McSweyn, Sullohern win 10,000m titles

Dec 14, 2017 - 11:27 AM Stewart McSweyn and Celia Sullohern have claimed upset wins in the two Australian 10,000m championship races to book their spots on the team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The versatile McSweyn, who contested the 3000m steeplechase this year at the world championships, powered over the top of defending champion Pat Tiernan on Thursday night to win a slow, tactical men's 10,000m in 28 minutes 37.28 seconds at Lakeside Stadium.

The 22-year-old is pretty certain the victory will make him the first person from King Island to compete at a Commonwealth Games.

"It was a weird race, no one wanted to really get after it and we were just jogging around for the first 16 or 17 laps," said McSweyn.

"I was confident. I've got good mile speed so I knew, if it went to a (last) lap, I had a good chance.

"But obviously, Pat Tiernan is so strong that I knew he wasn't going to make it easy."

Tiernan - 12th in the 5000m at the August world titles - is still well-placed to be added to the Commonwealth Games team as he has previously bettered the A qualifying standard in the 5000m and 10,000m.

McSweyn is also keen to contest a second event at the Gold Coast Games if he gets the chance - but that will depend on how he performs in February in the steeplechase and 5000m trials.

Two months ago, the Commonwealth Games weren't even on the multi-talented Sullohern's radar.

But a shock victory in the women's 10,000m has prompted a change of focus for the 25-year-old, who until now had divided her time between triathlon and distance running.

Racing over the distance for only the second time, the 25-year-old held off the challenges of marathon star Jess Trengove and four-time national 10,000m champ Eloise Wellings to win in 32:31.22.

"I'm still trying to comprehend it a little bit," said Sullohern, who first shot to track and field prominence with victory in October's Melbourne marathon.

"I was just keen to go and have a hit-out tonight and see how my legs were because I haven't run shorter distances at all for a couple of years.

"It's very exciting to be out there with the girls and to come away with the win is just a bonus.

"I'd take any option I could to go to the Comms."

Source: AAP

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