In an outstanding team performance, the St Catherine’s School Cross Country team equalled its best ever performance at a GSV Cross Country Championships finishing 3rd overall. With a large emphasis on the importance of ‘effort’ this year, the girls were extremely committed to the task of training hard and consistently to ensure that they could contribute their best to the team. With over 60 girls regularly attending training, each session became an opportunity for the students to challenge themselves physically, build respect and establish new friendships across year levels. This sense of effort and team camaraderie was put best by our teacher in charge, Mrs Susan Hobson:

“The real buzz this season has been having you turn up regularly on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings in such large numbers and heading out the gates to do the sessions, where you always gave it your best. A lovely camaraderie has developed amongst the group and you really have been a pleasure to work with. If there was one thing I could change, it would be to take twenty years off my body so I could join in the fast reps with you!”

With such a strong culture as our base, the team worked incredibly hard to improve their racing confidence across the season. Strong results at the Athletics Victoria Relays Championship events at Jells Park and Albert Park, presented the group with some competitive racing lessons. However, the real breakthrough race came at the GSV PB Meet at Melbourne’s famous The Tan running track. Here, the girls took on Melbourne Girls’ Grammar, a high performing Cross Country School, and didn’t blink an eye as many girls ran personal bests and built confidence for the task ahead.

At the start of the season, the coaching group had set the lofty challenge of achieving  a Top 3 overall team result at the GSV Championships. Having finished 4th last year, the logical progression said Top 3 was within their grasp. However, with some extremely strong school teams such as Melbourne Girls’ Grammar, Firbank Grammar and Methodist Ladies College all running well, the challenge was always going to be tough. In sport, coaches often talk about the idea of ‘flow’, an ideal performance state where things just click. For St Catherine’s, the GSV Carnival produced that flow, with all team members working together to produce the best results for themselves and the team.

Junior Team (Years 7 and 8)

Our Junior team were confident and determined as they powered over the course. They fought hard for every step and made their team presence felt, with the Junior team successfully finishing 2nd overall in Division 1.


Performance of the meet:

Alexandra Demetriou (Year 8) Alexandra ran an outstanding race, finishing 9th overall out of nearly 500 junior runners. Her ongoing determination to improve certainly lifted those girls around her to give it their all.

Special Mentions:

Chloe Joubert (Year 8), Sarah Marriott (Year 7), Madeleine Hooker (Year 8)and India Marner (Year 7). Each girl gave that extra bit of effort in their own way on the day. However, it is extremely difficult not to mention all our Years 7 and 8 students in this special mention section. The group were all outstanding!

Intermediate Team (Years 9 and 10)

Our intermediate students had to work extremely hard for their result. Knowing many of our rival schools were strongest in the intermediate category, our runners made sure they dug deep, and lifted when required, to ensure they could hold the other schools at bay. St Catherine’s finished 6th overall in the Intermediate category.



Performance of the meet:

Annelise Cody (Year 10) – Annelise ran a strong race, improving her time from 2016 by over 59 seconds. This improvement saw her finish 24th overall. The high training standards she continually sets for herself ensures she is always ready to put forward a strong performance when required.

Special Mentions:

Romy Cantwell (Year 9) and Charlotte Gough (Year 9). Both these students improved enormously this season. Their positive energy and enjoyment of running ensured they got the best out of themselves in the Championship race.

Senior Team (Years 11 and 12)

The Senior group of girls should be extremely proud of their efforts this season. The leadership they have displayed has set the tone of what strong teams are all about. This group never missed a beat, leading every training rep and always giving it their all when it came to racing. They were narrowly defeated at the Championships by Methodist Ladies College and Ruyton Girls’ School.

However, with the majority of the team in Year 11, we are very excited to see these girls push their limits again in 2018 and potentially gain another couple of overall standings place. Congratulations to all our Year 12s who competed on the day. All should be extremely proud of themselves for the years of service they have given to their school sport. Led by captains Stephanie Wills (Year 12) and Bridget Liebermann (Year 12), we thank you for your commitment and fine running.


Performance of the meet:

Isabelle Dann (Year 11): All season, Isabelle has been building her confidence, transitioning her high training standards into equally as high racing output. Championship day saw Isabelle produce her best run of the season. She finished inside the Top 10 of the Division 1 race and the entire coaching staff were extremely proud of the race plan she put together.

Special Mentions:

Students Eleanor Millear (Year 11), Juliet Grant (Year 11) and Elsa Robertson (Year 12) each found that little bit extra when it mattered.

Finally, I would like to thank the staff and coaches that have provided the Cross Country Team with outstanding service and support this season. Thank you Mr Cassidy Shaw, Mr Harrison Roubin, Miss Juliet Cody and Miss Lily Razuki for your hard work in coaching and running with the team. Thank you Miss Skye Stansfield, Mr Tom Crebbin, Mrs Gina Peele, Mr Nick Racina and Mrs Michelle Carroll who all provided support to the team. Finally, my biggest thank you goes to our teacher in charge and expert coach, Mrs Susan Hobson. Mrs Hobson brings such a wealth of knowledge to the program and her mentoring of the girls is extremely special and cherished by all.

As Track and Field gets underway next week for the entire School, we will continue our strong emphasis on effort and teamwork in the season ahead, and look forward to the positive environment this can bring.