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/


Western Athletics take home XCR 2014 awards

A successful 2014 cross country season! Well done to all the athletes who participated! 2014 champions in the Women's U20 and Men's U18 and 16!


Claire Hodgart, Phil Dunstone and Liam Cashin on the red carpet at AV awards night.

Congratulations to Matthew for winning the overall U14 male champion for the 2014 cross country season!



Rob Pope wins Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon


A huge congratulations to Rob Pope on winning his home town marathon, the Liverpool Rock n Roll marathon, on his birthday! Doesn't get any better than that!

Rob finished in a very impressive 2:29:28.

Check out the article on the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll marathon in the Liverpool Echo which includes a video interview of Rob.

Link: which


Round 4 Bundoora Race Wrap

Alex Tyrrell Bundoora

Alex Tyrrell finishing strong (Photo courtesy of Athletics Victoria)

We Broke out the sunnies and sunscreen for round 4 as the dry, sunny conditions made running almost a bit too hot, especially up the hill for the last time! AV changed the course in a couple of places this year, with a small extension up the hill near the end and more significantly at the back end where we were spared the full force of Mount Cooper, about 4 metres less elevation per lap than last year.


The numbers were down a little this round with enough to field two teams only. In the Div 2 Brianna Bunworth was first to finish in 34th place, in a time of 32 minutes and 34 seconds. A big improvement on Wendouree and showing that she is recovering well from the marathon. Next in was Nardine Bainbridge, Carolyn Huell and Brigitte Sneyders rounding off for the Div 2. Special mention to all the ladies of the Div 3 this week, congratulations to Di McDonald in her first individual race and PB for Brenda Cashin, Janice Hodgart (7 minutes PB) and Vana Evans. Vana’s run was particularly remarkable slicing 16 minutes from her last Bundoora time, a far cry from the shock and awe of her first time at last year’s race when she needed some coaxing to finish!

Vana Evans

Brianna Bunworth

Vana and Brianna (Photos by Tania Shanahan)


In the men’s divisions we just made the three teams this round with 15 athletes, it was definitely worth me finishing this time! The big movers in this round were Dan Barlow, down from 53rd at Wendouree to 29th and Alex Tyrrell down from 125th at Wendouree to 114th, and finishing superbly to out-kick a Doncaster athlete, our direct completion in the Div2 ladder. First across the line was Callum Drake, also lifting another couple of places finishing 27th in 41 minutes and 5 seconds followed by Dan Barlow, Alistair McDonald, Michael Masseni, Alex Tyrrell and Cameron Menadue. Another significant improver on previous years was Luke Hodgart cutting off nearly 10 minutes off his previous PB. Some really great efforts all round, showing steady improvements and we should hang on to 3rd place behind Box Hill and Doncaster in Div 2, 8th or 9th in Div3 and 2nd place in Div 6.



Luke and Alistair (Photos by Stu Macaulay)


For our U20s Claire Hodgart recovered well from the Mountain running Champs a couple of weeks ago to finish 8th and a 20 second PB. In the men’s U20s we had Nathan Pearce and John Camilleri representing Western Aths and with the combination of the Dan and Liam in the Schools category and Nathan our men’s U20 was again second behind the Knox team. The boys will still be in second place and waiting to see what Knox will do at the Albert Park 10km!

All Schools State Championships

Bundoora is also the scene for the state All Schools cross country championships and as usual we had some great performances from our juniors. Best result of the day was the indefatigable Brandon Muscat winning the U14 Men’s 3km race. Liam Cashin, Daniel Dunstone and Lochy Lyness were 2nd, 3rd and 10th respectively in the Men’s U20s 8km, Sophie McMinimee 5th in the Women’s U15, Cody Shanahan 5th in Men’s U18, Ethan McMinimee and Bailey Rankin 12th and 14th resp. in the Men’s U14, Yara Taylor and Georgia Muller 12th and 19th in the women’s U14. All these athletes have given themselves a chance for selection to either the SSV or AV state teams, congratulations. Well done also to Bailey Sharp, Emma Stankic, Thomas Glover, Rachel Evans, Jackson Glover, Robert Weitsz, Matt Hussey, Kirk Shanahan, Patrick Bradfield-Smith and Matthew Schaumberg, mostly finishing in the top half or better in their races.

