The Knockout blow…

‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali once said “Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up”. Well, unfortunately we can’t allow that to happen in Lakeside Stadium because your schools and parents might have something to say about it and I don’t think Lakeside has approval as a venue from the Combat Sports Board. Nope. Last time I checked Lakeside were strictly in the athletics and soccer industry. But that doesn’t mean athletics isn’t tough like Ali. It’s tough. But not as tough as you guys.

Do you know how we know that!? It’s because we’ve seen photos of you all smashing it during training. It’s because we’ve heard of super-fast times being recorded on the track. It’s because we’ve witnessed crazy-long distances being thrown and jumped on the field…and it’s because we know this years Victorian All Schools Knockout Championships is going to be all time!

To be frank, there’s just something special about this event.

The uniqueness of the Knockout scoring system means every school is always in with a chance to take out the entire competition. Whether you’re the Usain Bolt of your class, or the Nick Pearce (challenged me to a 100m sprint with a 20m head start – and still lost – zing – go me) of your class, you’re never out of the fight! Every inch matters.

Pop quiz:

Did you know that Athletics will always be single!? It’s sad to think but it’s the truth. Athletics will never have the chance to go on a date. It’s destined for individualism…and as a solo athlete – it can get really lonely out on Lakeside Stadium. But that’s where we come in. You see, we want everyone to feel as if they’re a part of something special.

I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure Lleyton Hewitt would give his Wimbledon trophy back to have a dozen more Davis Cup titles. I mean ‘come onnnnnnnnnn’ the man lived and breathed for his country. Australia was his team, and he would break both his arms and legs, to get himself to a disguised drop-shot from Novak Djokovic, if it meant there was a chance of victory.

We’re asking the same of you. Yep. Your first-aid teachers will have their hands full, but you know what!? I bet you’re all going to be smiling. Because deep down you know you gave it your all and knocked out a school with your power, speed and grace on the track and in the field.

So remember this, when you walk into Lakeside Stadium for the Victorian All Schools Knockout Championships, although you may be entering an event as an individual, you’re representing something much much bigger…your school.

Give em’ hell.









Fred Lester Training Grants – Closing October

The Fred Lester Distance Running Scholarship Fund offers Training Grants for distance athletes upon application closing on the 31st October.

The aim of the Grants is to financially assist distance runners who are registered with Athletics Victoria, to achieve higher levels of performance. Athletes between 20 and 30 years of age may apply for amounts up to $3000 per annum.

For the purpose of the Training Grants, distance running events include;

  • Cross-country and road races up to and including the Marathon distance.
  • Track events from 3000 metres up to and including 10,000 metres.

Funding requests could include participation in training camps, clinics and specific coaching programs and other costs directly associated with athletic competition.

Applications should include the following details:

  • Name, address, phone number and email address.
  • Long and short term goals.
  • Specific details of the initiative to be funded, including its role in the athlete’s development.
  • A summary of best performances to date.
  • An itemised list of proposed costs.
  • Current sponsorship’s or grants received to date.

CLOSING DATE: October 31st 2016.

Mail to: The Trustees – Fred Lester Scholarship Fund

PO Box 7535


Australian Cross Country Championships – Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra – Results


Saturday August 20th saw Stromlo Forest Park play host to the Australian Cross Country Championships. Victoria arrived with a typically strong team, determined to honour the historical state tradition of strong cross country performance. Conditions were some of the coldest Canberra had seen in recent memory, with temperatures hovering between 4 and 7 degrees, as winds blasted through at over 50km/h.

The Open teams proved dominant, with the Men’s team defeating ACT 24 points to 31. as Jack Rayner lead the team home in 4th (30:51), which was 18 seconds behind winner Stewart McSweyn  (TAS). Toby Rayner followed in 5th, Jack Davies 7th, and Nick Wightman rounded out the win in 8th position.

the Women’s race delivered a similar whitewash, as only highly touted Kate Spencer of NSW, as past World Junior representative over 5000m, managed to split the Victorian finish of 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th. Virginia Moloney claimed her first National Cross Country Championships (35:19), followed by Gemma Maini, Sinead Diver and Anna Kelly, who secured a team victory of 12 points to NSW’s 29 points.

