Lardner Park Race Wrap

Thanks again to all those who made the trip to Lardner Park on Saturday to make it another memorable and fun event and special thanks to all those bringing afternoon tea, a feast for all!  We were blessed with the weather and as a result the course was quite fast, firm under foot and not too much mud in the ditches.  Regarding the ditches there were many ways to negotiate these; jumping, stepping side to side and the photo below shows Janice preparing to levitate across one!


Looking back at last year’s results it was interesting to note that in this year’s races there were many more athletes, across the whole competition, especially in the juniors ranks. Most remarkable of all was the under 18 men’s with 50 athletes competing – a large competitive group. 


Our senior men did well and had enough athletes to fill Div 2, 4 and 6.  Again it was Rob Pope, in great form from his huge London Marathon PB, first across the line in a time of 29.06, followed by Alistair McDonald, Chris Downie, Cam Menadue, Alex Tyrrell and Allan Cook. Congratulations to Spenser Beasley on his first competitive run with Western Athletics, he was smiling in the photos so hopefully we’ll see him at Brimbank!!  Also, some great results for our overage athletes with Alan Hammond in 2nd place in the 60+, and Allan Cook 5th and Colin Drake 10th in the 50-55 group.

In the senior women’s 4km our ladies struggled to get numbers this weekend but managed a Div 2 team with Carolyn Huell finishing first in a time of 16.17 (3rd in the 45 – 49 age group), followed by Mechelle Lane (7th in the 50-55 age group), Chelsea Morley and Jo Francken rounding out the div 2 team.


Best results of the day were from Matthew Hussey, showing his experience in controlling the race from the outset and planting his foot just at the right time to win the U14 2km race in a time of 7.03.  Next up, the 4km Men’s U20/U18 where Jack Rayner came in 2nd in 12.14, behind Ballarat’s Jack Davies and not far behind was Nathan Pearce in 6th with John Camilleri in 13th to complete the U20 team.  Our U18s, in a very strong field, did well to have Daniel Dunstone, Lochlan Lyness and Cody Shanahan in the top ten and the team will probably finish second behind the powerful Knox team.  In the Men’s U16 Christiaan Weitsz came 7th, Kirk Shanahan 11th and Thomas Rebesco in 14th, with the provisional results suggesting the team came 1st.

 In the women’s U20 Claire Hodgart came 5th with Hayley Burke and Monique Harris completing the team and, from the provisional results, possibly the only team.  In the U14s Sophie McMinimee was 5th and Georgia Muller in 13th.

 Junior ‘Run of the Day’

In this year’s XCR season, for our Junior Men’s and Women’s individual races, I am pleased to announce the ‘Run of the Day’ award.  The ‘Run of the Day’ will be awarded not necessarily on the fastest run but the impact on the team and performance improvement - an encouragement award.  The recipient will receive a voucher to Baker’s Delight at Hoppers Crossing and Werribee Central.

 This week’s ‘Run of the Day’ winners are Matthew Hussey in the U14s, for his win in the 2km event and lifting his team to second place.  For the girls, Monique Harris in the U20 3km, for completing her first XCR and enabling the U20 girls to have a team on the day, and as we have seen in previous years, missing out on points for one event can jeopardise a premiership.




Jells Park Race Wrap

First up, welcome to the many athletes new to Western Athletics and cross country.  In total we had 12 new athletes, some new to cross country, some returned after a break - you all made a difference and had a positive impact to the performances yesterday.  From a pool of 63 athletes we entered 18 teams consisting of 11 men’s teams and 7 women’s team.  It was good to see you all there with plenty of time to spare or communicating with me if you were running late.  Special thanks also to all those who assisted with the success on the day and making it an enjoyable experience, there was lots of positive feedback from the new ones.


