With AVSL Playoffs won and done, let’s cast an eye over the contests that decided Victoria’s main club competition.
Premier Champions: Doncaster v Essendon v Box Hill
In what has proven a spectacular two-season period for Doncaster, previous Division 2 winners have pressed on in 2020-21. Victorious in Premier Division against established powerhouses Essendon and Box Hill, Doncaster were aided by two junior athletes inside the Most Valuable Athlete top 10.
Alessia Wynne put together a 1621pt day across the 100m Hurdles (14.65 +0.0), 100m (12.49 +0.3), long jump (5.75m) and a 1:48.03 4x200m relay run. Wynne wasn’t merely the most valuable athlete for Doncaster – but the most valuable athlete on the day for any club! Helping out Wynne with a 1402pt day, good for the eighth most valuable athlete overall – Under 16 Brodie Mierisch. Mierisch excelled across the 100m, discus, long jump and 4x200m relay (12.44 +0.3, 47.39m, 5.37m, 1:40.65).
DAC, Doncaster, 57,227
ESS, Essendon, 43,463
BOH, Box Hill, 16,929
Premier Division/Div 2 Playoff: Western A’s v Collingwood
In a battle for Premier Division survival, Western Athletics fell short against Collingwood, as Kareema Wakim led Collingwood into the top end of AVSL. Under 16 Wakim collected 1360pts across the day, competing in the 100m, 1500m, long jump and 4x200m relay, the 17th highest point scorer of the day (13.76 +0.5, 4:50.2h, 4.24m +2.4, 1:53.05).
COL, Collingwood, 26,824
WES, Western Athletics, 13,798
Division 2 Champions: Chilwell v Eaglehawk
Following a frustrating relegation last season, Chilwell bounced back in tremendous fashion, claiming the Division 2 title with 18,685pts. A capable points scorer, Under 16 Luke Fraser amassed 1274 points across the discus, long jump, 100m and 4x200m relay (22.99m, 5.63m -1.1, 11.95 -1.4, 1:35.89).
Division 2/Div 3 Playoff: Eureka v Wendouree (The Battle of Ballarat)
In what was billed at The Battle of Ballarat, Eureka emerged victorious – the combined powers of Under 16 Ben Locke and Under 14 Manofo Ropeti sweeping up 1345pts and 1216pts respectively. Locke and Ropeti outlined the value of throws in the AVSL format, as Locke scored strongly in javelin (39.83m) and discus (55.53m). Ropeti’s day told a similar tale, his top two events the discus (30.03m) and javelin (24.03m).
EKA, Eureka, 11,950
WEN, Wendouree, 1,983
Division 3 Champions: Bendigo v Wyndham
As predicted in the early form guide, Wyndham entered en masse, and performed admirably. With three performers in the top ten standing for most valuable athlete, Wyndham proved too strong, as Thushana Sri Deenathayalan (1496pts, U14), Sebastian Panakkal (1410pts, U16) and Devesh Sri Deenathayalan (1405pts, U16) ranked 3rd, 6th and 7th overall.
WYN, Wyndham, 23,025
BGO, Bendigo Harriers, 802
Division 3/Div 4 Playoff: Preston v Dandenong-Springvale
Dandenong-Sprigvale were clinical in their playoff performance, as Under 14 Jeremiah Jeanes led the club with 1259pts. Jeanes performed well throughout the day, competing in the discus, long jump, 100, and 4x200m relay (31.10m, 4.66m +1.0, 12.94 +3.8, 1:46.26).
DSA, Dandenong-Springvale, 9,358
PTN, Preston, 3,147
Division 4 Champions: Corio v Malvern Waverley
In the tightest contest of the day, Waverley-Malvern took out the Division 4 Championship by all of 160 points.
Waverley-Malvern were supported by depth throughout the club, as five athletes featured in the most valuable athlete top 100 list – no small feat for a Division 4 club. Form guide favourite Craig Sanford (M50) led from the front with 1328pts, supported by Linda Buttigieg (1294pts), Christine Bridle (1213pts), Greg Carstairs (1177pts) and David Venour (1134pts). Making up 41% of the teams points, all five athletes highlighted just how effective a club strategy can prove across a playoff day.
If ever there were a club proudly known for all things throws, Corio (and Ringwood) would pop to mind immediately. In the case of Corio, Darcy Giddings turned up ready to proverbially clean up, as the powerful Under 18 thrower finished the day with 1584pts, the 2nd highest scoring athlete of the day. Giddings’ antics are well known across Victorian throws circles and runways, a day of discus and javelin complimented by long jump and the 4x200m relay (49.84m, 47.42m, 5.53m +0.7, 1:42.84).
WAM, Waverley-Malvern, 14,875
COR, Corio, 14,715
Division 4/Div 5 Playoff: Old Scotch v Williamstown
Old Scotch dispatched Williamstown comfortably, as Under 18 Hunter Rives kept himself busy throughout the day. Rives competed in the most events for Old Scotch, an essential points collector across the 100m (11.99 -1.4), javelin (18.26m), and long jump (4.98m +0.9).
OSC, Old Scotch, 6,486
WTN, Williamstown, 2,054
Division 5 Champions: Athletics South West v Old Melbournians
In their first season in the AVSL competition, Athletics South West dominated the Division 5 standings, Old Melburnians providing minimal resistance in the new club’s journey to the title. With five athletes in the top 100 most valuable athletes for the day – Under 16 Jesse Suter, Club President Jeremy Dixon (M40), Ken Bruce (M65), Myles Sinnot (U16), and Hillary Hannagan (U14). Suter, a multi-eventer by trade, logged 1393pts as the 10th ranked most valuable athlete across all clubs for the day – competing in javelin, discus, 100m and the 4x200m relay (37.58m, 36.66m, 12.11 +0.0, 1:44.48).
ASW, Aths South West, 10,133
OLM, Old Melburnians, 2,182