Both Men’s and Women’s teams enjoyed success in the Under 23 Championship placings, as youngsters Jack Rayner and Jack Davies finished 3rd and 4th, whilst Anna Kelly claimed 2nd in the Women’s Under 23 race, all of which bodes particularly well for the future of Victorian Cross Country.

The Junior athletes in attendance braved the difficult conditions valiantly, with the result highlights listed below…

Under 20 – 8 km:

  • Boys: 1st Matthew Ramsden – 25:04 (WA), 3rd Nathan Percy – 25:25 (VIC).
  • Team standings: 1st NSW (25), 2nd QLD (28), 3rd VIC (37).

Under 20 – 6km:

  • Girls: 1st Jessica Pascoe – 20:49 (NSW), 2nd Charlotte Bassett – 21:24 (VIC).
  • Team Standings: 1st VIC (17), 2nd NSW (23), QLD (53).

Under 18 – 6km:

  • Boys: 1st Zachary Facioni – 18:59 (NSW), 3rd Haftu Strinzos – 19:14 (VIC) with arguably the biggest run of his career on the largest winter stage available.
  • Team standings: 1st NSW (17), 2nd VIC (33), 3rd QLD (58).

Under 18 – 4km:

  • 1st Katrina Robinson – 13:43 (QLD). Emma Files (VIC) missed the podium in 4th by a slim margin of 2 seconds.
  • Team standings: 1st QLD (15), 2nd VIC (32), 3rd NSW (37).

Under 16 – 4km:

  • Boys: 1st Luke young – 12:37 (NSW), 4th Adam Spencer – 12:48 (VIC) worked tirelessly throughout the race, leading large portions in an attempt to split up the leading pack, followed closely by Nicholas Fidler in 5th (VIC).
  • Team standings: 1st NSW (22), 2nd VIC (32), 3rd QLD (33).

Under 16 – 4km:

  • Girls: 1st Keely Small – 13:51 (ACT), with Sophie O’Sullivan (VIC) putting herself amongst the leaders early on and was rewarded with a brave 6th place finish.
  • Team standings: 1st QLD (33), 2nd NSW (41), 3rd ACT (55), 4th VIC (65).

Under 14 – 3km:

  • Boys: 1st Tom Palfrey – 9:44 (ACT), with Ayden Dignan – 10:02 (VIC), enduring potentially the worst of the weather conditions to finish 4th in a highly competitive field.
  • Team standings: 1st QLD (32), 2nd VIC (35), 3rd NSW (66).

Under 14 – 3km:

  • Girls: 1st Nicola Hogg – 10:15 (NSW), Taryn Furletti was the highest places Victorian, completing the challenging 3km circuit in 10:50 for 4th place.
  • Team standings: 1st NSW (21), 2nd WA (50), 3rd QLD (50), 4th VIC (56).

PRE EVENT…Our predictions.

Tarli Bird (Vic) – Victorian Champion XC 2016.

Sinead Diver (Vic) – Placed 2nd twice (2012 & 2014) at the Australian Cross Country Championships.

Gemma Maini (Vic) – World XC Representative.

Virginia Moloney (Vic) – Victorian 10km & 15km Champion.

Leanne Pompeani (ACT) – Winner of the Sydney Harbour 10km.

Kaitlyn Simpson (NSW) – 2nd at NSW Championships.

Kate Spencer (NSW) –  NSW Champion with a time of 15:28s in June and 3rd in the National XC Championships last year.

Mitch Brown (Vic) – Recorded a time of 13:37s this year in America.

Andy Buchanan (Vic) – Broke 30 minutes for 10km this year. In amazing form.

Jack Colreavy (NSW) – Received a National Steeplechase medal.

Jack Davies (Vic) – Promising youngster. Placed at state XC.

Jordan Gusman (ACT) – Second in National 1500m.