We had a brilliant start to the XCR 2014 season, a great start for our opens men’s div 2 team and on the road to promotion to the Premier division in 2015!  Our men’s Div 2 came second, our best result in years, with a large part of the credit going to our strong U20 athletes Jack Rayner, Nathan Pearce and John Camilleri, the fastest of our div 2 athletes.  Also, contributing with some very solid performances, was Michael Masseni, Chris Downie and new recruit Alistair McDonald.  With the infusion of our U20 into Div 2 relay team our Div 4 team also became very strong and they actually won their division by two minutes!  Also experiencing a lift, all other men’s divisions finished in top ten places: Div 6, 6th, Div 7 5th and 10th.

In the Women’s divisions, our Div 2 came 7thwith Brianna Bunworth leading the charge, in what would have to be her fastest ever in the 6km at Jells Park, completing the course in a time of 24.10.  Second for div 2 was Carolyn Huell then Narelle Coady, freshly returned to the club, with Aimee Lane finishing off for the team.  With a last minute change, the women’s Div 3 finished 12th, the invite div 5 team came 11 and the 40+ came 8th.













There were some solid results from our junior teams and a good start in the defense of last year’s premierships.  Our Men’s U18 came 3rd, 8th and 12th, with the fastest of our athletes in the 3km distance, Lochlan Lyness starting for the 2ndteam – a nice surprise!  In the U16 solid runs from all the boys saw them come home in 2nd and in the U14s came 3rd and 6th.

The women’s U20 came 9th, U18 5th and U14 3rd.  Claire Hodgart ran well in the U20 to complete the course in 11.4 and in the U14 there were some very strong runs from Georgia Muller (12.28), Rachel Evans (12.46) and Sophie McMinimee who was the second fastest of the U14 division in a time of 11.24.

Western As Shine at Australian Athletics Championships

  M Mitchell-570x274

Morgan Mitchell has led the way for up and coming Western Athletics at the Australian Athletics Championships held over the weekend of April 3-6 at Lakeside Stadium, the home of Victorian Athletics. Morgan competed in the 400m and, in the one race became the Australian Champion, posted a B qualifer for the Commonwealth Games and ran a PB winning in a time of 52.22. To say that Morgan was excited would be an understatement. In other outstanding results Julia Burke posted a throw of 13.11m to grab a top six finish still competing as an U17 and mixing it with mores seasoned athletes, the future is looking bright, Luke Stevens in a club equaling record of 10.69 progressed through to the semi finals of the 100m achieving a top ten finish and excluding the internationas a 7th placing, Fernando Canepa throwing 50.76m in the Hammer for a top ten finish, Billie Arch stepped up to compete against the more experienced and older girls in the 400m gaining invaluable experience and Matthew Hargreaves running the 400m after an interrupted preparation.  Working tirelessly alongside and guiding the athletes to achieve their results have been their coaches, Peter Burke, John Henry, Fernando Canepa and John Alchin.



Zatopek:10 was held Thu 12 December at Lakeside Stadium in front of a healthy crowd who were confronted with a pleasant December evening.  Featuring the men’s and women’s 10,000 metre Australian Championships and Commonwealth Games selection trial for Glasgow 2014.  As well our Club had athletes competing in the VAL 70m & 300m events, the 6 person mixed relay and the women's 4x400m relay final.

Victorian pair Collis Birmingham and Nikki Chapple secured nomination for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Australian 10,000m title.


At 7pm, Chris Downie (400m) and Morgan Mitchell (200m) joined with four Werribee LAC athletes (Abbey Goldsworthy - 100m, Jalen Jaimangal - 100m, Grace Goldsworthy - 200m, Daly Andrews - 200m); the team ran 2.9 seconds faster than last years team and were rewarded with a Silver medal.

At 9.05pm Aimee Lane, Billie Arch, Rochelle Kennedy & Morgan Mitchell competed in the Victorian 4x400m relay final finishing a credible 5th in a non confirmed Club record time of 3:56.29 (nearly 4 seconds faster than the heats).  Great work by all five ladies (Lexie Alfieri competed in the heats).


Well done to all athletes.

