Shaun Lee pumps his legs as he nears the finish. Lee improved on last year’s fifth placing, taking gold.
Shaun Lee pumps his legs as he nears the finish. Lee improved on last year’s fifth placing, taking gold.

Curran, Lee win cross country gold

GYMPIE continues to be a hub of cross country talent following success at the Queensland All Schools Cross Country in Brisbane last weekend.

The state-wide carnival was held in Bald Hills on Saturday, and Gympie supplied six runners, as well as Jack Curran, who now attends boarding school in Brisbane.

Runners included Shaun Lee, Clare O’Brien, Stephanie Mills, Alec Lee, Jessica Hurrell and Lee Baines.

Gympie State High School teacher Keith Brown, who heads athletics training with the Cooloola all schools athletics’ group, was pleased with the results.

In particular, Brown was proud of the efforts of O’Brien and Lee, who both finished with medals.

Lee won gold in the 14 boys over 4km, while O’Brien collected bronze in the 12 years girls over 3km. Curran took gold in the under 16 boys.

“(O’Brien and Lee) both ran extremely well against very competitive fields,” Brown said.

Lee was in devastating form, winning his race by 22 seconds with a blistering time of 13 minutes, 24 seconds.

“Shaun has been working on his race strategy and it really came together in this race,” Brown said.

“He is unbelievably fit and just broke away over the last 2km.”

Lee’s result improved on a fifth placing last year where his race strategy let him down.

Meanwhile, O’Brien posted a personal best time of 11 minutes, 46 seconds to clinch bronze from a field of 82.

While not matching her silver last year, Brown said the runner ran a better time against a far more competitive field.

The remaining runners finished outside of the major placings, but Brown said they posted personal best times and all showed improvement.

“It’s good experience,” he said.

The Bald Hills’ course will be the battle ground for the state titles in June, and the nationals later in the year.

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