Australian Cross Country Championships 2015

Australian Cross Country Championships - Saturday 29th August 2015

by Ben Mudie

This year we had 11 athletes compete at the Australian Cross Country Championships held at Moonee Valley Racecourse. The venue was great for us spectating with being able to either watch the entire course from the grand stand or being able to get up close at multiple points around the course. For the athletes the course was a true cross country course with a number of challenges, a mix of sandy/gravel sections, soft and damp grass, uneven surfaces and tight turns; in particular we saw a number of slips through the middle section.

Racing for Western Athletics kicked off with Georgia Muller in 12 year old girls 3km run. Georgia finished 22nd running a time of 11:07 with the VIC team finishing in 6th place.


Georgia - Photo by Tania Shanahan

Allan Cook and Morgan Mitchell IAAF World Championships, Beijing

A big congratulations to Allan Cook and Morgan Mitchell for their efforts at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. 

Morgan raced in the womens 4x400m relay. The Australian team finished 6th place in the heats with a time of 3:28.61, the fastest Australian time in 13 years! Morgan ran a split of 51.62, going under 52 seconds for the first time.


Australian 4x400 Team featuring Morgan Mitchell

Australian 4x400 Team featuring Jess Gulli, Lauren Wells, Morgan Mitchell & Anneliese Rubie - Photo from Athletics Australia


Allan Cook ran in the men's Masters 800m finishing in a very respectable 7th with a time of 2:05.59. Well done Cookie!

Video (Thanks to Victorian Masters Athletics): 

Allan Cook

Allan Cook in the Master's 800m

Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2015

Gold Coast Group photo

This year we had a big group make their way up to the Gold Coast, around 26 people I believe!

Southern Cross University 10km Run

Racing kicked off on Saturday morning with the 10km run. We had a number of impressive runs with Jack Rayner coming in 11th place, Nathan Pearce not far behind in 24th and Michael Masseni finishing in 37th with a PB (33:31). Daniel Sneyders while not well, had a strong finish. Bianca and Louise both had a good run enjoying the experience. It was great seeing the Western Athletics singlets out up at the Gold Coast.


PB run for Michael Masseni

Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge

In the 5.7km Cody Shanahan had a great run showing good form finishing in 4th place and Thomas Rebesco an exciting finish, running hard to win a bet with dad finishing in 19:45 (20th place).

Thomas, Burkie, Cody

ASICS Half Marathon

Sunday morning commenced with the half marathon, starting at a rather early 6am. Brigitte Sneyers and Adam Knowles ran. Adam while not at his best still ran a solid time, and is training well for his next big event the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Brigitte ran a big PB finishing the half in 96 minutes, and is on track to run a good time at Melbourne Marathon later this year.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The marathon started at 7.20am with Sharon Rankin, Sue Rebesco, Ben Mudie and David Tranter running the course. From the start line we head out from Southport over the bridge towards Surfers Paradise. At this point settling into a comfortable stride knowing there is a long way to go. Lot's of excitement heading through Surfer Paradise, the beach on our left, apartments and shops on our right, the crowd support is fantastic with a combination of Gold Coast locals as well as a number of friendly Western Athletics faces cheering us along. At around the 11km mark we see the elite group coming back towards us, impressively they have already run past the 20km split. At roughly the 15.5km mark we reach the first turnaround in Burleigh Heads. Coming back up the coast at around the 17km mark I feel my knee tighten up, a problem that I had in my training runs. There's one thing I found that worked, and that is speed up. Thankfully after about a km or so of wondering if my marathon was ending here, it went away and didn't come back for the rest of the run.

We head back through Surfers Paradise coming out of the shade of the buildings. At around 30kms I'm starting to feel hot and tired. Having done my long runs during cold winter mornings at the You Yangs, the warm sun hits me more than expected. At 32kms we get a glimpse of the finish line as we run past it into the final 5km up and back, also here we pass Burkie, I try to look better than I feel. A sub 4 hour time is still achievable but I know I'm slowing down. My walk through each water station gets longer each time. At the 37km mark some much needed encouragement from the Sneyders. The final 5km is awful, I know it's only 5km yet it's so difficult to keep running. Getting to the final 1km is a massive relief, lot's of crowd support, some shade from the trees and I know I can run to the end.