Race Wrap - Round 10 Tan Relays

We had great season and yesterday’s Tan Relays was a fitting end.  Best results of the day were our Men’s Div 2 finishing second and led by Jack Rayner with 11minutes, 8 seconds and the in Men’s U18, Nathan Pearce led the way with a sensational time of 11 minutes, 33 seconds and, backed up by Daniel Dunstone and John Camilleri, the boys took out the gold medal.


There many other great results from the day.  Second to our Women’s U14 and Men’s U16 and third in the Men’s U14.  With all teams competing we have also confirmed our premierships in the Women’s U20, Men’s U18, Men’s U16 and Men’s U14.  With Geelong not fielding a team in the women’s U14 our girls will move into second place, well done girls!


In our Women’s div 2 great runs from Mel Desira, finishing with 14 minute, 51 second (2 minute PB) and fastest of the girls and Loren Lane also with a big PB, with 15 minutes, 9 seconds.  Coming into this round the div 2 were only seven points behind Mentone and would have closed the gap, coming forth, two place ahead of Mentone, not enough to lift into second.  Despite this they are still possible contenders for promotion as first placed Glenhuntly already has a div 1 team, we’ll have to wait and see.  Either way a superb effort from the all the ladies throughout the season.

 Phil Dunstone - XCR Team Manager

2013/14 AV Shield Calendar


This season there are some changes in how the regions are structured. Clubs will compete across four Zones in season 2013/14 a change from the three Regions of previous seasons.

The makeup and duration of Shield competition this year has been determined after feedback from clubs, athletes, coaches and officials.

Key Points –

  • Introduction of four zones.
  • 12 Shield Rounds (Five prior to Xmas and seven after).
  • Shield final 12th April
  • Improved scheduling of Shield competition leading into Championships, providing lead up competition for athletes.
  • Note that Shield final is later due to access to Lakeside being impacted by F1 during three weeks of March
  • Programs will be finalised in the coming weeks. (read more for current calendar)
  • Program of events can be found at Program of Events

Race Wrap - Round 9 Burnley Half Marathon

Although our numbers were down on previous years it was a great effort by those who ran the Burnley Half Marathon today. In near perfect running conditions we fielded five men, just enough for the Div 2 team, and for the first time in a very long time, our women fielded a Div 2 team with four completing the course. 

For the men Luke Searle came in first with a time of 75 minutes, 23 seconds, followed by Gordon Muir, Adam Clark, Alex Tyrrell and Adrian Jeffkins. A special thanks to Adrian for his efforts to make up the numbers for our div 2 team. Despite being sick all week he was still able to run the course in just over 92 minutes – a testament to the hard work he has put in through the year with his training. 

For the women there were some really outstanding efforts. Finishing first for Western Aths was Carolyn Huell who produced the run of her life, out-sprinting Knox’s Susanne Wilson, to be first in her 45 – 49 age group and sneak under 90 minutes for the first time in a time of 89 minutes, 44 seconds. Second across the line for Western Aths was Loren Lane and for her first half marathon she ran a very well planned, consistent race to finish in 95 minutes, 50 seconds. Coming in third was Sue Rebesco (1h 53m) then Brenda Cashin (2h 18m), both also in their first half marathons, well done ladies! 

Richmond Harriers also put on the 3km for the juniors so thanks for those Western Aths kids that supported them in this - Nick Provest, Robert Weitsz and Travis Knox. Travis was the fastest of the Western Aths juniors finishing in 10 minutes, 2 seconds. 

Thanks also to those who manned the drinks station today, Daniel, Liam and Peter (and me!!). There is quite a skill in handing water to the passing athletes, especially the fast ones!!

Women's Div 2 team

XCR Round 8 - Lardner Park Race Wrap

This week's XCR brought us back to some true cross country at Lardner Park.  True to tradition, the hills were punishing as well as a wide variety of surfaces to contend with, from muddy, spongy grass to firm crushed rock and not to mention the ditches and that fence to negotiate.  We had a few less competing this week, however despite this we fielded some very strong teams and, going by the provisional results, it seems we had our best results for the year! 

