Just for a change the weather was fine and sunny at the normally stormy and cold event. This proved a little challenging for some of us especially for those doing the 6.2 km in the second lap and trying to find some fitness!! We had our best athlete turn out for the year so far with 53 athletes running, giving us 14 scoring teams. Overall the day was a great success with two first place results, U18 and U14 women, two second places, U20 men and Div 3 women and two third place results, U18 men and Premier men. Thanks again to our two AV helpers Peter Cashin and Mal Hodgart, all those who recorded for the teams and of course all athletes for turning up on time and enjoying the day’s racing.
Another strong contingent of open men with a little help from friends, saw our open men field five competitive teams. In the Div 2 U20 Bailey Sharp, Div 5 Mitchell Roshier and in the Div 7 40+ Jo Francken and U16 Brad Ganley.
Following up on their second place at Anglesea the Premier team was third and again led out by Liam Cashin. Liam handed to Callum Drake, Daniel Dunstone, Cody Shanahan - with the team’s fastest time, 18 minutes and 34 seconds – Matthew Tonge, then Nathan Pearce finishing for the team in a tight race with only a few seconds between the three top teams. This result will firm up the third place in the ladder ahead of Glenhuntly. With some athletes in the elite ranks not running our Div 2 suffered most finishing 12th and will stay in second last place in the ladder but with 5 rounds still the there is hope they can lift out the relegation zone. The Men’s Div 5 were 5th and this will firm up their 6th place in the ladder. There were solid results from the Div 7 also with a 6th and 8th place but the team will slide back into second place in the ladder behind the Vic Cross Country League.
It was a great results for all our open women’s teams this round and with some help from juniors Ebony Dodemaide U18, Sophie McMinimee U20, Talia Roshier U16 and Charli Sette U14.
In the Premier team it was Ebony Dodemaide to lead out, handing to Nardine Bainbridge, and in her return to form produced our fastest time finishing in 23 minutes and 44 seconds. Nardine then handed to Stephanie Thomas then Sophie McMinimee with Claire Hodgart running well in her return to racing to hang on to 4th place. With the best results for the season so far this result will see the team firmly into 6thplace. Our best result for the day was the second place for the Div 3 team of Mechelle Lane, Roxanne Russell – in her first run for Western Aths – U16 Talia Roshier and U14 Charli Sette. In the absence of a Mentone team the Div 3 team will slide into second place on the ladder and looking a possibility for promotion now, just need to keep the teams coming. It was great to see another Div 4 team pick up valuable points finishing 8th and moving up the ladder to 11th and away from relegation.
In the junior men’s there are two possible premierships, the U20 and the U18. In the U20s, Matthew Hussey led the team out and ran extremely well handing over to Jackson Glover with a slender 8 second lead to rivals Yarra Ranges. Jackson then handed to Robert Weitsz to finish in second place.
Our men’s U18 all ran well with Ethan McMinimee also giving his team a narrow lead. Youngsters Liam Morgan and Thomas Glover both ran well with the team finishing 3rd. Our U16s also fielded a team this week and, in a very competitive field, finished in 11th place.
In the ladders our U20s will stay in second place with a growing margin of 10 points to Yarra Ranges and it is looking less likely a premiership in this age group but we will see what Wendouree delivers before we give up on this one. Similarly, the U18s will now be 8 points behind Ballarat and we will need to see if Ballarat fields a team at Albert Park.
There is a happier tale in the two women’s teams, U14 and U18s with both teams winning and building on their slender ladder lead after round 4.
In the U18s, Mia White led out for the team and handed to Abigail Thomas who moved the team from second into first place then Janae Mackrell steered the team home for the win. Strong numbers in the U18 saw us field a second team this round with the girls running well finishing 6th place. With no Geelong Region or Diamond Valley, this result gives us a 14 point lead in the ladder and a team fielded each round will seal the premiership.
Our U14s ran well again with Ella Vrhovac leading the team and putting the girls into first place. Ella handed to Emily Mifsud with Liz Hall finishing well for the team in first place. This will give the team a 7 point lead in the ladder.