The second week of the Cross Country saw athletes travel down the Western Highway to Ballan, where races were conducted in the grounds of Caledonian Park, along the banks of the Werribee River.

The first race of the morning was the Open age athletes, who completed 3 laps of a 1km course, which consisted of athletes crossing over the Werribee River.

Mackenzie Estlick (Bacchus Marsh) took an early lead as she led the pack out over the first 500 metres.  Sam White (BM) remained in contact and by the end of the first kilometre had taken the lead.  Sam continued his form for the remainder of the race and crossed the line 1st in a time of 15:26.71mins.  Mackenzie was next home a further 30 seconds behind while Oliver Carr (BM) was next across the finish line, in a time of 16:17.03mins.

The Under 7 & 8 were next up, as 16 athletes tackled the 1km course.  Under 7 Melton athlete, Fletcher Reid produced another outstanding race, crossing the finish line 1st ahead of Bacchus Marsh athlete Emilia Ibrahim and Harry Wark, also from Melton, taking out the minor placings.

The Under 6’s contested a 500m loop of the park.  Bacchus Marsh athlete Hendrix Wake led from start to finish, stopping the clock in a time of 2:44.64.  Ballarat’s Ted Morris ran a much-improved race this week, only 4 seconds behind, to place 2nd while newly registered athlete Annabelle Menzies (BM) pushed hard all the way to finish a very close 3rd.

The Under 9 & 10 athletes competed over 1.5km, commencing the race with a 500m loop before heading out over the river, tackling the river crossing, prior to heading back to the finish.  In the closest finish for the day Balreet Kaur Mann (Melton) and Iyla Robinson (BM) pushed each other for the entire race but it was Balreet who had the upper hand in the dying stages crossing the line 1st with Iyla a very close 2nd.  Joshua Askew (BM) was the first boy home, 3rd overall.

The final race for the morning was between the Under 11 & 12 athletes.  Under 11 athlete Dushan Baniluk (BM) claimed back-to-back wins and shows great promise in distance running and may be one to watch over the coming season.  Patrick Lovett (BM) returned to Cross Country this week and took out 2nd place overall, ahead of teammate Lachlan Simons in 3rd.

Next week’s meet will be held at Myrniong Reserve.  Athletes are requested to arrive early and ready to walk the course at 10.15am.