Bullengarook Recreation Reserve was the venue for this week’s Cross-Country competition.  Bacchus Marsh haven’t competed at this venue for several years, but it was a welcome return as athletes tackled the varying terrains which consisted of a fast flat start & finish on the reserve oval before heading out through the tranquil bushlands.  A venue also renowned for its horse events, our Under 7-17 athletes experienced obstacles throughout the course which included post jumps and small tyre jumps.

The Open age athletes commenced competition, competing over a 3km distance.  While athletes ran in a pack for the majority of the race it was Under 14 athletes Jujhar Tamber (Melt) and Nicholas Ibrahim (BM) who broke away in the later stages.  Nick dug deep to remain on Jujhar’s heels, and it came down to a sprint finish which saw Jujhar take line honors, just 2 seconds ahead of Nick.  Lachlan Simons took the points for the Under 13 boys while Lily Norman (BM) was the first Under 13 girl to finish. Mia Preddy (Melt) was the first Under 14 female home while Sam White claimed victory for the Under 16’s.

Next to toe the line were the Under 11 & 12 athletes, racing over 2 kilometres.  Ella Preddy (Melt) took an early lead within the first 500ms with Bacchus Marsh’s Iyla Robinson only metres behind and Zeke Horne (BM) sitting comfortably in 3rd place.  Dushan Baniluk (BM) and Mitchell Elmer (Melt) were determined not to lose sight of the leaders. Heading into the final 1km Zeke had started to pick up the pace, moving past Iyla to remain in touch with race leader Ella.  A sprint finish saw Ella just hold on, from a fast-finishing Zeke, who recorded a PB, with Dushan crossing the finish line in 3rd place overall – 1st Under 12 athlete. Mathilde Grant ran her best race this season taking over 45 seconds off her previous best time.

Thirty Under 10 and 11 athletes raced over 1500 metres, consisting of a 1km and 500m loop.  Under 10 athlete Anni Clarke (BM) was in peak form and led from start to finish, recording a great win and a big PB of 5:53.57 mins.  The top 3 placings in the Under 10 boys race went to Bacchus Marsh teammates Joshua Askew, Angus Norman and Mitchell Tung.  The Boys Under 9 placegetters were Auden Sundqvist (BM), Harry Johansen (BM), Harry Wark (Melt), while the Under 9 girls top 3 finishers were Lyla Clark (BM), Emilia Ibrahim (BM) and Sofia Anikeev (Melt).

The Under 6’s athletes appreciated the fast course, with majority of the race taking place on the reserve oval.  Judy Brody-Wall (BM) recorded a convincing win in a PB time of 2:11.63 mins with Zyah Cameron (Melt) next to cross the finish line, also running a PB.  Other PB results were recorded by Poppy McClure (BM), Millicient Johansen (BM), Ryder Reid (Melt) and Paige Foley (BM).

The final race for the morning saw the Under 7 & 8 athletes tackling the 1km course.  Melton’s Fletcher Reid notched up back-to-back wins for the Boys Under 8’s, in a PB performance of 4:06.83 mins.  Tait Ash (BM) was officially declared the 2nd placegetter while George Jacobson (BM) was awarded 3rd place.  The boys Under 7 official top 3 places went to Bacchus Marsh teammates Angus Jacobsen, Hendrix Wake and Hayden Tung.  The girls Under 7 points went to Arijana Brown (BM), Agatha Wood (Melt) and Matilda Askew (BM) while Bacchus Marsh athletes Millie McClure, Emmy Foley and Gigi Baniluk were our Girls Under 8 top 3.

Next week’s Cross-Country meet will be held at Lady Northcote Recreation Camp, Glenmore.  All competing athletes are reminded they must be in their Club uniform and visiting athletes must be in correct Centre uniform, displaying their Commonwealth Bank registration tag, to be awarded results.

Please remember that no smoking/vaping or dogs are permitted at Little Athletics Victoria sanctioned events.