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!!
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