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!!!

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