The BMLAC Cross Country season kicked off on Saturday morning at Masons Lane Reserve.  The sun was shining, and athletes were eager to be back out running.

This season we have welcomed the return of athletes from the Melton and Gisborne Centres, as well we welcomed visitors from the Ballarat Little Athletics Centre.

The morning’s competition commenced with the Under 6 athletes competing over a 500m distance.  Trial athlete Teddy enjoyed his first Cross County run and had a great contest against Bacchus Marsh’s Hendrix Wake.  Teddy crossed the finish line first, although Hendrix claimed the official points and victory.  Ted Morris, from Ballarat, was officially awarded second place with Bowie Clarke (BM) in third place.

19 athletes contested the Under 7 & 8 1km event.  Melton athletes, Fletcher Reid & Harry Wark ran neck and neck for the entire race and a sprint finish saw Fletcher take line honours by .3 seconds from Harry.  Bacchus Marsh athlete, Tait Ash crossed the line in 3rd position.

The Under 9 & 10 athletes contested the 1.5km course, which consisted of a 1km and 500m loop.  Zeke Horne (BM) was the first boy home in a time of 6.28.35 mins, with Iyla Robinson (BM), showing she is in for another impressive Cross Country season, a mere 1 second behind.  Joshua Askew (BM) was a close third, in a time of 6.29.74 mins.

The 2km course was contested by the Under 11 & 12 athletes.  Dushan Baniluk (BM), in his first Cross Country season, ran a well-paced race claiming victory in a time of 8.34.80 mins.  Lachlan Simons (BM), in his preferred distance event, was 2nd across the finish line, stopping the clock at 8.37.32 mins.  Mataya Leetham (Melton) was 3rd home – first girl.  Team-mate, Jasmine Storie was the next girl home.

With many of our senior athletes having other commitments this week, a small field completed 3 laps of the 1km course (3kms).  Under 14 athlete, Oliver Carr (BM) dominated from start to finish, winning in a time of 14.47.04 mins.  Under 16 athlete, Elise Cook (BM) finished in 2nd place with Tiffany Keane (Gisborne – Under 14) taking out the minor placings.

Next week’s Cross Country meet will head down the Western Highway to Ballan.  The course will be set in the grounds of Caledonian Park.  Turn right into Jopling Street, towards the Caravan Park. Continue to the end of the street and park in the car park on the left.