The Anglesea Ekiden Relays was a great hunting ground for Western Aths this round with all junior teams with silver or gold medal performances, the club first XCR Open team XCR medal, another win for the Div 2 open men and some very valuable team points for Men Div 3 and Women Div 4. We were lucky with the weather, no rain until the drive home!
Thanks to all those who helped on the day, recording for the teams, afternoon tea, and of course our two AV helpers, Karen Sharp and Russell White on time duties and spotting for the Men Div 3.
Thanks to Stu Macaulay for the great photos of all the athletes.
This round saw the same Premier Women’s team that just missed out at the Sandown relays, go one better to break through for the club’s first XCR medal, a bronze. Led out by Nardine Bainbridge then Brianna Bunworth, Sophie McMinimee (U18), Stephanie Thomas (40+) and finishing with Ebony Dodemaide (U16) who overtook South Melbourne to claim 3rd place.
The overall women’s numbers have significantly picked up in the last few rounds peaking with 5 teams this round. The Women’s Div 3 had a strong team, with the return to form for Claire Hodgart, were 4th and the Div 4 with its best result for the season also with a very strong team finishing in 3rd place. And, for the first time this season, we made Div 5 with a 7th and 9th place. In the 40+ team, Sharon Rankin, Lori Fraser and Carolyn Huell were just outside the medals in 4th.
In the ladders the Premier women will firm up their place in 6th, only a point behind Collingwood, the Div 3 will move into 6thplace ahead of Williamstown and just one point behind Glenhuntly, the Div 4 will stay in 11th place but importantly will move clear of the bottom two teams and away from relegation.
There were many great individual efforts throughout the many women’s teams none more so than Janice Hodgart and Jo Francken who both ran the first leg in the Div 5 teams with Janice continuing her great form for the year and finishing just ahead of Jo at the first change.
Thanks the following juniors who supported our open teams; Sophie McMinimee U18, Ebony Dodemaide U16 and Jessica Evans U14.
It was another controlled performance from the Div 2 men resulting in another win. Led out by Ryan Geard, the team were well placed in second place, only a few seconds behind Mentone. The team of Michael Mirindi, U20 Cody Shanahan, Daniel Dunstone, Alistair McDonald and Liam Cashin, led for most of the race with the only challenge coming from Frankston. For the final leg Liam Cashin was in second by a few seconds and he quickly put the team into first and ultimately delivered a win by 4 minutes. In the Div 3, a solid effort from all saw the team finish 8th, the Div 6 was 3rd and the Div 7 was 2nd. In a very competitive 50+ group the team of Colin Drake, Peter Cashin and Allan Cook was 4th.
There were some great runs in these results and special mention to Tom Devic and Glenn Evans for their efforts in the 9.8 leg of the Div 6 and 7 with both showing great seasonal improvement.
In the ladders our Div 2 have benefitted great from the last two rounds and are now 15 points clear of Box Hill and with just two rounds to go we are looking confident of a premiership in this division. The Div 3 are equal 11th and should avoid relegation with a 13 point lead over Collingwood. The Div 6 have moved into equal 5th and the Div 7 into 9th.
Thanks also to junior Kaman Malou (U20) in the Men’s Div 3 and Ben Hussey U16 in the Div 5.
All juniors teams won medals this round with the Women’s and Men’s U16 winning Gold and the women’s and men’s U18 silver. This has resulted in teams moving up the ladders and now in contention for premierships where they were not before. There were some great individual runs and congratulations to all athletes for the consistent training that enables them to run so well, as well as the passion and pride that is obvious when running for Western Athletics.
In the ladders our Men’s U20 are solidly on top by 30 points with no change to the top end of the ladders and now have the premiership. The Men’s u18 are now just one point from ladder leaders Ballarat Region so this will be interesting and is a real possibility of premiership. Likewise the Men U16 have come up from 4th a few rounds ago to be only 6 points behind Ballarat Region….so we will have to see what Ballarat will do at Burnley! The women’s U18 is also a strange one with the girls now in second place, with Geelong on top and not fielding teams in 4 rounds, will they field a team at Burnley?? The U16 Girls will most likely win the premiership and will go into the penultimate round with a 19 point lead.