Victorian club relay championships kick off 2016 XCR series

Australia’s premier cross country and road series, XCR, will start with the popular club cross country relay championships at Jells Park this Saturday 16 April.

Club relay teams will tackle 6km and 3km courses at the iconic public parklands. The challenging course requires runners to transverses grassland and dense pine forest.

The first round has attracted 314 club relay teams, ranging from under 14 boys and girls through to 40 plus runners.

In 2015 the event created XCR history, attracting the series largest participation numbers, 1,182 runners of all abilities, including distance running legend Steve Moneghetti making it to the start line.

XCR is a 10 round series, combining individual cross country, road and club based relay competitions.

Taking in Victoria’s surf coast, south eastern suburbs and regional sporting hubs including Ballarat, each event provides economic benefits for local communities and helps promote an active and health life style.

Event Information:

Entry list:

XCR’16 Series Guide:

For a round by round guide, rules, clubs and series information download the XCR’16 guide here.

Two new venues:

In 2016 two new venues have been added to the XCR calendar – Wandin Park and Cruden Farm.

Situated an hour east of the Melbourne’s CBD, Wandin Park will replace Lardner Park on Saturday 7 May. The undulating hills and breathtaking backdrop of the Victorian country side will offer value to both participant and spectator.

A fortnight later we head to Cruden Farm which will host the 8km and 16km heritage round. The grounds of Cruden Farm offer athletes a tough and testing course with a mixture of different terrains to accompany the beautiful grounds surrounding the farm.

“Cruden Farm is a historic and inspirational venue and will be a great addition to the XCR calendar,” said Athletics Victoria CEO Glenn Turnor.

“We have seen hire fees increase along with major changes to what is permitted at some venues to the point that we need to look elsewhere.  This coupled with the results from our member survey confirmed that we are on the right track. Both Cruden Farm and Wandin Park have been very accommodating and are both excited to host cross country events.”

Owned by the Murdoch family, the grounds spectacular gardens and sweeping hills will provide the perfect backdrop for the Victorian 10 Mile Championships.

The inclusion of these two new and exciting venues promises to offer a new dimension to the XCR’16 series.

Key Information:
What: 2016 Victorian Cross Country Relay Championships
Where: Jells Park (Google Map)
When: Saturday 16 April, 2016
Social media: @athsvic #XCR16

Destination Albany for Big V cross country stars

Athletics Victoria is pleased to announce 48 Big V junior athletes will fly the flag for Victoria at the Australian Cross Country Championships in Albany, Western Australia this August.

“The Athletics Victoria team, headlined by 2013 National medallists Jack Rayner and Amelia Mazza Downie, is stacked with talented distance runners from all across Victoria,” Nick Wall Athlete Development Manager said.

A wide cross section of athletes from country and metro make up the team with Ballarat and Geelong regions particularly well represented, making up 30% of the team.

Marcellin College, currently Victorian All Schools Cross Country & Road Relays champions proudly boasts three athletes.

Apart from the aforementioned trio, Victorian gold medallists James Stanley, Jack Davies and Charlotte Bassett are among those leading the charge for the Big V in Albany.

The Australian Cross Country Championships will take place on 23 August with close to 1,000 young athletes’ sets to take over the southern Western Australian city of Albany.

Albany sits 418km south of Perth and has a population just over 35,000 making it the sixth largest city in the state.

A senior team of 12 athletes will be announced next Wednesday 2 July with selectors finalising the team early next week. Nominations for this team close at 1pm, Friday 27 June.

For Schools Sports Victoria team please see linked PDF:

Full team:


Athlete School
Luke Padgham Catholic College Bendigo
Benjamin Powell Creek St Christian College
Caleb Hough Essendon Grammar
Archie Reid Echuca College
Jacob Bell St John Bosco’s
Harrison Van Duuren St Patricks Primary School


Alistair Strutt Wesley College
Kieran Hennig Gippsland Grammar


Athlete School
Lily Peacock Lilydale High School
Sophie McMinimee Bacchus Marsh Grammar
Alyssa Waugh Catholic College Sale
Erika Allen Gippsland Grammar
Brooke Mullins Mansfield
Oliva Hobbs Belmont High School


Amy Canavan Ballarat Grammar
Olivia Harper Ruyton Girls School


Athlete School
James Stanley Xavier College
Tim Caldwell Doncaster Secondary
Scott McKenzie Marcellin College
Aidan McCormack Marcellin College
Paris Street St Kevins College
Will Lindsay Trinity Grammar School