Rayner Debuts in Top Ten - XCR '15 Lake Wendouree Race Wrap

In his first non relay XCR race, Jack Rayner has cruised through the 15km course finishing in 9th place in a time of 47 minutes and 36 second, alongside Liam Adams and Ben Ashkettle. Jack is the first male athlete from Western Athletics to finish in top ten of the seniors XCR races. For years, as a junior, Jack has provided Western Athletics with loyal support in relays and is now providing a very valuable boost to our open men’s teams. He will be a force for many years to come in the open men’s races.

Jack Rayner with Liam Adams and Ben Ashkettle

Jack Rayner with Ben Ashkettle and Liam Adams (Photo by Stuart Macaualay)

XCR '15 Lake Wendouree Race Wrap

Typical Ballarat conditions greeted us on Saturday for XCR’15 Round 3 at Lake Wendouree – cool, slightly wet and Antarctic blasts of wind in the last 3 km! This round was again well supported with 53 athletes competing, a record for Western Athletics at this venue. From this pool of athletes we had three open men’s and three open women’s teams completing the 15km race and in the Junior 5km race we had four men’s teams and one women’s team. This is a remarkable effort especially in our open men’s ranks and in my time I have never known us to field 3 open men’s teams at Lake Wendouree, in fact one year I filled out the last spot in the Div 2 team!

Lake Wendouree 2015 Juniors

Juniors 5km race (Photo by Stuart Macaulay)

Searle and Weitsz blaze the Trailblazer

The Trailblazer trail run was held at the You Yangs on Sunday 31st May by PB Events.

Luke Searle ran the hilly 10km course finishing in 1st place in a time of 35:16 and broke the course record by 3 minutes!

Luke Searle Trailblazer 10km

Luke Searle Trailblazer 10km (Photo by Alida Weitsz)

Robert Weitsz finished 1st in the U18 age category for the 7km event and 3rd overall! Father Julius Weitsz finished 3rd in the 40-49 age category.

Robert Weitsz 1 place Trailblazer 7km

Robert Weitsz 1st place U18 7km event (Photo by Alida Weitsz)

PB Events have a great new feature where you are able to see finish line footage of all athletes. Check it out:

Luke Searle:
obert Weitsz:
Julius Weitsz:

Claire and Luke at the Australian Mountain Running Championships

On Sunday 31st May 2015 Claire and Luke Hodgart competed in the Australian Mountain Running Championships at Camp Mountain in Queensland.

Claire recently won the female U20s category at the Victorian Mountain Running championships. At the Australian championships she was up against tough competition, one ex World Cross Juniors (China), as well as last years winner and an Australian U20 medalist from the Australian Junior Track & Field. Despite the tough competition and a sore foot she finished the U20s 4.8km course (with 400m of ascent and descent) in 5th place!

Claire must really love hills as an hour later she jogged the Open women's 8.2km event and finished in 15th!

Claire Hodgart Australian Mountain Running Championships

Julia Bourke wins Gold at Oceania Athletics Championships

Julia Bourke has won the Shot Put title and the Victorian record with a 15.56m throw! This is a huge 61cm PB!! Amazing result, well done Julia!

Julia Bourke Oceania Athletics Championships

Western Athletics at Werribee Mansion Run

Western Athletics had some great results at the local MyPhysio Werribee Mansion Run by PB Events. Well done to all!

11km Run

Nathan Pearce - 2nd overall and 1st in U19 category

Brigitte Sneyders - 1st in Women's 30-39 category

Mechelle Lane - 1st in Women's 50-59 category

Mechelle Lane Werribee Mansion Run

Mechelle on her way to 1st place

5.5km Run

Luke Searle - 1st overall

Thomas Rebesco - 2nd overall and 1st in U19 category

Robert Weitsz - 2nd in U19 category and 5th overall

Bianca Rebeszo - 1st in Women's U19 category

Janice Hodgart - 3rd in Women's 50-59 category

The Boys Werribee Mansion Run

The boys.. (Thomas, Luke and Robert) - Photo courtesy of PB Events