Overall running a marathon was an incredible experience. The ladies did amazing with Sharon running 4:00:27 and Sue 4:05:42. Despite the conditions being more difficult than last year. David Tranter ran an impressive 3:10:32. I finished with a time of 4:16:47.




Next year

I'm sure we will see a good turn out again for Gold Coast next year, be sure to let us know if you're considering heading up. Apart from the racing it's a great social trip. This year we celebrated Tania's birthday with an all you can eat feast at the Marriott (where we all got to hear about Terry's accommodation!) as well as many other catch ups. And it's a great atmosphere, the town is full of runners who you spot everywhere.

Anglesea Ekiden Relay Race Wrap


Beach side running featuring Tom - Photo by John Alchin

The long awaited return of the Ekiden Relays was held at Anglesea and it did not disappoint. Commencing at the Anglesea caravan park, we ran up into the hills and scrub to the local Scout camp and returned along the scenic cliff top path. Apart from the miss-direction for the Div 2, 3 and 4 men in the 9.8km leg and reports of the 6km leg being closer to 7km, the course was well marked and all completed their legs with no one getting lost! The course itself had everything from road surface, narrow winding tracks, steep technical downhill sections and fast rolling firm sand tracks. Something for everyone and all really enjoyed the challenge, albeit with some minor trips!

Our numbers were down compared to other events this year, but with less junior teams our open men’s teams benefitted from an injection of young talent, especially our Men’s Div 2 with the return of Jack Rayner. Our men fielded five strong teams while the women scraped together three open women’s teams and a 40+. Overall, the results from these teams were our best all season with first places in the Men’s Div 6, 7, Women’s Div 2, Women’s U14 and second places in the Men’s Div 2, U14s and Women’s Div 5.

Brimbank Race Wrap - Col De Brimbank!

 Col de brimbank

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.

Open Women

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 Bunworth

Brigitte Sneyders

Brianna and Brigitte - Photos by Stu Macaulay

Open Men

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 McDonald

Luke Searle

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 Shanahan

Matthew Schaumberg

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.

7th State Cross Country Championships win for Matthew Hussey

Saturday 25th of July the 2015 Little Athletics State Cross Country Championships were held in Templestowe with a number of our dual registered athletes competing.

A big stand out was Matthew Hussey taking out his 7th State Cross Country Championship win in a row, this year for U14 boys. Well done Matt!


Great results for the McMinmees with Ethan winning in the U12 boys category and Sophie silver in the U14 girls.



Well done to all our athletes and of course coaches.

Stu and athletes


GOLD - Matthew Hussey- U14 boys Altona LAC (team gold)

GOLD - Ethan McMinimee- U12 boys Werribee LAC (team bronze)

SILVER - Sophie McMinimee- U14 girls

Yara Taylor- U12 girls 4th Keilor LAC (team gold)

Bailey Sharp- U14 boys 9th Werribee LAC

Ben Hussey- U12 boys 27th Altona LAC

Thomas Glover- U12 boys 38th Brimbank LAC

Top finishes at You Yangs Trail Running Festival

The You Yangs Trail Running Festival held by TrailsPlus and incorporating the 15km Victorian Trail Championships was held from the 18th-19th of July. The runs were challenging with the 15km incorporating the northern range track, rockwell road and saddleback. The 30km course was an extension of the 15km heading up and back down flinders peak then down to big rock and along the mountain bike trails. So in summary very tough courses.

In the 30km we had Nardine Bainbridge run, despite having a big weekend of working and even a fairly long run the day before, Nardine was the first female to finish and 10th overall.

You Yangs Nardine

Nardine Bainbridge in the 30km Trail Run - Photo by Athletics Victoria

In the 15km Victorian Trail Championships we had a few runners. Luke Hodgart came in 8th and despite the course, ran a PB time for 15km! Close behind was Adam Knowles finishing in 9th place. Claire Hodgart coming off a big week of racing was still able to run well, 3rd female to finish, 1st U20 female and 11th overall not far behind the blokes.

You Yangs Luke

You Yangs Adam

You Yangs Claire

Luke, Adam and Claire in the AV 15km Trail Championships - Photos by Athletics Victoria


Carolyn 1st place in Vic Masters 10km Road Championship

The Victorian Masters Athletics 10km road championship was recently held on the 19th July 2015 at Braeside Park. The course is described as a two lap fast and flat gravel road course through scenic parkland.

