For the third time this season AV has found a new and inventive way to shock and confuse athletes. This round it was the running of the Women’s then Men’s 10km race that were only 40 minutes apart. This led to a great heard of blokes running through the women’s, leaving many a little surprised! The course conditions were typical for Bundoora and with some rain the days leading the course was muddy and quite slippery in parts. All this aside the 2 and the 4km loops combined together to produce a fast course overall and good cross country running.

Men closing in

Wendouree Race Wrap

We dodged most of the rain and drizzle at Ballarat, a reversal on other years, and with the exception a light shower or the conditions we very pleasant with the sun even making a brief appearance.  Whilst the open men’s and women’s numbers were down a little on previous rounds, this year we made up for it with solid number from the juniors and we ended up with 60 athletes competing overall - a club record at Wendouree.  Whilst we experienced good conditions many of us expressed surprise at the apparent augmentation of the course.  Whilst we recognize that GPS watches are not as accurate as traditional methods of distance measurement, most of us had the 15km course between 600 to 700m long which correlated with the extended turn around point compared to previous years.

Heritage Round

Cruden Farm Heritage Round - Photo by Tania Shanahan

It was with some trepidation that we made our way to Cruden Farm with the second race in a couple of weeks having no idea what to expect! As news came in of the hills, creek crossing and missing shoes, laces were tightened and race plans turned to the conservative! Throughout the 4km loop we were treated to rolling hills with enough to get the heart rate up but plenty of time to recover before the next challenge. And despite the range surfaces, from lightly grazed grasslands, firm sandy roads and of course that creek crossing, it was a good course to settle into a rhythm. The biggest challenge was the creek crossing and by the end of the day it was a muddy swamp that required a huge effort to push through and even more effort on the other side to get going again! This venue is a real gem, it had all the attributes of a great cross country course and I hope we can have this on the program for next year.

Wandin Park was a brutal unforgiving course and although the overall elevation is almost the same as the Lardner park course (4km loop), there were more sharp hills, jumps, obstacles and under foot challenges than Lardner. Add to this the 25 degree sunny day and many athletes struggled, the St Johns ambos being the busiest they’ve ever been! Despite this will still managed to field four open men’s and women’s teams and many juniors teams with a win in the U14 women’s and two teams for the U16 ,U18 and U20 men’s age groups. The best individual results of the day were wins from Liam Cashin (U20), Mia White (U14) and in the open men Jack Rayner fifth and in the open women Claire Hodgart 20th.

wandin park hills

A great kick off to the season, we didn’t just put our best foot forward we jumped in with both feet in what must be our best ever result and start to the season!! We secured three wins; Men’s Div 2, Women’s 40+, women U14 and three seconds, Men’s Div 6, Men U20 and Men U16, and in their debut race our Premier women finished a very respectable fifth place. We had a record number of competing athletes for Jells Park, 65 athletes in a total of 18 teams. The bulk of these teams were in the senior’s ranks with 5 open men’s, 4 open women’s, with the depth to also field a competitive women’s 40+ and men’s 50+ team.

The end of February saw a BIG weekend of Track and Field for Western Athletics as athletes competed and excelled during weekend competition. In a strong showing for the club, thirteen members competed in the Athletics Victoria Open State Track and Field Championships while eleven athletes made it through the AV Junior Knockout rounds to book themselves a spot in the 2nd  Annual AV Knockout final. There were many strong performances across the weekend. In the AV Open T&F Championships Western A's athletes walked away with three Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals with athletes making finals and running PBs in Victoria's pinnacle competition. It was Gold, Gold Gold, for Luke Stevens running a PB of 46.06 in the Mens 400m final as he works towards the magic mark of 45.40sec for an Olympic qualifier. Morgan Mitchell backed up two previous PBs and Olympic qualifying times by once again running a PB and OQ in the Womens 400m final in a sharp 51.81sec. Not to be out done Julia Burke stepped up from the Junior ranks to out throw her more experineced open age competitors to take out the title in the Womens Shot Put with a throw of 13.16m. Other standout performances came from Nathan Pearce, with a fast finishing performance to capture a Silver in the 1500m in his first season of Open competition and Cody Shanahan and Claire Hodgart both medalling with a bronze in the 3000m Steeple. Aimee Lane, Alexie Alferi, Billie Arch, Rochelle Kennedy, Michael Mirindi, Chris Downie and Amador Bemejo allrepresented Western A's across the weekend in what was our strongest showing fro many years.

The AV Junior Knockout Final was conducted in conjunction with the AV Open T&F Championships. Wesetrn A's Athletes captured a total of fourteen medals, six gold, five silver and three bronze. It was two gold for Aliyah Canepa in the discus and hammer, a gold for Thomas Glover in the steeple, backed up with a bronze medal in the pole vault, Billie Arch silver in the long jump, Julia Burke gold in the hammer and shot put, Decalam Macaulay bronze in the hammer. Daniel Masini vaulted to a silver in the pole vault, Adora Arch dual silver medallist in the 100m and shot put, Yara Taylor silver in the Javelin, while Seve Redmore bounced back after a challenging Saturday showing his fighting spirit to take out the bronze medal in the hammer. Other competitors included Aynain Beg competing as a bottom aged athlete and Jackson Glover nursing an injury both competed strongly in their respective events.

Also a special mention to those who gave up their time to support as club helpers, Claire Hodgart, Collete Taylor, Christine Arch, Steve Glover, Andy Redmore and Dale Masini, on behalf of the club and competitors it was much appreciated.


Congratulations to all those who competed in last weekend’s State Relay Championships at Lakeside stadium. Everyone put in a huge effort and it showed in our results. Of the 23 teams we finished with one first place, two second place and four third place finishes as well as many other teams making through to the finals of their event. A great result in the context of the increased participation in this year’s championships and many of teams posted their best times since 2012; Women’s Open Medley, Women’s 4x400, Men U16 Medley, Men U16 4x100, Men U14 4x100, Men U14 4x400, women’s 4x1500 and 4x400.

The AV Shield 2015-16 season has kicked off with a bang. In round 2 we saw multiple club records set.

Luke Stevens, in his first race for the season, broke his own 200m record by 0.05, setting a new club record of 20.93. Onlookers commented Luke looked very relaxed.

Heath Beveridge set a new record for the U14 boys 1500m walk. Heath's time was 8:18.0 breaking the club record by 9.7 seconds.

Well done!



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