Australian distance runner Patrick Tiernan (© Getty Images)
Following their selection trials on Sunday (27), Athletics Australia has announced its team for the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 on 30 March.
The men’s team is headed by Patrick Tiernan, who in 2017 finished 13th in the senior men’s race. Among Australians, only Rob de Castella, Steve Moneghetti and Collis Birmingham have finished higher in the senior men’s race in the 44-year history of the event, first held in 1973.
Tiernan recently indicated his good current form by clocking 1:01:22 at the Houston Half Marathon, a performance which elevated him to eighth on the Australian all-time list.
After his performance in Kampala two years ago, Tiernan went on to set significant personal bests at all track distances from the 1500m to the 10,000m.
In 2018 Stewart McSweyn duplicated that feat with significant marks and PBs over the exact same range of events.
They join the in-form Brett Robinson and Jack Rayner, who finished first and second respectively in the trial race to secure automatic selection. Robinson, an experienced campaigner, is on his fifth World Cross team.
Tiernan, McSweyn, Robinson and Rayner were also members of the 2017 team which placed eighth. They are joined by Harry Summers and Jack Bruce.
In the senior women’s team, Melissa Duncan and Caitlin Adams were automatic selections as the first and second Australian women across the finish line at the selection trials.
Duncan first represented Australia at the 2007 World U18 Championships and went on to compete at the 2015 World Championships, 2016 World Indoor Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games. Adams, meanwhile, will be making her debut at an IAAF World Athletics Series event.
The next four finishers at the trials – Paige Campbell, Emily Brichacek, Marnie Ponton and Leanne Pompeani – have also been selected.
Athletics Australia for the IAAF
Australian team for Aarhus
Senior men: Jack Bruce, Stewart McSweyn, Jack Rayner, Brett Robinson, Harry Summers, Patrick Tiernan
Senior women: Caitlin Adams, Emily Brichacek, Paige Campbell, Melissa Duncan, Leanne Pompeani, Marnie Ponton
U20 men: Sam Clifford, Chekole Getenet, Oli Raimond, Jackson Sharp
U20 women: Abbey Caldwell, Nikita Moore, Sarah Schiffmann, Ruby White