Stewart McSweyn (Tas) – Just missed out on an Olympic spot for the Steeplechase. In good form.

Adrian Plummer (NSW) – Former World Junior representative over 800m.

Matthew Ramsden (WA) – World Junior 2016 for 1500m and 5000m.

Jack Rayner (Vic) – Promising youngster. Recorded a time of 29:15s for 10km at Launie10.

Nick Wightman (Vic) – Victorian legend. Placed at State XC.

Hugh Williams (ACT) – Won the Gold Coast 10km.

Full list of results can be found here.

2016 Rio Olympic Games…completo!

In the midst of Usain Bolt (sticking it to Justin Gatlin) taking home his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100m sprint – there has been some amazing performances from our very own Victorian superstars…


Peter Bol, Jeff Riseley and Luke Mathews were first up in the 800m, with all three unfortunately missing out on a semi final appearance. Jeff was the fastest out of the three with a time of 1:46.93s! Although they may have been disappointed with their performances, it was still an amazing effort from the lads, and we’re super proud!

Rhydian Cowley came in a solid 33rd position in the 20km Walk with a time of 1:23:30. It was a great display of true grit, as Rhydian finished strongly, with a field that saw 63 cross the line!

Linden Hall and Zoe Buckman blitzed their first round heats in the 1500m on Day 1! However, they were both unlucky in the semi-finals, in what was a tough battle which saw the girls getting caught on the inside and unable to move freely throughout the race. Still, a remarkable achievement on making it into a semi-final of the Olympic Games!

Genevieve LaCaze continued her amazing form in the 3000m Steeplechase, qualifying for the final with a time of 9:26.25s!

David McNeill showed a lot a poise to finish off the 10,000m final with a solid 16th place and a time of 27:51.71s – the best ever performance by an Australian! A huge accomplishment at his second Olympic Games!

Morgan Michell showed the world her power in Round 1 of the 400m, clocking in with an automatic qualifying time of 51.30s! Unfortunately, the result didn’t go her way in the semi-finals, where the field really kicked it up a gear, posting times between 49.60s and 50.80s. Still a huge effort and awesome experience for Morgan at her first Olympics!

Lisa Weightman may have been disappointed with her own result, but we thought she was all class in the Women’s Marathon, finishing off the race in 31st position, in a field that saw 133 cross the line!

Joel Baden got his Olympic High-Jump campaign underway this morning. However, he was unfortunately unable to make it past the qualifying rounds. Still we at AV couldn’t be more prouder, and we have no doubt Melbourne University Athletics Club will have been tremendously proud of his Rio accomplishment!


Genevieve LaCaze produced something special in her 3000m Steeplechase final last night! With the Glenhuntly superstar finishing the race in 9th position, whilst also producing Australia’s 3rd ever fastest time, with a brilliant 9:21.21s!

Bring on the 5000m!


Just when we thought Genevieve LaCaze couldn’t be more awesome, she became more awesome. After crushing her 3000m Steeplechase PB in the final, she was able to back it up in her 5000m heat, to qualify for the final with another PB!

What’s even more exciting is Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings will be joining Gen…

Ryan Gregson showed he’s got plenty in the tank as he produced an amazing kick on the home straight to finish 2nd in his heat to automatically qualify for the semi-final in the 1500m. A huge effort at his second Olympics!

Luke Mathews put in a gutsy performance, however it just wasn’t his night, with the Melbourne Track Club and St Kevin’s Amateur Athletic Club runner missing out on a semi-final spot in the 1500m crossing the line with a time of 3:44.51s.


Brooke Stratton started her Long-Jump campaign a little sluggish, but managed to get it together for her last jump and qualify for the final, clearing a distance of 6.56m! There is definitely more fire power to come from Brooke (who holds the Australian record), and we can’t wait to see how she goes!

Kathryn Mitchell was unbelievable in her Javelin qualification round, throwing a distance of 61.63, to pinch the last spot in the final!

