Athletics Essendon runners Linden Hall and Mitchel Brown secured a “double double” for the club on Thursday in both claiming back-to-back titles at the Victorian 5000m Championships.
Hall, the Rio Olympic 1500m semi-finalist, had showed herself to be in good shape over the longer distance with victory over a strong field at the recent Noosa Bolt 5K, and she carried on that form in leading from the gun to take a dominant victory ahead of Melbourne Marathon winner Virginia Moloney in a personal best of 15min 53.96sec.
In the men’s event, Brown was forced to settle for second place outright after visiting ACT athlete Jordan Gusman (14:02.06) proved too strong, but his time of 14:08.26 was good enough to secure the state title as first Victorian.
Also performing strongly for the club were Michael Marantelli (14:33.08) and Charlotte Wilson (17:17.29), who both finished ninth in their events.
The results see Essendon well placed to claim a third straight title in the HH Hunter Shield, awarded to the best-performed club over the Victorian Championships.
The remainder of the Victorian Championship events will be held over February and March 2017.