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Tiernan wins Zatopek title on debut

NZN 8/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Patrick Tiernan rates winning the Zatopek title on debut as bigger than his massive upset win at the NCAA cross-country championships.

The Toowoomba 22-year-old dominated the 10,000m Australian title race on Thursday night at Melbourne's Lakeside Stadium.

Tiernan broke clear inside the last 3km and won convincingly in 27 minutes 59 seconds to again show he is a rising star of Australian distance running.

Stewart Mcsweyn from King Island was second in 28:29 and Melbourne's Chris Hamer clocked 29:02 for third.

Last month, Tiernan had a stunning win over three-time defending champion Edward Cheserek to take out the American NCAA national cross country title.

Tiernan, who runs for Villanova College in the US, said Thursday night's success topped that triumph.

"It's great - it feels better winning this one than that one, because this is something you've been dreaming about for a long time," he said.

"I'm very pleased to be able to win the race and hopefully be able to progress in the future."

He said his 10,000m debut on the track could not have gone better.

"I felt pretty smooth through the first 7km or so," he said.

"It's a very big difference running 10k on the track to the grass - your legs start to feel it a bit more because of the harder surface.

"It was hard, the last 3k, but we got through it.

"I felt pretty confident coming into this that I could win it."

Tiernan made his Olympic debut this year, running in the heats of the 5000m.

His next major goal will be the world cross-country championships, to be held in Uganda in late March.

Tiernan also hopes to race in the 5000m or 10,000m at London's world track championships in August.

Earlier on Thursday night, New Zealand runner Camille Buscomb claimed her first Zatopek 10,000m title with an upset win.

Buscomb clocked 32 minutes 34 seconds and won by 30 seconds.

Pre-race favourite and three-time winner Eloise Wellings was never in contention, with the Australian finishing fourth.

Bridey Delaney from NSW sprinted clear in the home straight to finish second and take the Australian 10,000m title in 33:04.

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