The Bendigo Bats athletics team have made a flying start to Athletics Victoria’s XCR ’21 series in Saturday’s cross-country action at Jells Park. A group of 36 represented Flack Advisory Services Group-backed Athletics Bendigo. Bendigo was victorious in the men’s open division two and also raced to second place in the overall standings with what is considered the region’s strongest men’s open relay team for a long time.

Athletes from country and metropolitan regions competed team relays across various distances and age groups.

Bendigo was victorious in the men’s open division two and also raced to second place in the overall standings.

Bendigo University Athletic Club’s star Andy Buchanan ran the fastest time of the 6km leg in 17.30 minutes. To set an average pace of 2 mins and 55 seconds per kilometre on a hilly grass course is quite phenomenal.

It was an outstanding feat less than two days after he broke Bendigo’s residential record for the open 3000m as he ran in the national championship decider on Box Hill’s track.

Buchanan joined forces with Archie Reid, Matt and Ned Buckell, Brady Threlfall and Nathan Stoate in the Jells Park showdown.

Brady Threlfall took to Instagram and said it was the strongest Bendigo regional team he’d ever been a part of.

An overall time of 1 hour 53.54 minutes for the team of six was not far behind St Stephens which was fastest of all in 1:51.04.

Juniors and Women’s Success

Bendigo also won the under-18 boys event, and was runner-up in the women’s open division four relay.

Young guns Jayden Padgham, Harrison Boyd and Logan Tickell won the under-18 boys 3 x 3km contest in 28.53. (pictured above)

The line-up of Jill Wilkie (pictured below), Anne Buckley and Alice Wilkinson clocked a time of 1:17.39 across their relay legs of 3km to be second in women’s open division four.

Debutants on show

All four Bendigo clubs – Bendigo University, Bendigo Harriers, Eaglehawk and South Bendigo were represented across a range of age groups and distances.

Those to race for Bendigo Bats for the first time were Tim Creer, Nathan Crowley, Tanner Fear, Billy Meade, Daniel Noden, Matt Schepisi, Mason Woodward and the Big Macs of Thomas McArthur, Nick McDermott and Avery McDermid.

Other placings for Bendigo were:

  • third in men’s open division four;
  • second in men’s open division seven;
  • sixth in men’s 50-plus;
  • fifth in under-18 girls;
  • 8th and 12th in under-18 boys;
  • and sixth in under-16 boys.

Round two in XCR ’21 will be run on May 22 at Lardner Park.

Other venues in the 10-round series are Myrniong, Cruden Farm, Sandown, Bundoora,  Ballarat, Albert Park, Burnley, and The Tan in Melbourne.

Results

Times for Athletics Bendigo competitors in the Jells Park teams relays:

Men’s open, div. 2, 6 x 6km:

Andy Buchanan 17:30, Archie Reid 19:19, Matt Buckell 19:21, Ned Buckell 19:28, Brady Threlfall  19:07, Nathan Stoate 18:49, 1:53:34;  1st in division, 2nd overall.

Men’s open, div. 4, 5 x 6km:

Andrew Creer 23:36, Matthew Schepisi 21:58, Nathan Crowley 23:50, Glenn McMillan 20:31, Matthew Hooke 21:48, 1:51.23, 3rd.

Women’s open, div. 4, 3 x 6km:

Jill Wilkie 25:14, Anne Buckley 27:08, Alice Wilkinson 25:17, 1:17.39, 2nd.

Men’s open, div. 7, 4 x 6km:

Nick McDermott 24:06, Mike Bieleny 23:05, Darren Hartland 24:24, Luke Millard 23:00,  1:34:35,  2nd.

Men, 50-plus, 3 x 6km:

Antony Langdon 34:11, Jim Russell 30:05, David Heislers 28:57, 1:33:13, 16th.

Under-18 girls, 3 x 3km:

Tullie Rowe 11:18, Phoebe Lonsdale 11:56, Chelsea Tickell 12:17, 35.51, 5th.

Under-18 boys, 3 x 3km:

Jayden Padgham 9:32, Harrison Boyd 9:49, Logan Tickell 9:32, 28:53, 1st.

Angus Macafee 9:56, Max Rowe 11:44, Billy Meade 9:48, 31:28, 8th.

Tim Creer 11:04, Tanner Fear 12:17, Mason Woodward 11:43, 35:04, 12th.

Under-16 boys, 3 x 3km:

Avery McDermid 10:57, Thomas McArthur 11:55, Daniel Noden 11:38, 34:30, 6th.

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