Week 10 of the BMLAC Cross Country season saw athletes return to Bullengarook Recreation Reserve for their weekly competition.

Although in the middle of school holidays, attendance numbers were still very good.  Athletes enjoyed competing over courses that started and finished on the flat reserve oval while racing over various horse jumps scattered through the tranquil bushlands.

The Under 6 athletes were the first scheduled race this week.  Leaders Jude Brody-Wall (BM) and Sahib Cheema (Melt) continue to have a great battle, as do Melton teammates Olivia Anikeev and Zyah Cameron.  While Jude continued his winning streak for the boys, it was Anikeev that finished strongly for the girls, claiming her first win for the season.

The Open age athletes completed 3 laps of the 1km course.  It was tough grueling grind for all athletes but competition up front between Jujhar Tamber (Melt) and Nicholas Ibrahim (BM) saw the lead chop and change throughout the race.  Although Nick fought it out to the end it was Jujhar that held on with a sprint finish to claim the win.  Lachlan Simons (BM) and Mia Preddy (Melt) also had a tight tussle, with both pushing each other over the entire race.  Emma Stewart (BM) continues to work on her endurance, and this week recorded a PB for her 3kms.

The Under 7 & 8 athletes contested the 1km course and it was Fletcher Reid (Melt) that took the early lead before heading out into the bushlands.  Rylee Robinson (BM) was determined to keep in touch and closely followed over the first jump before attempting the demanding hill climb.  Chayse Johnson put in a solid run and closed the gap on the down hill trail before a sprint finish between Fletcher and Chayse saw Fletcher hold onto the win recording a PB time of 4:02.46 mins.  Rylee’s fast start saw her also rewarded with a PB.  Melton’s Mckinley Wilson and Gisborne’s Olivia Callister also recorded PB’s, as did new member Madeleine Dragic (BM).  Well done kids.

The Under 9/10 events are always compelling, with athletes pushing each other over the entire 1.5km distance.  These athletes are certainly benefiting from the weekly competition, and many will be keen for the upcoming Region Carnival later in the month.   Emilia Ibrahim (BM) and Archer Morris (Ballarat) claimed the wins for the Under 9’s while Joshua Askew (BM) and Anni Clarke (BM) were the winners for the Under 10 age group. Miller Clark (BM), in his first season of Cross Country, continues to be a big improver, as does Evelyn Grant (BM), both being rewarded with big PB’s this week. Kobe Lewis (Melt) continues to grow in strength, also recording a PB result.

The final race for the morning saw the Under 11 & 12 athletes complete 2 laps of the 1km course.  A fast start from Mitchell Elmer (Melt) saw him lead out the field before heading over the first jump and tackling the grueling hill climb. Ella Preddy (Melt) was close on his heels with Iyla Robinson (BM) and Logan Simons (BM) in contact with the leaders.  Logan took advantage of the downhill bush trails, and on the oval flat managed to take the lead before heading back out for the final kilometre.  Logan produced his best run this season, claiming a well-deserved victory in a PB time of 7:53.39mins.  Iyla also ran a PB and was declared the winner for the Under 11 girls while Melton athletes Ella Preddy and Guntaj Mangat were the first Under 12 athletes to cross the finish line.  Chord Wilson (Melt) ran a fantastic race and was rewarded with a 12 second PB.

Next week’s competition will be held at Bostock Reservoir, Ballan.