After 5 years of growing, retaining and recruiting athletes, we have finally achieved our goal of a premiership in the Open Men’s Div 2 and in XCR 18 the men will join our women in the Premier Division! Congratulations to all those who contributed to this great club milestone, athletes and coaches past and present, this is a major achievement. It hasn’t been easy, as it should be, we have a great statewide competition with many fine athletes from other clubs and it is great to be part of this now. I look forward to having many successful years in this division, a few medals and maybe even a premiership one day!
The morning started cold and wet with the odd shower making the organisation challenging and overall a little chaotic, but we got there! Thanks to all our AV Helpers on the day, Colette Taylor, Karl Thomas and Julie White - no helpers no points - and this was especially important with the two premierships still at stake. Thanks also to all those who assisted the organisation from collecting money to recording for the teams.
The best results of the day were wins for our Women’s U16s and Men’s Div 6 and a second place from our Men’s U16.
It was another great result for the Div 2 men finishing in second place, only a few seconds behind Diamond Valley who badly needed the win just to stay in Div2, and 3 seconds in front of Box Hill, resulting in a slight increase in the ladder lead. What a difference a week makes (and the distance of course), from the Burnley half where we really struggled to having a glut of athletes and being able field strong teams all division. In the Div 2 Cody Shanahan led the team and was the fastest of the group coming in fifth overall in his first leg. The rest of the team; Liam Cashin made his return to racing, Michael Mirindi and Alistair McDonald were fresh from their half marathon, Michael Masseni, and, for the first time in the seniors competition U18 Matthew Hussey.
The Div 3 were also strong with a mixture of U20 juniors and open and finished fourth and this will lift them a couple of places, well away from the relegation zone, into 10th place. The Div 6 was pumped with some fast athletes who would have been at home in the Div 2 and 3 teams and gave the a very solid lead. With some last minute athlete juggling the team manager came in for the last leg and made sure the other teams had half a chance! Fortunately (for me) we hung on to win by just under 2 minutes! There were two div 7 teams with their best result all season finishing in 4th and 7th place. The 50+ team of Allan Cook, Alan Hammond and Colin Drake was 4th, a great achievement considering this year 50+ talent pool and 18 teams in relays!
It was another great result for our Open women’s Premier team in regards to the overall ladders. The team of Brianna Bunworth, Rochelle Kennedy, in her first race for the season and getting ready for track, then Claire Hodgart, Lexie Alfieri and Brigitte Sneyders were 8th and importantly beat the Frankston team. In the ladders they were equal 5th with Frankston on 47 points, but will now finish 2 points ahead to be out-right fifth. After a shakey start this was a great effort over the season with some really great results in the middle and of course our first medal in XCR, a third place at Anglesea.
In the Women’s Div 3, the team finished 7th and will maintain fifth place in the ladders. The Div 4 team was 13th and has done enough through the season to fend of relegation. As with the 50+ men the 40+ team of Stephanie Thomas, Lori Glover and Sharon Rankin finished 4th . This will result in a 4th place finish in the ladders and with the number of teams in this competition it is a real credit to the ladies.
With the U20 Championship well and truly decided the U20s all ran up in the Div 2 and Div 3 open men to fortify teams and guarantee good results, so thanks to all those U20s; Cody Shanahan, Kirk Shanahan, Christiaan Weitsz and Kaman Malou. Other juniors to assist in the open men’s division were Matt Hussey (U18), Div 2 and Ben Hussey (U16) in the Div 3 team. U16 Ethan McMinimee ran a blinder to finished the 3.2km in 9.50, and supported by Brandon Muscat and Tom Glover, the team finished in 2nd place. In the Men’s U18 team, Bailey Sharp put in a great leading run with the time of 10.06 and the team finished 4th.
The women’s U16 continued their winning streak and sealed the premiership with 7 wins out of 9 rounds. The U18 women’s just needed to field a team and did a great job to finish 4th and increase the lead in the ladders, with Geelong not fielding a team.
Overall another great season for our juniors with 3 premierships and second place to the Men’s U18 and U16, well done all.