Week 8 of Cross Country was held in Bacchus Marsh at Rupert Vance Moon Reserve.  The close location saw excellent attendance numbers, with over 80 athletes competing.

The first race for the morning was the Open age athletes, competing over a 3km course that commenced from the reserve’s main rotunda, along the Werribee River before heading around the market gardens to the 1.5km turnaround point.

Melton’s Under 14 athlete Jujhar Tamber was the overall winner just ahead of Nicholas Ibrahim (BM), with Lachlan Simons (BM) claiming the win for the Under 13 boys while Braydn Rich (BM) was the Under 17 winner. Mia Preddy (Melt) was awarded first place in the Girls Under 14 event while Lily Norman (BM), recovering from illness, ensured she completed the run and claimed the points for the Under 13 girls.  Welcome back to Patrick Lovett (BM) in his first race for the season.

In a close finish, Under 11 athlete Zeke Horne (BM) outsprinted Melton’s Ella Preddy (Under 12) to claim line honors, also clocking a PB of 8.04.42 mins for 2kms.  Logan Simons (BM) was 3rd overall – 2nd Under 11.  Meanwhile, Iyla Robinson (BM) was the first Under 11 Girl to cross the finish line.

Twenty-six athletes toed the start line in the Under 9/10 1.5km event.  The athletes enjoyed a fast flat track, and the following athletes were rewarded with PB’s – Angus Norman (BM), Cohen Mills (BM), Archer Morris (Ballarat), Aayla Preddy (Melt) and Sofia Anikeev (Melt).  Joshua Askew (BM) was the outright winner while Anni Clarke (BM) remains undefeated for the girls.

In another big field of runners, the Under 7 & 8 athletes stretched across the start line aiming for an early lead before heading through the gates and out along the gravel path, past the river and through the market gardens.  Melton’s Under 8 athlete, Fletcher Reid continues to improve and claimed a convincing win over teammate Chayse Johnson (Under 7).  Bacchus Marsh’s Rylee Robinson ran a strong race and was declared the first Under 8 Girl while Arijana Brown (BM), another big improver, was declared the Under 7 Girl’s winner.   The improvement in this group is evident, as runners increase their endurance as the season progresses.  Many athletes will move up to the longer distances in the track season and will definitely be advantaged with a Cross Country season under their belt.

The Under 6’s were the final race for the morning.  Athletes sprinted off on their 500m run with Jude Brody-Wall opening up an early lead which he was able to maintain and claim a dominant victory while Zyah Cameron recorded another win for the girls and remains undefeated for the season.  Kai Mills (BM), Olivia Anikeev (Melt) and Cory Lewis (Melt) all ran sensational races, recording PB’s for their efforts.

Next week, we will have athletes compete at 2 different venues.  We have entered 6 teams in the State Cross Country Relays to be held at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin while all other athletes will return to Caledonian Park, Ballan for Week 9 of competition.

Good luck to the following athletes competing at State –

– Harry Johansen, Cohen Mills, Auden Sundqvist (BMLAC team)

– Sofia Anikeev, Evelyn Grant, Emilia Ibrahim (Western Metro Region team)

– Joshua Askew, Angus Norman, Mitchell Tung (BMLAC team), Miller Clark, Liam Way, Octavius Pirangi (WMR team)

– Anni Clarke, Lyla Clark, Iyla Robinson (BMLAC team)

– Zeke Horne, Logan Simons, Elijah Sundqvist (BMLAC team)