Bundoora Round 5 and All Schools

 This weekend’s racing features the All Schools Cross Country and XCR Round 5 at Bundoora. It’s a long day with the juniors kicking off at 10am and finishing with the 12km Open men’s race at 2:30pm, please see attached Event Information for details. Event Information

For the Open age athletes please don’t forget your chips and bibs front and back, and if you forget either let me know, replacement chips are available but must be organized at least an hour before the race. We will be fielding 3 women’s and a 40+ team and, for the first time, we will have just enough blokes for 2 men’s team (Div 2 and 4) and a 40+ team. For juniors, you would have been sent details for race day and you won’t need your normal blue AV chip and bibs, All Schools bibs and chips will be provided.

The weather is looking fine and sunny but, as we found last weekend and given the cool conditions with some rain earlier in the week, the course is likely to be quite slushy in parts and will deteriorate through the day so spikes are not a bad idea.


Please allow plenty of time to get there. There are road works on the ring road between Dalton and Plenty road so there will be detours in place and expect major delays.  Check the AV website for detour details.

XCR Round 4 - Brimbank

Another great, fun packed day at Brimbank for our first real cross country course and the perfect afternoon to traverse it, perhaps just a little sunny up the top for me!  With a total of 48 athletes competing (4 more than last year’s Brimbank run), again it was our Open Women’s division and the junior men’s contributing the majority. The provisional results are on the AV website and there are a couple of issues that will be sorted by tomorrow. 


Kicking off with the Juniors the best results came from the men’s races with a great run from Matthew Hussey to win the U14 ahead of Wendouree race winner Sam Williams, Jack Rayner came second in Under 20, Nathan Pearce second in Under 18 and Cody Shanahan second in Under 16. Our junior men’s were hit hard with the hills with a few less in the top ten than Wendouree, a notable exception was Daniel Dunstone with his first time in the top ten and showing his experience in the longer under 18 men’s race (8km), passing many along the way to finish 9th. Despite the low numbers, in the junior women’s races there were many top ten performances; Claire Hodgart finishing in 5th in the U18 and backing up well from her run at the Australian Mountain Running Champs18, Amy Cashin and Rochelle Kennedy battled it out for 6th and 7th in the U20, Lexie Barlow in 10th place in U16 in her first race back and Demi Utber 9th in the U14.


In the Open Women’s 6km we had many competing, enough to fill Div 2, 3 and 4 and a 40+ team. Fastest again over the 6km course was Mel Desira in just over 25 minutes followed by Carolyn Huell, Mel Hiatt and Loren Lane, making up the Div 2 team. Making up the 40+ team was Carolyn Huell, Anne Cross and Mechelle Lane. The ladies also produced one of the memorable moments for the season so far when, with 100 metres to go, Brenda Cashin snuck up on a group of 3 or 4 ladies, then with the very last of her strength she opened up the throttle and, after a tough battle, burst through the pack to beat all in that group. Victorious over the line and a 3 minute PB….well done Brenda, I hope there’s some video of it!

The final race for the day was the Men’s 16km (10 mile Heritage). Again Rob Pope lead the way crossing the line in just over 60 minutes (and impressively nearly into the top 50, in 51st place) followed by Michael Masseni, Chris Camilleri, Alex Tyrrell, Adam Knowles and Adrian Jeffkins. Even though we didn’t have enough to fill the div 4 team thanks to those that ran. You never know what can happen in a big cross country race so it’s always good to have a few emergencies.

Thanks again to all those that helped make the day great and to our AV helpers on this long day: Karen Sharp, Clare Calbert and Alice Sweeting. And, of course, to those that stayed to watch, cheer, and ring their cowbells, especially on the hill and at the finish line - we could hear the finish well before we could see it!!

XCR 2013 Brimbank Round 4

This weekend’s XCR is the Brimbank heritage race. As it is the heritage round there will be the opportunity for the open men’s and women’s to grab a top from one of the old clubs, that preceded Western Aths, from John Alchin.  Head bands and 80s style shorts are encouraged!!!  Also, I would encourage the juniors to hang around after their race and cheer all the open men in the 16km race, on the hill.

Please remember your bibs, front and back and if you forget them let me know straight away, so I can inform the race ref.  You will also need your timing chips and if you forget it you can get a replacement for the day for $15.


This week there are many different races so review the program on the AV website carefully and please be there at least an hour before the start of your race.


The course offers all conditions from hills to flats, rocky to muddy terrain.  Looks like it won’t rain so there won’t be too much mud at the top this year.

XCR Round 3 - Wendouree Race Wrap

With near perfect race conditions yesterday we had 47 athletes complete the 5 and 15 km course with many running personal best times.  The main bulk of our numbers yesterday came from the men’s U18, U16 and U14 age groups totaling 25 athletes with 10 coming from the U16 group alone.  With a total of 7 teams in these age groups alone I’m looking forward to see the team placings and ladders later in the week.  