Carolyn Huell, one of our top ladies, finished first in her age group and the second female overall. Impressive result, well done Carolyn!

Carolyn VMA 10km 

Sandown Relays Race Wrap

Sandown U18s start

Mens U18s start - Photo by Tania Shanahan

Another successful day for us with a win in the women’s Div 2, a second place in the men’s U14 and a host of third place results. Thanks for those who helped out by recording times for our teams, an especially difficult job considering the cold wet conditions. It was a job well done especially in context with the results that were posted that night, all our individual times were recorded and there were no issues with our results, the same could not be said for many other clubs. Special thanks to Indi Cooper spotting for two teams, our U20 men and the Women Div 2. Thanks also to our three AV helpers Ben Mudie, convalescing from the marathon, Sam Mahoney and Jo Francken.


It was a big day out for the women with the Div 2 notching up their second win of the season, Div 3 was third, Div 5 eighth and the 40+ were 12th. A great effort from the Div 2 team of Brianna Bunworth, Nardine Bainbridge, Rochelle Kennedy and Carolyn Huell, well done ladies. The fastest time of the day was however from U20 Claire Hodgart. Since Albert Park she has been in red hot form and fresh from the Uni games in Adelaide, Claire finished the 6,2km course in 23 minutes and 27 seconds, running in the div 3 team! These solid race results have resulted in moves up the ladders with our Div 2 equal first with Old Xaverians, Div 3 moved into seventh, Div 5 hanging on to second place.



Rochelle and Mel - Photos by Tania Shanahan


A solid effort from our men’s div 2 saw them finish third only a few seconds behind ladder leaders Doncaster with Daniel Barlow running fastest finishing in 19 minutes and 39 seconds. Following on in our first team was U20 Liam Cashin, Callum Drake, U20 Nathan Pearce, Alistair McDonald and Luke Searle. There were also some great runs in the lower divisions resulting in some solid results from the Div 3, third, Div 6 fourth and Div 7 eighth. Thanks to all those juniors running up in the open men’s category, it is a real boost to our teams and gives those juniors the opportunity to race the longer distances; Toby Evans and Thomas Glover (Div 7) and Nathan Pearce and Liam Cashin (Div 2). In the ladders our Men’s Div 2 are equal third with Essendon, Div 3 have moved into fifth place, Div 6 remaining in second place and Div 7 fifteenth.


Toby - Photo by Tania Shanahan


Thomas - Photo by Stu Macaulay

Dan Barlow

Daniel Barlow - Photo by Tania Shanahan


Best results were from our men U14 finishing second to Diamond Valley. Men’s U20 were 5th, U18 5th and 11th, Men’s u16 6th and 12th and our women’s U16 was 6th. In the ladders the Men’s U20s remain in second, Men’s U18 third, Men’s U16 hanging onto first by a point, Men’s U14 first and the Women’s U16 third. Even though there was only one placed finish there were definitely some encouraging signs from our juniors with the good numbers in the men’s ranks and the return to running and form for others, looking forward to see what were able to pull off at Brimbank.


Matt - Photo by Tania Shanahan

With four rounds to go there is plenty of competition left for our teams to firm up premierships and promotions. Premierships in the Men’s U14 and U16, the seniors women’s div 2 promotion to Premier division, Div 5 to div 4 while in the men’s our Div 6 has a chance of promotion to Div 5 and a third place in the Div 2 would be our best result in many years. To achieve this we’ll need all available athletes at Brimbank. We struggled in this one last year but this year hopefully we can field 3 teams for both the men and women’s teams and get back to full strength in our men U16.

Albert Park XCR Rd 5 Race Wrap

The Albert Park 10km was run in perfect conditions this year, overcast, dry and no wind, presenting us with the opportunity to run well and there were lots of PBs. There are some races where we can measure our progress individually and as a club and this is one of them. Numbers were marginally up on last year’s Albert Park race but more importantly I believe the individual performances were way better than last year with our Men featuring two in the top 40 and in the women one in the top 20 and a general improvement across the board.