Although our senior men only just made the numbers for the Div 2 team, it was a strong team all finishing within five minutes of each other. Coming in first for Western Aths was Rob Pope again, making the top 50 (48th) in a time of 30minutes 35 seconds. Not far behind Rob, and his in his first race for Western Athletics, was Gordon Muir.  Gordon actually had a flying start, literally running from the tent to the start line just as the gun went off!!

 Rob Pope

The senior women's teams had enough numbers to fill 2 teams and a strong 40+ team.  First across the line was Carolyn Huell, and second in her age group, then Mel Hiatt, Sharon Rankin - in her first race since Ballarat - followed by Aimee Lane, rounding off the Div 2. 

Our Juniors all ran extremely well with many top ten performances and 8 podium finishes; 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals.  These perfornances were well backed up with many other top ten runs, boosting the team results, most teams coming either first or second. Going on the provisional results it looks like we have secured first placed in the AV teams points championship in 4 age groups: Women's U20, Men's U18, 16 and U14.  The women's U20 came second on the day, securing the premiership, with an 18 point lead -Amy Cashin (3rd) and Rochelle Kennedy(2nd).  The Men's U18 team, with top ten performances from Nathan Pearce (4th) and Daniel Dunstone (6th) and Indi Cooper rounding out the team in 14th, finished second behind Knox, giving them a decent buffer over Ballarat Region.  The men's U16 won the team event with 4 boys finishing in the top ten and two on the podium, Cody Shanahan (3rd) and Mathew Schaumberg (2nd).  The efforts of Matthew Hussey, Robert Weitsz and Bailey Sharp saw them win the U14 men's, giving them a 6 point buffer over Ballarat Region. In addition to this our women's U18, lead by Claire Hodgart, and her first individual AV medal in 3rd place, are now only 7 points behind first place and our U14 women's will probably move into third place.

In the individual AV points championships, bearing in mind the final results and ladders are pending, we have many athletes in top three places.  In the women's 45-49, Carolyn Huell is currently in first place with just the Burnley Half to go.  The juniors have now finished all their races and Nathan Pearce won the U18 men's championship, Jack Rayner second in the men's U20, Cody Shanahan second and Matthew Schaumberg third in men's U16 men's, Matthew Hussey second in men's U14 and Claire Hodgart third in the women's U18.   There were many other top ten finishes and a full list will be presented in next month's Newsletter. 

Highlights from the day were Jack Rayners powerful win in the 4km race, Matthew Hussey's fast finish to beat Sam Williams on the line by the smallest possible margin, Rob Pope storming home after a huge fall 100m before the finish and Amy's last race as a junior before leaving for America, the photos show that she smiled the whole way!! 


Well done all, a brilliant effort this weekend.

 Phil Dunstone - XCR Team Manager

XCR Round 7 - Albert Park


Another great day’s racing with many athletes taking advantage of the dead flat course and near perfect conditions to produce some very fine performances and PBs.

First up were the juniors in the 3km race and first across the line was Matt Schaumberg in 9.28 and 3rd in the Men’s U16, Amy Cashin in 9.44, finding form with a 10 second PB and 1st in the U20 women, Matthew Hussey 2nd in the U14 men and Sophie McMinimee 1st in the U14 women’s.  Many other top ten performances: U16 – Kirk Shanahan 9th, U14 – Georgia Muller 7th, Brooklyn Utber 8th and Demi Utber 9th, U16 – Lexie Barlow 9th, U18 – Claire Hodgart 4th, U20 -  Rochelle Kennedy 4th and Morgan Mitchell 7th.