Seniors - 15km 

In the men’s divisions, despite not having the required numbers for 2 teams, our Men’s Division 2 was a strong team this year with all completing the course in under 60 minutes.  Coming first across the line for us, and on debut, was Rob ‘Scally’ Pope in around 53.26 minutes, then Michael Masseni, Chris Camilleri, Allan Cook, Colin Drake, and Adam Knowles with a 3 minute PB.

  In the women’s divisions we had a strong contingent forming our div 2 and 3 and 40+ teams with 9 athletes in total, a huge lift on last year’s numbers.  Great effort ladies!!  Coming in first was Mel Desira in 62.47 minutes, then Carolyn Huell (first 40+), Loren Lane then Mel Messig.  Welcome to Sharon Rankin on her debut and slotting into our 40+ team.  Special recognition to Sue Rebesco for her huge PB (10 minutes?), starting with the early starters (reserved for those greater than 80 minutes) she finished in 75 minutes!  Also, there were 2 very special efforts from Brenda Cashin and Janice Hodgart – you did it!! Next challenge…the half marathon, it’s only another 6!!!

Juniors – 5km

Fastest overall in the 5km, and much anticipated, was Jack Rayner (U20) in 15.04 minutes.  Nathan Pearce won the U18 men’s race (15.45), Cody Shanahan second in the U16 with a massive 1 minute PB (16.57), Matthew Schaumberg in third and Matthew Hussey third in the U14. 

For the women’s U20, Rochelle Kennedy was third and Amy Cashin fourth and in the U18 Claire Hodgart was also fourth.

Special thanks to the providers of afternoon tea, always a welcome and well deserved indulgence after a hard day on the legs!


XCR 2013 - Round 1 Jells Park


In blustery, warm conditions, Western Athletics kicked off the XCR 2013 season in fine form. From a pool of 64 athletes we fielded 18 teams, all finishing the course without a hitch and many teams at the top end of the competition.  The men's divisions all finished in the top third to half of the teams competing, with our Division 2 finishing 5th out of 13 teams and led out by Jack Rayner, completing the 6km course in 18'41" and the fastest Div 2 time for the day. Our women's division 2, 3 and 40+, had a solid start with a couple of standout individual performances from Mel Desira completing the 6km course in 24'31" and Carolyn Huell, in 24’44”, with a 10 second stop in the middle!!  Special thanks to five of our junior athletes for providing some great runs to bolster the Open Men’s and Women's teams; Under 20 - Jack Rayner and Under 18 - Daniel Dunstone, Liam Cashin, Lyndon Le and Hayley Burke.   


In the Junior’s 3km races there were many great team results, underpinned by the some fine individual performances.  Nathan Pearce completing the 3km course in 9’08”, fastest of the under 18 men, Matthew Hussey the fastest in the under 14 men (10'38") and Sophie McMinimee second fastest in the under 14 women (11'16").  Amongst the junior teams, many medals were won this year and it is looking good for our U14 men’s team again.  Gold for Men’s U14, Silver for Men's U18 and Women's U14 and Bronze for the Men's U16 and Women's U20.

Full results are now on the AV website:


Phil Dunstone – XCR Team Manager


XCR'12 Rd 10 Tan Relays

A great day to finish off the season, perfect conditions for running, no wind, cool and no rain!  From a pool of 62 runners we fielded 17 teams and there were many PBs, too many to mention so well done all!!




The best team performances came from our Women’s U14 in 1st place, Men’s U18 in 2nd and Men’s U14 in 3rd.


Senior Teams

Men’s Div 2 – 9th

Men’s Div 4 – 7th

Men’s Div 6 – 9th

Men’s Div 7 – 15th

Women’s Div 2 – 5th

Women’s Div 3 – 9th

Women’s Div 4 – 16th & 24th

Women’s 40+ - 7th


Junior Teams

Women’s U18 – 5th

Women’s U16 – 7th

Women’s U14 – 1st

Men’s U18 – 2nd and 8th

Men’s U16 – 5th

Men’s U14 – 3rd and 10th



Run Of The Day


Of the women, Amy Cashin’s 13’35” (20” PB) and Rochelle Kennedy with 13’39” (second fastest of the U18 women) and both times should make it to their respective age group ‘All Time Rankings’ top ten.


For the Men this has to go to Jack Rayner, an absolute blinder, finishing in 11’38” and posting the fastest U18 time in the Tan All Time Rankings as well as setting a Western Athletics Club Record.  In fact our U18 team put in a superb performance, with John Camilleri and Nathan Pearce posting big PBs to finish in second place, only 3 seconds behind Mornington.  This lifts our U18 men to 3rd overall in the ladders – a brilliant achievement considering the talent in this year’s U18s.



Special thanks to Burkie and John A for helping to rearrange the teams on the day, Sam Mahoney for collecting the money and our 3 AV helpers; Mal Hodgart, Mechelle Lane and Anne Cross.  Not to mention the many spotters that assisted.


