After a cool start to the day, the sun gleamed over the Avenue Market Gardens, and without a breath of wind, made for perfect conditions for distance racing at Rupert Vance Moon Reserve, Bacchus Marsh.  Athletes took advantage of the flat courses with 24 Personal Best results recorded for the meet.

First up this week were the Under 9 & 10 athletes, racing over 1.5 kms.  Athletes ran out 750m before turning and heading back along the gravel path to the finish line.  Coming off strong performances at the recent State Cross Country Relays and Schools Cross Country Region Championships, Zeke Horne (BM) produced his best run this season claiming the win in a PB time of 6:15mins.  Iyla Robinson (BM), also having a remarkable season, with top results at the State Relays and Schools Championships ran a big PB to cross the line in 2nd place, 1st girl.  Iyla continues to improve each week and will be looking to continue her progress after qualifying to represent her School at the School Sports Victoria State Championships in mid July.  Angus Norman and Anni Clarke also recorded PB results over the 1.5kms.

Next on the start line were the Under 6 athletes. A small field of keen and enthusiastic runners were quick off the start.  It wasn’t long before Melton’s Mckinley Wilson took control of the race, setting the pace.  Mckinley notched up another victory crossing the finish line in a time of 2:27mins ahead of Bacchus Marsh’s Bowie Clarke in 2:37 mins with Hayden Tung (BM) running a PB to take out 3rd place in a time of 2:40mins.  Annabelle Menzies (BM) continues to improve recording another PB this week.

The Open age athletes competed over a 3km distance.   A good turnout of senior athletes this week saw a great competition between all runners.  With limited races under his belt due to BFL umpiring commitments, Bacchus Marsh’s Sam White showed he has maintained his fitness over the longer distances, claiming line honours in a time of 12:47mins. Elise Cook (BM) was next home closely followed by Oliver Carr (BM) in 3rd place.  Mackenzie Estlick (BM), Emma Stewart (BM) and Melton’s Allyson Currall all recorded PBs.

In the combined Under 11/12 2km event, it was pleasing to see the return to Cross Country running of Gisborne’s Elijah Marshall.  Elijah produced a dominating performance, almost 30 seconds ahead of the field, stopping the clock at 8:03mins.  Six athletes produced PB results in this event with Lachlan Simons (BM), Myah Estlick (BM), Austin Shea (BM), Chord Wilson (Melton), Louisa Christians (Melton) and Alexis Karmiste (Melton) all taking advantage of the fast pace set by Elijah.

The final race for the meet saw the Under 7 & 8 athletes competing over 1km.  Melton’s Harry Wark got off to a flying start, as he led the field out through the garden gates before turning around at the halfway mark.  A welcome return to form saw Harry maintain the lead and bring the field home in a winning performance of 4:17mins ahead of teammate Fletcher Reid (Melton) and Bacchus Marsh’s Emilia Ibrahim – all recording PB’s.  Ivy Wooding (BM) and Olivia Callister (Gisborne) also ran PB races for the 1km.

Next week we will return to Caledonian Park, Ballan for our weekly Cross Country meet.  Due to the recent rain falls we will most likely set different courses at this venue due to the fast-flowing Werribee River being too unsafe to cross.  There is plenty of varying terrain at this venue. We will still meet at the Jopling Street carpark ready to walk the course at 10.15am.

Don’t forget to register now for the Region Cross Country Championships to be held at Lake Dewar.  Entries close 4th July.