of girls want to train and push each other. As a School, we have the highest number of girls in our overall squad and this depth has greatly assisted us – it is the key to success and having your 10 runners in each year group all trying to finish in the top half holds you in good stead.”

Ms Swain said cross training also helped the young athletes.

“Other IGSSA sports training also greatly assists our team and having strength and conditioning classes, running club, swim for fit and Zumba classes as options all year for our girls really helps,” she said.

“We always encourage the girls to participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities and develop a healthy balance. Sport is just one of these options, and a fantastic complement to the rigours of study. Cross country in particular, where the girls are training from 6.45am, also helps build their organisational skills and gives them confidence to tackle the rest of the day.”