The Mens Premier XCR Team from Essendon or Knox will be relegated to Division 2 after the final Round of XCR 14 on Saturday 20 September.
This year Mens Premier Division has been dominated by Box Hill AC who will take the title with Melbourne Uni and Geelong fighting out for the minor placings. Melb Uni has a four point lead over Geelong after strong performance in the Advance Freight Management Half Marathon. While too close to predict, Geelong may be forced to rethink its’ line-up. Olympian Craig Mottram is out as he has committed to the Mitchell Mile in Darwin. Whatever shananigans go on in the next few days, the real story of the event is which team out of ATE and Knox will be relegated to Division 2?
Knox are likely to bring back 2014 Glasgow Comm Games rep Jeff Riseley although ATE may struggle with Liam Adams unavailable. Things must be serious at ATE if the word is true that Mitch Brown will run the one lap before heading to Adelaide to compete in the City to Bay.
The Womens Premier Division may also see some changes. Glenhuntly are unbeatable for the title but the fast improving South Melbourne team can overtake Box Hill after the Relays. South Melbourne have had an impressive run in Premier Womens Division this year with a big boost of points after the Half Marathon ahead of Glenhuntly and Geelong. But as with the Men, the Knox Womens Premier Team face relegation if they cannot finish well ahead of Keilor St Bernards around the Tan.
Div 2 Womens is also a race to the finish with Glenhuntly in front of Diamond Valley by 8 points meaning DV would need to win and Glenhuntly finish out of the top 8 – hard to see happening but in XCR anything is possible. In Mens Div 2 Box Hill 2 have taken the last 6 round wins and deserves the title.
Other close categories are the Mens Over 40 and Mens Over 50 with APS United and Athletics Waverley separated by 1 point in the ‘younger’ age group coming into the last round. Glenhuntly and Vic Masters go head to head in the Over 50’s with the rumour mill suggesting that Trevor Vincent may be required to anchor the team to secure victory.
Athletics Waverley and Box Hill will slog it out in the Over 40 Women’s event and Collingwood and Western A’s in the under 14 Men – both groups separated by 4 points.
But Womens Div 3 is clearly the tightest battle with three teams (South Melbourne 2, Mornington Peninsula and Frankston) separated by only 7 points. South Melbourne have considerable depth in XCR but don’t discount Frankston who have managed to unite when needed.
While the final round has been scripted to showcase some great team racing and close competition, it might all be just ‘lip service’ with only three clubs currently entered.
Clubs have until 12 midday on Monday 15 September to enter their teams.