Brett Robinson broke an Australian drought in the 5000m to qualify for the final with a time of 13:22.81s! The last man to feature was Craig Mottram in 2004. A huge result for Brett who looked sharp throughout the whole race.

Sam McEntee unfortunately was unable to make the final, finishing the heats 35th overall, with a time of 13:50.55s. However, it was a great experience to compete against the world’s best on the biggest stage!


Brooke Stratton flew 7.76m to cap off her first Olympic Games with a 7th overall place in the final! An amazing achievement and one that we’re all very proud of!

Damien Birkinhead (aka The Hulk) put in an enormous effort during the Shot-Put final to close out his Olympic campaign in 10th spot overall. His final distance was 20.45m!

Ryan Gregson was unbelievable throughout the Olympics, finishing the 1500m final with a time of 3:51.39s! In what was an extremely physical race, it was the first time an Australian had made the final in 40 years!

Brett Robinson was all class during his 5000m final. Crossing the line in 14th place with a time of 13:32.30s! Huge effort from Brett!

Kathryn Mitchell had an Olympics to remember, finishing the Javelin final with a distance of 64.36m, which placed her just shy of a podium spot in 4th spot!

Liam Adams continued his XCR form in the marathon, crossing the line in 31st position, with a time of 2:16:12!

Regan Lamble smashed her 20km walk to finish 9th overall! Amazing effort in what was a grueling race!

Jared Tallent…what a machine! Finishing 2nd overall in the 50km walk to claim silver! An absolutely amazing achievement from the defending Olympic champion!

Chris Erickson was solid in the 50km walk. Sticking close with the lead pack throughout the race, he finished off strongly for a 10th position overall and a time of 3:48:40!

Morgan Mitchell ran the last leg int he 4x400m final, in what was a fast-paced battle! Although it wasn’t as quick as their heat performance, it was still an amazing effort from the girls to make it all the way to the end!

Genevieve LaCaze capped off her amazing Olympic campaign with a 12th finish overall in the 5000m alongside fellow Aussies Eloise Wellings and Madeline Hills! An outstanding performance by Gen who continues to smash her own PB’s!

That’s all folks from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games…

Amazing performances from all the mighty Vics!!!

See you in Tokyo.









Batons and Butterflies

Starting to get that tingling sensation permeating through your body…? We are.

Don’t panic though. It’s the good kind of tingling. The kind of tingling that alerts you to something magical around the corner. The kind of tingling that is so wonderful, your body can literally sense enjoyment coming its way…

So, what’s causing this heavenly tingling you ask!? Well it’s simple: The 2016/17 Summer Season featuring the Victorian All Schools Championships featuring All Schools Track Relay Championships featuring Kanye West*

Cue the cheers and applause.

Make them short lived though. Because it’s now time to get down to business. Track Relay Championships are first out of the blocks – zing. Which means teamwork. Which means trust. Which means belief you and your squad has what it takes to be crowned the best in Victoria!

However it also means a baton. Oh yes. A baton. The one thing that stands between winning and losing. Something so simple in stature can either make your squad victorious, or be the demise of so much hard work. Trust us. Our Communications & Growth Leader (whose name can’t be mentioned out of fear his 2006 school 4×100 teammates will find him) has been on the wrong end of a baton-change, and he’s never fully recovered…

But do not fear. There’s still plenty of time to train. To practice those changeovers. To find the leg which suits you and your loyal teammates best. And to visualize running down the final straight, baton firmly placed in your hand, with the crowd erupting in screams of excitement! Once all this has been conquered, your school will be ready for the All Schools Track Relay Championships!

And just so you all know…We at AV love the commitment every student shows at our All Schools events. We love watching teams band together. We love seeing teachers and coaches (who’ve put countless hours into your school’s athletic program) relish with their students in the wins. We love the smiles and laughter schools share with each other throughout the entirety of the event. We love everything about the All Schools Track Relay Championships.

All we ask…is that you love it too.

Wednesday 31 August – it’s on!


*Kanye West is unfortunately unavailable. But don’t you reckon he features on an awful lot of songs!? Anyway, just a thought.