James Lightfoot Scotch College
Christian Nuzzo Xavier College


Athlete School
Amelia Mazza-Downie Maribyrnong College
Katie Webb St Columba’s College
Meaghan Gaunt Collingwood Harriers
Ella Wragg Ruyton Girls school
Jennifer Mendes Maribyrnong College
Meg Oakley-Kerr Wesley College


Emma Files Strathmore Secondary College


Athlete School
Benjamin Cox Marcellin College
Jack Van Stekelenburg Melbourne Grammar School
Daniel Dunstone Point Cook College
Lochlan Lyness Hallam Senior Secondary
Aran Brown Haileybury College
William Armstrong Haileybury College


Jacques Verstraten Independent
Ben Scala Xavier College


Athlete School
Charlotte Bassett Macrobertson Girls High School
Georgia Hansen Carey Baptist Grammar
Rachel Waters Geelong Grammar school
Emily Guy Loreto Toorak
Claudia O’Callaghan Ivanhoe Girls School
Chelsea Dutt Mentone Girls School


Bree Warren Haileybury College
Audrey Campton-Smith Ruyton Girls School


Athlete School
Jack Davies Eureka
Stewart McSweyn Eureka
Jack Rayner Western Athletics
Daniel Young Box Hill / Yarra Valley Grammar
Jack Holden St Kevins AAC
Mitchell Dyer Box Hill / Trinity Grammar School


Reily Shaw Deakin
Yohan Phillip Melbourne University


Athlete School
Molly Tilbrook Box Hill
Claudia Verstraten Athletics Chillwell / Scared Heart Geelong
Courney Scott Eureka
Sarah Waters Deakin
Elly Jackson Toorak College
Kaitlyn Egan Frankston


Katie Gamble Doncaster
Sarah Jackson Toorak College

Frankston’s Sarah Klein builds for Glasgow roads

Next month the reality of a debut Commonwealth Games will come true for Frankston marathon runner Sarah Klein who twelve months ago would never have anticipated nomination by Athletics Australia to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to compete in Glasgow.

It was only when a friend made Klein aware she might have run a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 2:42:30 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon was the idea of competing in Glasgow entertained.

“A friend of mine text me and said you might have done a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games and I thought, I never even though of that, so I looked it up and I was 23 seconds off of the b qualifier and after speaking to my coach we thought there was always a chance with the marathon, you never know what’s going to happen so we had crack,” Klein said.

The fourth place finish in Melbourne instigated a growing ambition for the Caulfield Grammar School teacher to put in place the steps to have a serious attempt at making her first senior Australian team.

“I attempted Gold Coast in 2012 and got injured the week before and went back in 2013 but pulled up a bit lame in the lead up so my debut was Melbourne 2013, it actually took three attempts to get to the start line of a marathon to begin with and now I’m coming up to my third one and guess I’m a marathon runner now,” said Klein.

Focus turned to Europe and at the Marathon Rotterdam in the Netherlands in April Klein secured the ‘B’ qualifying standard with a personal best time of 2:38:53.

“It’s a real relief to work so hard for something and to cross the line and to see the 2:38 I was really proud of myself and so stoked to get the b qualifier,” Klein said.

“A few things had to fall into place for me to be selected and I was, so I’ll take it and can’t wait to get over to Glasgow and run.”

Near on a month after Rotterdam Klein along with Essendon’s Liam Adams was added to make it a full quota of marathon runners nominated by Athletics Australia for the Glasgow Games.

Since nomination training including hill climbs every Sunday in the Dandenong’s has been stepped up and the gradual build-up to longer distances before departing for Glasgow next month has included wins in the 13.5km Puffing Billy’s Great Train Race and last weekend’s victory in the XCR’14 Round 3 6km course a Brimbank Park.

“This was my first XCR event that I’ve won, so I went one better than I did last round, it’s always a tough start out there going up the hill, but I was able to settle in a bit as we got going and felt alright so it was good,” Klein speaking after winning at Brimbank.

“It’s all preparation for the Commonwealth Games, the marathon is the goal and the bigger picture so the races I do in the lead up to that are part of the plan and then hopefully by the time July 27 comes around I’ll be fit and ready to go.”

With a new found belief in competing at this level Klein will be quietly confident heading to Glasgow.

The nomination period has now closed for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a joint announcement by Athletics Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association will take place on Thursday 5 June regarding the final list of athletes to be included on the Australian team.