In the 10km race, first across the line for Western Aths was Jack Rayner in 31.34 (2nd in the U20 men), then Nathan Pearce in 32.39 (1st in the U18 men).  With this win Nathan has a lead of 6 points from his nearest rival and with only one race to go (Lardner Park) he is in a great position to take out the AV U18 individual points championship.  Other top ten performances in the Men’s U18 were Daniel Dunstone in 6th and John Camilleri in 10th place and also congratulations to Liam Cashin and Travis Knox for their first time in the big 10km race.  Of our open men Luke Searle was first for Div 2 in 33.02 (30 second PB) followed by Chris Downie (near 2 minute PB!!), Allan Cook (best he's run in years!!), Alex Tyrrell, Chris Camilleri and Colin Drake.  Solid efforts from all others to fill out the Div 4 team, well done all.

Nathan Pearce


For the ladies, a welcome return for Mel Desira, fresh from the marathon and first over the line for us in a time of 41.00 (big PB) followed by Carolyn Huell, Sue Rebesco and Mechelle Lane rounding of the Div2.  Well done to the others, some really great runs especially Brenda Cashin smashing last year’s time by 4 minutes! 

Hopefully the team ladders will be available later in the week, but with the critical ones, where we currently reside in 1st place, the Men’s U14, U16 and U18 will still be on top with a reduced margin and the Women’s U20 have increased their margin, Ballarat Region failing to field a team.  It looks like the other clubs a getting a sniff of victory so we will need to keep up the pressure at Lardner park.

Finally, Luke Searle has generously donated a $100 Runner’s World voucher, to be awarded to the junior with the most improved run, from yesterday’s race.  There were many great performance from our juniors so it wasn’t easy to choose, but after some deliberation we agreed to award the spot prize to junior U16, Kirk Shanahan.  Kirk managed to slash around a minute from previous 3km performances (road and track), completing the course in 9.47, a real surprise to many.  Congratulations Kirk, this was a really significant improvement and perhaps a glimpse of your potential.  Keep up the great work and keep improving….your team needs performances like this.

Race Wrap Bundoora - Round 5

It was a very long day, kicking off with the juniors in their All Schools State Championships then rolling on to the Open Women’s and Men’s races.  Perfect weather, cool, sunny conditions, a soft grassy course from the rain a week earlier and all nicely churned up at the finish, after the junior’s races.  In all a very pleasant day with some really impressive results from the junior athletes and some valuable team points for our senior squad.   

All Schools and U20

Congratulations to all our juniors representing their schools in the All Schools.  There were some outstanding results from Saturday: Jack Rayner, 3rd in U20, Nathan Pearce 2nd in U18, Jeremy Kirkham 3rd in U17, Cody Shanahan 2nd in U16 and Matthew Hussey 2nd in U14.   There were also many others that finished in the top 20 and will be in contention for state representation at the National Cross Country Championships in Launceston in late August, well done all. 

XCR Round 5

A great effort by all, we had 10 women competing in the 8km race with Carolyn Huell coming in first followed by Loren Lane, Mel Hiatt and Anne Cross making up the Div 2 team.

In our open Men’s 12km we had 11 compete, one more than the women for a change, and enough for the Div 2 and 4 teams.  First across the line for us this week was Michael Masseni followed by Chris Camilleri, Alex Tyrrell, Allan Cook, Colin Drake and Chris Downie making up the div 2 team.  With the rest of us making enough for the div 4 team, we have gained valuable points to keep us from the bottom of the ladder, and on a personal note it was great to finally contribute to the team points, the pain was worth it!  The results are in, however there appears to be a 42 second offset to the times.  This will be corrected in the next couple of days.  

Thanks to Sue Rebesco, Alida Weitsz and Adrian Jeffkins for assisting me at the top of the hill to dispense our AV duties and for Tania Shanahan bringing the tents.  No more duties now until the Half Marathon so we can kick back, relax and really enjoy the next 2 races at Albert park and Lardner park! 

We have a big break now, 5 weeks, until the next XCR event at Albert Park and I will be trying to get as many possible there and hopefully enough for a div 6 team. 

Finally, all the best to Adam Knowles, David Tranter and Mel Desira in the Gold Coast Marathon in a couple of weeks.  Hope you’ve been training in a tracksuit lately!!!