Welcome to Steve Upton a valuable addition to our Men’s Div 4….I knew you’d run under 14.30!!  Thanks also to Terry Pearce for his cameo in the Men’s Div 7.


Don’t forget that our ‘XCR 2012 Celebration Dinner’ is on Sunday 30th September, 6:30pm at DiCaprios.  Please confirm with Sam Mahoney if you are going.


XCR'12 Rd 9 Burnley Half

A beautiful, crisp spring morning greeted us, no wind and perfect conditions for the Half Marathon.  We started the day with 9 blokes and 2 ladies and all finished…well done!!  Some good consistent performances from our Div 2 athletes led by Luke Searle, completing the course first for Western aths in a time of 74’53.9”.  Carolyn Huell finished in 4th place in her age group.  This round’s run of the day goes to Brianna Bunworth finishing in 99’20.1”.  Bree ran a very measured race and just enough in the tank to kick in the last km to burn off Peter and Stu. 8 minutes faster than last year and a 7 minute PB overall.  
The other race was the junior’s re-run of the Flemington 3km road race.  There were many solid results and a welcome return to form for many of our juniors - lots of top ten performances.
Amy Cashin U20 – 1st  this seals her victory in the overall season premiership for U20 - congratulations
Nathan Pearce – 4th overall
Rochelle Kennedy U18 – 4th
Claire Hodgart U18 – 8th
Sean Cross U16 – 6th
Sarah Dobie U14 – 6th
Thomas Rebesco U14 – 3rd
Kirk Shanahan U14 – 4th
Christiaan Weitsz U14 – 5th
The final event on the XCR calender is the Tan Relays on Saturday September 15th.

XCR'12 Rd 7 Bundoora

July has been a great month for Open Men’s and Women’s teams.  Lots of points from Coliban and last Saturday, at Bundoora, we managed to field 3 men’s teams (15 men) and 2 women’s teams (7 women) – more valuable points. Mt Cooper was no deterrent for the You Yangs hardened Westies, a vast improvement on numbers from Wendouree and Brimbank.  The ladders aren’t up yet however I did check and sadly South Melbourneand Ballarat also fielded more than 15 men.  Whilst this puts us out of promotion contention, at least it sures up our placing in the ladders.  

It’s a tough run, no other way to describe the course at Bundoora, but I think it is well placed in the season with most of us having some good training under our belts and well conditioned legs.  This year the course was dryer and a little less muddy and some parts quite firm under foot.  I haven’t heard of any injuries although both of my lower calf muscles were quite fatigued after the Mt Cooper work-out.In the men’s 12km, run of the day goes to Chris Camilleri, coming in first for Western Aths, and after recovering from a recently sprained ankle.  Special mention to Colin Drakefor giving us all a scare at the start of the race…..I was sure we had 15!!!  I was extremely relieved when, after my first pass of Mt Cooper, Amy and Claire said they had seen him go past.  Sorry Luke, hope you pulled up alright!!  In the women’s 8km race, a gutsy effort all round, especially Janice and Brenda, and run of the day goes to Carolyn Heull.  She came 4thin her age group again and backed it up with the 15km race at the You Yangs the next day.

Of course the juniors had the All Schools in the morning and congratulations to all those that made selection for the State teams.  

 Also, if you have any niggles after Mt Cooper don’t forget our friends at Symmetry Physiotherapy.  They are of course a sponsor of ours and if you mention you are with Western Athletics they will give you ‘squad rates’, equating to a 10% discount.


XCR'12 Rd5 Brimbank

The Brimbank course was predictably difficult with the added fun element of the mud at the top of the hill. Being tough cross country runners we all had a great day…any chance to play in the mud!! 

 Run of the day goes to Andrew Rich for his 76’56” in the 16km, a 15 minute PB.  Even more impressive when you consider he started the season nursing a fractured foot…great persistence.  Great performances also from Michael Masseni, Thomas Rebesco (2nd U14 Men) and Claire Hodgart (5th, U18 Women).

 Again our junior teams did well.

14 men’s 1st,

U14 women’s 2nd,

U18 women’s 2nd

U18 men’s 2nd

U16 Men’s 4th

 It was great to see 2 women’s teams (Div 2 and 3) and some valuable team points of course.  They should award extra points for dressing up and running…10 points for Brenda with the Viking hat!! 

Speaking of dress ups, the crowd on the hill was great and even though there wasn’t too much cheer the second time up the hill, we all appreciated the support.  It’s always a fun day, the heritage round at Brimbank.

Next race Coliban Relays 7th July

Phil Dunstone

XCR'12 Rd 1 - Jells Park - XC Relays


XCR Racing once again kicks off in the beautiful surrounds of Jells Park in Melbourne's south-east with the Victorian Cross Country Relay Championships.  The challenging & undulating 3km course traverses both open grassland and dense forest, with open & overage competitors completing two laps and junior competitors one lap per leg.