It’s official, we’re a broken record. The weather today was insane. Literally the best day of the year – for winter anyway. Although the morning was a little chilly, it didn’t stop Schools arriving in droves and setting up tent city alongside the finish line. To say the atmosphere was electric would be an understatement! There was a feel amognst coaches and athletes that today was going to be a special day. Not only because state selection was up for grabs, but the fact there were record numbers lining themselves up at the start line to tackle the undulating course that is known to be tough!
Getting things underway for the day were the Girls and Boys Under-14 km, with Lucinda Rourke (Williamstown High) claiming the first gold medal in the Girls division, crossing the line with a time of 10:59. Jaimee-Lee Code (Berwick Secondary) was second in a time of 11:12, with Amy Bunnage (Haileybury) rounding out the top three with a time of 11:18. Over in the Boys was Ethan Grills (CBC) who secured the gold medal with a time of 10:13! Kane Marriott (Glen Katherine) was second in a time of 10:14, and Bailey Morrell (Berwick Secondary) was third in a time of 10:21!
Next up was the Under-15 division, with Taryn Fureltti (Kilmore International) taking the top prize ahead of Mia White (MacKillop Catholic) and Nicola Hogg (Firbank). Taryn finished in a time of 14:25, with Mia and Nicola finishing with 14:40 and 14:42 respectively. In the Boys draw it was Samuel Norton (John Fawkner) who narrowly beat Mac Anderson (Melbourne Grammar) and Luca Di Conza (St Kevin’s). Samuel finished with a time of 13:12.
The Under-16 division started with Ebony Dodemaide (Westbourne Grammar) securing a gold medal in the Girls draw, with Georgie Laven (Lilydale High) and Yazmin Hayes (Rochester) rounding out the top 3. The Boys draw was extremely close with Harry Sharp (St Patrick’s) take top honours with a time of 12:56. Daniel D’Alberto (Peninsula Grammar) and Ethan McMinimee (Bacchus Marsh) battled it out for the second position with Daniel just pipping Ethan in times of 12:58 and 12:59 respectively.
Abbey Caldwell (Doncaster Secondary) took out the Girls Under-17 division with a time of 14:04, which was well ahead of second place getter Amy Cornell (Ivanoe Girls’) who finished in a time of 14:40. Lily Peacock (Lilydale High) rounded out the top 3 with a time of 14:42. Over in the Boys draw saw William Collins (Mazenod College) take out first place with a time of 19:39. It was a dominant display of cross country running, as William was able to take down APS heavyweights Nick Fidler (Melbourne Grammar) and Matthew Hussey (St Kevin’s).
In the Under-18 division, it was athletic superstar Sophie O’Sullivan (Wesley) who was too good for Annabelle Eastman (Star of the Sea), taking out another cross country event with a time of 14:14. In the Boys draw it was an all APS affair with Edwards Marks (Wesley) taking out the title in a time of 19:32. James Lightfoot (Carey Grammar) and Kang Nyoak (Wesley) rounded out the top 3 in times of 19:39 and 19:41 respectively.
Combining the Women’s Under-20 Schools and XCR saw Amelia Mazza-Downie (Maribynong and Athletics Essendon) finish third in the XCR bracket and first for her school (22:27). Olivia Weston (St Margaret’s) was behind Amelia in the Schools division, crossing the line in second place with a time of 24:05. Known 800m superstar Georgie Hansen (Box Hill) had a surprise victory in the XCR division, taking out the win in emphatic fashion (with a time of 21:24) ahead of Lauren Ryan (Athletics Essendon) who crossed the line in second place with a time of 21:51. In the Men’s combined it was Cody Shanahan (Western Athletics) who took home the gold in a time of 25:56, ahead of Haftu Strintzos (Glenhuntly) who crossed the line in 26:08.
We would like to than all Schools who have competed in our winter cross country season, and can’t wait to see everybody on the track at the end of the year, for what is sure to be an amazing summer!
The afternoon was all about the Bundoora 10km for both the Women’s and Men’s Open division. All eyes would be on Virginia Moloney (Collingwood), who was coming off a solid win at Cruden Farm. Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) has been in amazing form this year and would also be looking to do well, after already achieveing a first and second place at Wandin Park and Cruden. Gemma Maini (Frankston) was back on the start line which was great to see, and Alexandra Paterson (Old Xaverians) was always going to be in the mix. Virginia got off to a flying start, and from there never looked like giving up her lead, as she went around the whole 10km in first place and finished off convincingly ahead of Alexandra, who also put in an unbelievable effort on a course which had the sun shining on it throughout the whole afternoon. Henrietta Lawrence (Frankston) ran a perfect race, finishing with her best result for the year with a bronze medal!
Women’s Open Top 10:
- Virginia Moloney (Collingwood)
- Alexandra Paterson (Old Xaverians)
- Henrietta Lawrence (Frankston)
- Sophie Ryan (Old Xaverians)
- Emilie Guy (Athletics Essendon)
- Cassie Little (Glenhuntly)
- Sarah Waters (Geelong)
- Jane Grebinski (South Melbourne)
- Sarah James (MUAC)
- Kiah Fry (Frankston)
Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo) was a notable absentee at Cruden Farm but was always going to be back at Bundoora to defend his title. Which he did! Andy never looked in doubt from the very beginning, taking it upon himself to take charge and see who would follow. Many tried, but it was Andy who kept his poise, grabbing another Bundoora victory and a spot at the National Cross Country Championships – which he says he will do! Harry Smithers (Geelong) crossed the line in second place, with Mathew Clarke (Old Xaverians) not far behind, rounding out the top 3.
Men’s Open Top 10:
- Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo)
- Harry Smithers (Geelong)
- Mathew Clarke (Old Xaverians)
- Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly)
- Tom Fawthorpe (Ringwood)
- Matthew Johnsen Doncaster)
- William Potter (Box Hill)
- Martin Mashford (MUAC)
- Thomas Hynes (Ballarat0
- Stephen Dinneen (Box Hill)
Click here for a list of full results.
Next event on the XCR calendar is the Sandown Road Relays – see you there!