Open Men 10km

Again our men had strong numbers, enough to fill three teams with a couple to spare! First across the line and for the first time with Western Aths was Daniel Barlow in a time of 31 minutes and 49 seconds – a big road race PB. Second was Callum Drake followed by Alistair McDonald, Alex Tyrrell, Cameron Menadue and hot on his heels, Michael Masseni. Alex Tyrrell has really improved this season and proof of this is his PB of nearly 3 minutes on last year while Callum Drake is getting back to his best and will hopefully continue to get stronger and faster through the season. Despite a solid effort in the Div2 the field was strong at the top end of the race so by my calculations we will come 4th again and hold onto 3rd on the ladder, the Div 3 and Div 6 will finish mid-field and probably not change in the ladders.

Daniel Barlow

Daniel Barlow - Photo by Stuart Macaulay

Open Women 10km

Our women had a good numbers this round, enough for 3 teams, although the Div 2 was a little softer with two of the top athletes missing from the mix. After missing Bundoora, Tracy Douglas was back with vengeance and was first in for the ladies with a strong run finishing in a time of 37 minutes and 4 seconds followed by Brianna Bunworth, Brigitte Sneyders and not far behind was Belinda Keogh. As with the men, the ladies are also on the improve with many PBs and in her first run with the club was Stephanie Thomas who ran a very disciplined race, saving her best until the last one kilometer, pushing the team manager all the way! Our women’s Div 2 team may slip from equal second in the ladder this week to third behind South Melbourne. Div 3 will remain in 7th and the Div 5 slip back to 3rd or 4th.

albertpark tracyandluke

Tracy and Luke - Photo by Stuart Macaulay

Junior Men’s U18 and U20 10km

This is the chance for our junior men U18 and U20s to mix it with the seniors in the 10km race. Whilst our U18s were very much feeling their way with this race, full credit to the boys for doing it for the team. Our U20s on the other-hand are all old hands at it now and we finished with two in the top ten. Most impressive was Liam Cashin with a 2.5 minute PB, putting in a big kick at the end to keep out Ballarat Region’s Jesse Fullerton. Finishing in 3rd place in a sub 32 minute time of 31 minutes and 58.8 seconds and his first individual AV medal. Coming in second was a fast finishing Daniel Dunstone (44 second PB) and rounding out the first team was John Camilleri with nearly a minute off last time he raced the 10km.

Liam and Dan

Liam and Dan - Photo by Stuart Macaulay

Junior 3km

In the juniors’ racing we had many top ten results. Brandon Muscat 3rd and Ethan McMinimee 6th men U14, Yara Taylor 3rd and Georgia 9th in women U14, Sophie McMinimee 8th women’s U16 and Claire Hodgart 5th women’s U20. Solid contributions from U16s Bailey Sharp, Jackson Glover and debut athlete George Murrihy will result in a third place which will keep them on top of the ladder with a slender 2 point margin. Our U14s men’s team was strong and looks like they won the day and with Diamond Valley not fielding a team our boys will be on top of the ladder. Well done to our two new U16s George Murrihy and Ben Nolan in their first race with Western Aths.

Claire junior female of the day

Claire women's junior run of the day - Photo by Tania Shanahan

Baker’s Delight ‘Junior Run of the Day’

In the men’s this week the clear winner was Liam Cashin with his remarkable run in the U20 10km race, cutting around 2 minutes off last year’s time and putting in a big fight in the last 100m to win the bronze medal - first individual AV XCR Medal. In the women’s Claire Hodgart’s 5th place in the U20 and a course PB of around 30 seconds, well done both of you.

Janice, Ben and Jo

Janice, Ben and Jo - Photo by Stuart Macaulay

Feet up for athletes' day

Our 20 year celebrations have made the local media. Thanks Wyndham Star Weekly for the publicity.

Feet up for athletes day - Wyndham Star Weekly

Big V Junior XC team announced

Vic Junior Team XC

Photo courtesy of Athletics Victoria

Congratulations to everyone who has been selected to compete at the Australian XCR Championships:

U14 Boys:
Brandon Muscat - AV
Ethan Mcminimee - SSV
Bailey Rankin- AV

U14 Girls:
Yara Taylor- AV

U16 Boys:
Matthew Hussey- Emergency for AV team

U16 Girls:
Sophie McMinimee - SSV

U18 Boys:
Cody Shanahan - SSV

U20 Boys:
Liam Cashin - SSV
Daniel Dunstone- SSV

U20 Girls:
Claire Hodgart…/big-v-junior-xc-team-annouced/