The Col De Brimbank - Photo by Stu Macaulay
Once again this year the weather gods were smiling on us delivering absolutely perfect conditions. This year the course took us through a slightly different route, taking in a big sweep at the bottom of the hill and missing the small up-hill section in the back end of the six km loop. Our open women’s teams were well supplied with 14 athletes, 4 teams, and near full strength in the Div 2. Our men’s open teams suffered from lack of numbers this round with only two teams and we were missing some of our big guns. Our juniors had some good results with many top ten performances and a big win for Brandon Muscat in the men’s U14 4km race to seal the U14 individual season championship.
With the most ever numbers of athletes ever at Brimbank and possibly in an individual race, our open women will have some strong team results. First in was Brianna Bunworth surprising herself to finish in 23 minutes, 45 seconds, in 32nd place. Only 11 places separated the top three women with Rochelle Kennedy (36th) then Nardine Bainbridge (43rd) and rounding out the Div 2 was Brigitte Sneyders with her first XCR top 100 result in 83rd place. Again this round has shown our ladies have steadily improved with many running significantly faster than last season. Most notable was Brigitte Sneyders and the recently returned Chelsea Morley dropping 5 to 6 minutes from the previous year.
Brianna and Brigitte - Photos by Stu Macaulay
Our numbers were well down on previous rounds and unfortunately insufficient to field a Div 6 team. That said, with 13 athletes this makes it our best turn-out ever at Brimbank and even though we were missing several of our top athletes we still managed to have 3 athletes in the top 100. First across the line this week was the steadily improving Alistair McDonald finishing in 56 minutes, 52 seconds, in 46th place overall. Next in for the Div 2 was a solid performance from Luke Searle (58th), then Michael Masseni, Cameron Menadue, Alex Tyrrell with Chris Downie bringing home the Div 2 team. Like the ladies there were some vastly improved performances compared to other years and in the lower order most impressive was the dueling Stephen Glover and Ben Mudie. Pushing each other all the way and trading places a few times, Stephen was the eventual winner with Ben not far behind and around 8 minutes off last year’s time.
Alistair and Luke - Photos by Stu Macaulay
There were many top ten performances in our juniors and the outstanding run was from the ‘pocket rocket’ Brandon Muscat winning the 4km race out-right in a time of 13 minutes and 36 seconds. In other races there were top ten places in the men’s U20 with Liam Cashin and Daniel Dunstone 6th and 7th respectively, Cody Shanahan 5th in the men’s U18, a sensational run from Bailey Sharp 7th in the U16 - his first top ten in XCR - and Ethan McMinimee 7th in the men’s U14. In the women’s U20 Claire Hodgart finished 6th, the U14s Georgia Muller continued her return to form with a 5th place and Yara Taylor not far off in 6th while in the U16 Sophie McMinimee was 5th.
Cody and Matt - Photos by Tania Shanahan
It was also great to see our girls U14s with a team with Georgia, Yara and the return of Kelera Ratu, the team was second behind Yarra Ranges and in front of ladder leaders Collingwood, well done girls!
This concludes the individual points scoring for our juniors and in the final ladders we will see many of our athletes in the rankings and in top ten places. The best individual result for the season was Brandon Muscat. Picking up his 3rd win of the season he has secured the XCR’15 U14 Men’s Individual Championship.
Baker’s Delight Junior Sports Award
This round I would like to award in the theme of perseverance and with a seasonal consideration. In the women’s there are two athletes that have put in all year and are now finding form in time for nationals; Georgia Muller (5th U14) and Sophie McMinimee (5th U16). In the boys for their efforts Daniel Dunstone in the U20s for his 3rd top ten of the season and Cody Shanahan with his 5th in the men’s U18 8km.
In addition I would also like to award U16s Toby Evans and Jackson Glover and U14 Thomas Glover with a sports award for their continued support. All season these boys have ran and supported teams in individual and relay events and without their efforts on Saturday there would be no team results for the U14 and U16 teams. Well done, your efforts are appreciated.